Organization:Professional Lighting and Sound Association

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Professional Lighting and Sound Association
PLASA Logo.jpg
TypeTrade Association
HeadquartersEastbourne, UK
Peter Heath[2]
Formerly called
British Association of Discotheque Equipment Manufacturers (BADEM)

The Professional Lighting and Sound Association (PLASA) is a trade association headquartered in Eastbourne, United Kingdom . Its membership is made up of companies involved with the events and entertainments technology sector.


PLASA was originally known as the British Association of Discothèque Equipment Manufacturers (BADEM), a name used between 1976 and 1983.[3]

In 2010 PLASA merged with the Entertainment Services and Technology Association.[4][5] and demerged in 2015. John Simpson, the PLASA Governing Body Chair at the time, said "This has been a difficult period for PLASA but it is also an opportunity for us to refocus. PLASA has a chance to reassess its role in this industry, its relationships and communications with its members, and the future directions of its commercial activities." Also during this time PLASA Show was relocated to Earls Court and CEO Matthew Griffiths left his post.[6]

Peter Heath took the role of CEO in April of 2016. In the same year PLASA Show move back to the West London venue London Olympia. Since then, PLASA Show has steadily regained popularity with the 2018 edition of the show being the “busiest and most vibrant show in recent history”.[7]


PLASA's activities include lobbying, organising trade show events (including the PLASA Show), publishing both technical and industry news products (such as Lighting & Sound International and Lighting & Sound America), developing industry standards and developing industry certification schemes.[8]

PLASA performed lobbying of Ofcom and other British Government entities in the late 2000s when users of radio microphones and similar devices complained that their equipment would be rendered unusable as a result of proposed plans to auction the radio spectrum utilised by many of such devices as part of the digital television switchover.[9][10]

After merging with ESTA, PLASA took on the role of maintaining the industry standards for DMX512 and RDM.[11] PLASA have also been responsible for the development of a UK National Rigging Certificate, which launched in 2007[12] for individuals working in the entertainments rigging industry.[1][13]

Each year, PLASA hands out PLASA Awards for Innovation and Sustainability Award. The PLASA Awards for Innovation aim to emphasise this focus on true innovation. The procedure ensures that all nominated products are vetted to show that they offer something new to the industry.

PLASA has been a part of the European Ecodesign Coalition which includes prominent industry bodies from across Europe. The purpose of the coalition has been to campaign against Ecodesign lighting regulations and propose exemptions for stage lighting.

In 2018 PLASA collaborated with Hamish Dumbreck of JESE Ltd, Peter Willis of Howard Eaton Lighting and Wayne Howell of Artistic Licence to present Plugfest, a three-day residential event in Gatwick, UK for lighting technicians and developers to test the interoperability of their products. This event returns in 2019 taking place in Lille, France.

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 "PLASA case study". EAL Website. EAL. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "PLASA Team". Professional Lighting and Sound Association. 
  3. "Multiform Lighting History". 14 February 2008. 
  4. Low, Andrew (4 Jun 2010). "PLASA and ESTA members approve merger". Audio Pro International. 
  5. Vanderkar, Lauren (18 Jun 2010). "PLASA and ESTA vote to merge". 
  6. "PLASA Outlines Recent Changes and Future Opportunities". LSi. 26 October 2015. 
  7. "PLASA 2018: 'The most vibrant in recent history'". 5 November 2018. 
  8. "Plasa in Profile". PLASA Website. Professional Lighting and Sound Association. 
  9. Barrett, Andy. "BEIRG representatives to meet MPs". Music Instrument Professional. Intent Media. 
  10. Austin, Jeremy. "Experts warning of catastrophe in digital switchover". The Stage. The Stage Media Company Ltd. 
  11. Huntington, John (2012). Show Networks and Control Systems. John Huntington. pp. 241, 259. ISBN 978-0615655901. 
  12. Greet, Goode, Bonner, Rossington, Parsons, N.J., T, Ron, Ruth, J (2007). PLASA National Rigging Certificate Handbook. Eastbourne: Professional Lighting and Sound Association (PLASA). ISBN 978-0955703508. 
  13. "The PLASA National Rigging Certificate (NRC)". UK Rigging Website. UK Rigging. 

External links