The fall trade show season has gotten underway in London, England, at PLASA06, with its usual round of product launches and parties. My first event at PLASA was a lovely evening hosted by Selecon at New Zealand house (and yes they had Maori dancers in grass skirts once again...) with fanstastic views of London from the 17th floor wrap-around terrace. An extremely bright Selecon followspot on the terrace was extremely useful in picking out London landmarks, including Big Ben and Westminster Abbey.

Product launches of note include the new 4kW Lancelot effects projector/followspot by Robert Juliat, and seen on the White Light stand. Martin unveiled their new tungsten MAC-TW1 Wash light which seems to have generated quite a bit of buzz. Wybron has made history with the first real-world and now award-winning Info-Trace system which won one of the PLASA Innovation Awards on September 10.

The additional PLASA awards went to: Avolites for its mDMX system; Dolby Laboratories/Lake Technology for the Dolby Lake Processor; Global Design Solutions' Blues System; Vieta / KV2 Audio Europe Ltd. for the So Line; Pharos Architectural Controls for its audio visual controller; TiMax/Outboard for the Track The Actors system; and Volex Power Products for its V-Lock. Special mentions also went to ommendations were also given to Adam Hall for its adjustable top-hat and Sennheiser for both its A5000 Antenna and its Tourguide 2020D.

One of the most interesting things at the show is the sight of Robert Bell at the Strand booth. This of course is the result of the recent acquistion of Strand Lighting by Genlyte which means that Strand and Entertainment Technology, as well as Vari-Lite, are all now part of the expanding Genlyte family (at PLASA Vari-Lite is on the PRG Europe stand, but that's another story all together...). The new Strand Palette series of consoles now has new software as a result of the merger....

ETC also has a new console, the EOS, which is still under wraps, and being shown off the show floor to selected designers. The buzz sounds pretty good. PRG's Mbox Extreme is also just off the show floor in a meeting room but worth the detour...

A non-booth booth is that Flying Pigs who are literally camping out with consoles on packing crates and a tent with a small bbq replete with plastic hotdogs and environmental sounds of birds, yet no lights. This has caused quite a bit of comment, especially in an environment filled with video projection, bright lights, and LEDs galore...

I went to the Palladium on Monday night to see Sinatra, a tribute to Frank Sinatra with old blue eyes on video in a production that has a live band and singers/dancers. Live Design has covered this production in depth but suffice it to say that Bob and Colleen Bonniol, as well as Sean Cagney of Scharff Weisberg, and all involved with the video design and projection did a great job. Nice to get off the show floor and go to see some of the technoloy at work in a show where the audience is not aware of how complicated a show it is technically. They can sit back and enjoy the music...

See you at LDI! —Ellen Lampert-Greaux