For the second year running October saw the Interfacio team at the ExCel centre in London’s Docklands, checking out the lighting, video and audio exhibits on show at PLASA 2014. The move to East London from Earl’s Court has deterred one or two of the major manufacturers but not, it seems, too many of the industry professionals who were back in force to keep up with the latest technologies in live touring and fixed installation. Key product launches were announced by FBT, Neutrik, d&b Audioteknik, Synthax Audio and Sony Europe, while Robe Lighting marked its 20th Anniversary with a 1000sqm ‘Robe Arena’ – the company’s biggest trade show space ever – and a fourth PLASA Innovation Award for the new Bright Multi-Functional Luminaire (BMFL).

Recognizing the streamlining necessary for a noticeably reduced audio dimension to the show, PLASA created what turned out to be a highly popular audio ‘village’, concentrating most of the audio exhibitors at one end of the hall. Dominated by distributors and dealers, it was a platform for Source Distribution to introduce US loudspeaker brand WorxAudio to the UK; for Polar Audio to place new microphone line Mipro alongside its numerous solutions; for Sound Network to demonstrate DPA microphones for full backline, complete with guitar amps and a drum kit on the booth; and for system-wide advice from LMC Audio, Autograph Sales and SSE Audio Group.

Most significantly, broadcast veteran Raycom exhibited at PLASA for the first time, part of wider strategy to diversify into live sound reinforcement. To us it seemed like a confident endorsement of the show, just when it has a new competitor to contend with: last month, the a