Robe celebrated two PLASA Innovation Awards, stunned audiences with its eye-catching “All Environments” live performance show – the only one at the 2022 PLASA expo; launched its new iFORTETM high powered IP rated LED moving light in style; introduced its brand new TX1 Posi Profile which was presented live for the first time; showcased several other inventive and cool iSeries products; … AND enjoyed the buzz and vitality of a production industry that’s back to full speed.
PLASA ran for three days in the Great Hall of the Olympia exhibition centre in west London, UK, one of the entertainment capitals of the world.
Robe’s highly relevant live show resonated on multiple levels.
Whilst showing off the durability, water resistance and many creative features of these impressive new market leading ‘iSeries’ products – iBeam 250sTM and iSpiiders® joining the iFORTE as stars of the show – Robe also delivered a strong environmental message, underlining the company’s long-term commitment to sustainability.
“All Environments” is the first of a trilogy of performances that will premiere at leading international trade shows throughout 2022 and 2023. It was conceived, storyboarded, designed, and produced by Robe’s talented in-house creative team led by Nathan Wan and Andy Webb with Jordan Tinniswood and Tomáš Kohout.
The 6-minute timecoded show involved approximately 100 iSeries fixtures programmed to show off their amazing features in addition to their toughness and proper weather resistance.
A T1 ProfileTM running on a RoboSpotTM remote follow system was used for key lighting, and a large upstage LED video screen assisted with the narrative showing dramatic images and illustrated the close integration of lighting and video in stylish creative shows. The main screen was augmented with LED cladding the stage front for additional signage and messaging content.
This substantial video aesthetic also showed off the sheer brightness of all the Robe iSeries products, and the atmospherics were boosted with the help of MDG theONE fog / hazer and ICE FOG Compack low fog generator products!
A 3000-litre water tank and a mix of programmable pumps and jets produced a spectacular rain curtain and funky water effects as dancer TJ added freestyle bodywork to the fluidity with a specially choreographed show.
A bespoke soundtrack was infused with voiced over statements carefully curated from the work of broadcaster, biologist, natural historian, author, and English ‘national treasure’ Sir David Attenborough and his compelling broadcasts over the years, drawing attention to climate change.
This theming brought a real world contemporary and thought-provoking quality to the show as well as entertaining visitors and ramping up the atmosphere in the Great Hall.
Robe also produced dramatic new VOG presentations – snappy, theatrical, and informative complete with their own lighting effects – that captured people’s attention, and visitors were gathering both to listen to these as well as to enjoy and appreciate the “All Environments” show.
The PLASA Innovation Awards are run in association with LSi magazine and honour future-focussed technology that improves safety, efficiency and performance through new methods and materials.
Thirty-three products were entered this year whittled down to just seven lucky winners, chosen by a judging panel of 12 independent technical specialists from a diversity of backgrounds.
Robe was thrilled to win the award for its new iFORTE, which was the star of the All Environments show. The judges commented that this luminaire “features genuine innovation to help reduce service intervals and to mitigate failure by introducing precise moisture control” inside an IP65-rated fixture.
Additionally, Robe’s new TX1 PosiProfile received a ‘special commendation’ with judge’s noting that it is a “novel hybrid of moving light and generic fixture” with multiple uses, particularly in restricted space scenarios.
Artistic Licence – newly acquired by Robe in exciting news announced on the eve of the exhibition – won the Sustainability Award for their Micro-Scope Upgrade Kit which breathes new life into a product dating back over 30 years! A simple user-upgrade enables old test equipment to be brought bang up to current standards, thanks to foresight when the product was conceived.
Robe s.r.o. CEO Josef Valchar was delighted!
“Considerable thought and vision went into the development of the iFORTE ensuring that it is a truly market leading and state-of-the-art product in multiple ways, including its ability to be serviced on site without any special tools. For convenience and practicality this will be a big hit with rental companies and technicians,” stated Josef.
The IP rated iFORTE is also virtually identical in size, weight and performance to its non-IP rated counterpart and Josef thinks the trend for IP rated products will only continue as the demand for outdoor events skyrockets.
He added, “We have put serious time and effort into perfecting this initial IP rated product range, and now have a series of game-changing technologies which will benefit all users and investors.”
Other current Robe products on demo in the back section of the booth included the new PAINTETM and TetraXTM – a 360-degree continuous rotation LED bar – plus Robe’s popular LEDBeam 350TM and the ABTT Award-winning T11TM series, a three-into-one generic lighting solution for theatres and venues.
Launched at the show and also attracting a lot of interest in the constant busy demo area on the booth was Robe’s T11 Profile MFS™ (Manual Follow Spot) which completes the current T11 range, offering a practical, flexible, fully functional and compact follow spot solution!
In addition to hosting the liveliest and one of the most consistently busy booths on the show floor, Robe also ran training sessions in one of the seminar rooms for its award-winning RoboSpot remote controlled follow spot system.
Architectural brand Anolis brought an additional dimension to Robe, with their own booth immediately in front of Robe’s prominent stage.
Anolis’ new CalummaTM range was showcased for the first time at a UK expo – the product uses high efficacy single-chip LEDs, has a wide range of useful accessories, and works with numerous control protocols. Anolis’ AmbianeTM and EminereTMproduct ranges were also shown.
Robe’s NRG (Next Robe Generation) students supported and assisted the UK sales team on the stand whilst also enjoying the opportunity to experience the show vibes and some of the seminars. Robe was also joined for the duration of the show by Grainne Earley and Alison O’Shea, students on the Stage Management & Technical Theatre course at The Lir Dublin, and Jack Barlow who is studying Live and Technical Events at Confetti in Nottingham.
Theresa Gibson, Robe UK’s head of marketing, concluded, “This year’s PLASA delivered three uplifting days of busy, high calibre visitors, adding to the excitement and the return of our live exhibition shows, enabling an excellent platform to showcase Robe’s newest products and innovations.
We are proud to continue our longstanding relationship with PLASA as headline sponsor and it was fantastic to see the vast range of educational, inspirational and insightful talks and seminars on offer, delivered by some of the best industry specialists.
Being recognised at PLASA’s Innovation Awards for the new iFORTE was an event highlight and distinctive accolade for our R&D team who continue to deliver world-class products and industry-leading innovations. The buzz, vibrancy and magic of PLASA London was definitely felt by all attending and is a vital part of what makes this show so special for both exhibitors and visitors!”
Photos by Louise Stickland.