2008 PLASA Awards for Innovation announced

Posted on Wednesday, September 10th, 2008

The 2008 PLASA Awards for Innovation, announced in a special presentation ceremony at the PLASA Show in London, continued the recent trend towards a huge diversity of product nominations, ranging from major lighting, audio and video showstoppers to the less glamorous, but equally essential, tools of the trade.

Over 65 products were put forward this year, all of which were showcased in a stunning new Innovation Gallery, linking Earls Court 1 and 2.

Chosen by a panel of independent judges drawn from across the industry, seven Silver Awards were presented by PLASA Chairman Rob Lingfield to:

Goboland (Stand F31) for their Black Steel Gobo. The judges felt that this product would enhance an established technology and allow designers a greater range of creative possibilities.

Neutrik (Stand K33) for their convertCON. With convertCON, Neutrik has demonstrated that it’s possible to innovate within existing defined standards. The judges praised the elegance of the product’s ability to slip from one ‘sex’ to another in a single twist.

Display LED Screens (Stand E61) for their digiFLEX. The judges were impressed by this first flexible LED display solution. The clever rubberised design lends itself to new applications and adds a new dimension to display technologies.

Clay Paky (Stand E47) for their Alpha Beam 300. The judges were impressed by this amalgamation of existing technologies which has created a new tool for lighting designers, offering greater versatility and flexibility.

JB-lighting Lichtanlagentechnik (Stand C83) for their VaryLED A7 Zoom. This new luminaire found favour with the judges as the first moving LED fixture with a zoom function entered into the Awards, heralding a new era that has added depth to LED functionality.

Eilon Engineering (Stand L76) for their Ron StageMaster. Using this company’s proven wireless load cell technology with a new software application has allowed those involved in rigging to enhance safety and to remotely monitor changes to the loading on structures.

Global Design Solutions (Stand F79) for their MOBAL 19 Pin Pro tester. Over the years socapex testers have come and gone, but this new development looks set to become an industry standard. The judges found this product simple to use and particularly liked its informative LED display.

The first ever Gold Award went to the Royal Shakespeare Company (Stand G81) for their RSC LightLock. Borne out of a necessity to reduce time and labour during lighting set-up, this is a product that the judges felt demonstrated true innovation in removing the oscillation of truss sections or other lightweight suspension points caused by the rotation of moving lights.

The Environmental Award – which seeks to recognise a product or company that has taken significant steps to minimise the environmental impact of their activities – was presented to Proteus Display (Stand E89) for their new reflective LCD Proteus Display.

This product is an interesting new development of existing technologies giving designers a new tool packaged in an elegant manner. In a climate of increasing energy costs, this is an important carbon offset initiatives enabling users to buy a carbon neutral product.

The Awards Ceremony also gave profile to PLASA’s strengthening industry skills initiatives and featured a brief presentation from Live Nation’s CEO Paul Latham, the newly-appointed chair of the National Skills Academy, who encouraged the industry to support this major new project.

He then went on to present the monies raised from the Awards nomination fees to this year’s specially chosen charities – the National Student Drama Festival, an annual event held in Scarborough, and SABA UK, an arts charity that provides performance and educational opportunities for young people in the live music and performing arts industries.

Matthew Griffiths, MD of PLASA, who hosted the ceremony, commented: “The PLASA Awards are the industry’s touchstone for creativity and innovation – the qualities on which our industry was founded and continues to thrive – and we are delighted to give real focus to the impressive range of new technologies coming to the market.”