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Overhead view of PLASA 2013.jpg
View of PLASA 2013 in ExCeL
Status Active
Genre Entertainments Industry Technical Equipment
Venue Olympia
Location(s) London
Country United Kingdom
Inaugurated 1977
Founder British Association of Discotheque Manufacturers
Attendance 9,260 (2014)[1]
Organized by PLASA

The PLASA Show is an annual trade show hosted at Olympia and organised by the Professional Lighting and Sound Association. The show was formerly held at Earls Court Exhibition Centre and between 2013 and 2015 at the ExCeL Exhibition Centre. The show draws an international attendance of exhibitors and visitors in the lighting, audio and related technologies sector of the entertainments industry.


The show originally started in 1977[2] at the Bloomsbury Crest, London, launching under the name of Discotek 77. In 1982, whilst still at the Bloomsbury Crest, it was renamed the BADEM Light & Sound Show to mirror the name of the fledgling trade association that had been set up for the sector - the British Association of Discotheque Equipment Manufacturers.[citation needed] BADEM was subsequently renamed the Professional Lighting and Sound Association (PLASA) and thus in 1984, the show became the PLASA Light and Sound Show. In 1985, it relocated to the Novotel in Hammersmith, then to Olympia 2 in 1988, where it stayed until 1992 before transferring to the larger Earls Court 2.[citation needed]

Photograph of Earls Court 1 at the 2006 PLASA trade show

It made the move from Earls Court 2 to Earls Court 1 in 1996 and in 2007 opened the doors back to Earls Court 2 and occupied both halls.[citation needed] In 2013 the show moved to the ExCeL exhibition centre.[3] It stayed here for 3 years, announcing that the 2016 show would move back to West London and be hosted at Olympia during September.[4] During its time at ExCeL PLASA had been hosted during the month of October - prior to this the show was typically held during September. The 2016 show will have 50% less floor space as part of an effort to contain the costs involved in the show. In an interview given in 2015, Chris Toulmin (PLASA's Director of Events) claimed that the representation of pro-audio companies at the show had been in a long-term decline and that many exhibitors now viewed the event as a domestic rather than internationally significant trade show.[5]

For much of its history, the show was run by an external events company, however in 2007, PLASA took the management of the event in-house and launched PLASA Events Ltd.[6]

Attendance statistics[edit]

The show draws an international attendance of exhibitors and visitors in the lighting, audio and related technologies sector of the entertainments industry.[7] The first show in ExCeL was held between 6-9 October 2013, approximately 1 month later than the September dates the show previously occupied at Earl's Court.[3]

In 2014, the attendance reported by PLASA was unclear, stating a total attendance of 11,175 yet a visitor count of 9,260 and 1,850 exhibitors (a total of 11,110).[1] A total attendance figure of 17,138 was also given which is likely to include returning/repeat visitors. Audited attendance figures from ABC were not available as the exhibition was no longer registered with ABC after 2013.[8] The total attendance dropped by 17% (a 15% reduction in visitors and 28% reduction in exhibitors) compared to the previous year.

In 2013, the attendance was initially reported by PLASA as being over 11,000 with over 2,200 international visitors.[9] The ABC audited attendance for 2013 was 13,512, of which 2,564 were exhibitor attendees and 10,948 were visitors.[10] This figure represents a drop of just over 3% in total visitor attendance compared to the final show held in Earl's Court.

In 2012, PLASA's audited exhibitor attendance was 2,774 and visitor attendance was 11,291, including international visitors.[11][2]

In 2011, PLASA's ABC audited exhibitor attendance was 3,243 and visitor attendance was 11,959.[12]

In 2010, PLASA's ABC audited attendance was 12,078.[13]

In 2007, PLASA's ABC audited attendance was 12,300, of which 28% were from outside the UK.[14]

Visitor and exhibitor attendance chart[edit]

  •   Exhibitor Attendance
  •   Visitor Attendance

Chart sources:[1][2][10][12][13]

Visitor only attendance chart[edit]


Chart sources:[1][2][10][12][13]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "PLASA 2014 Visitor Stats" (PDF). PLASA Show. PLASA. Retrieved 9 October 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Business Event Attendance Certificate - PLASA 2012" (PDF). Audit Bureau of Circulations. Retrieved 14 May 2013. 
  3. ^ a b King, Jeremy (24 Aug 2012). "PLASA to swap Earls Court for Excel in 2013". Event Magazine. Retrieved 14 May 2013. 
  4. ^ "PLASA Show brings curtain down on ExCeL era and announces exciting future". PLASA Show. PLASA. 13 October 2015. Retrieved 4 November 2015. 
  5. ^ Robinson, Dave (13 October 2015). "Interview: PLASA's Chris Toulmin says Olympia move will inject new life into show". PSN Europe. NewBay Media Ltd. Retrieved 4 November 2015. 
  6. ^ "PLASA Launches Events Strategy". UK Sound and Lighting Community. 6 September 2006. Archived from the original on 1 October 2006. Retrieved 4 January 2008. 
  7. ^ "Our Role". PLASA. Retrieved 14 May 2013. 
  8. ^ "PLASA London". ABC. Audit Bureau of Circulations. Retrieved 9 October 2015. 
  9. ^ "PLASA London 2013 Enjoys Success at ExCeL". PLASA Membership Website. PLASA. 14 October 2013. Retrieved 14 November 2013. 
  10. ^ a b c "Business Event Attendance Certificate 2013 - PLASA London" (PDF). ABC Website. Audit Bureau of Circulations. Retrieved 13 December 2013. 
  11. ^ Gumble, Daniel (18 Sep 2012). "PLASA 2012: The end of an era". Audio Pro International. Retrieved 14 May 2013. 
  12. ^ a b c "Plasa reports strong last Earls Court show despite visitor dip". Exhibition News. Exhibition News. 19 September 2012. Retrieved 13 November 2014. 
  13. ^ a b c "Plasa reports steady visitor result at 2011 London show". Exhibition News. 19 September 2011. Retrieved 13 November 2014. 
  14. ^ "Why Exhibit?". PLASA Events. Archived from the original on 15 January 2008. Retrieved 4 January 2008.