The 19th annual LDI trade show and conference will be held the week of October 16-22, 2006 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, and show organizers have a lot of exciting enhancements up their sleeves. This year the accent is on professional training with more choices, new configurations and the addition of the Live Design Projection Master Classes.

Beginning on Monday, October 16, the LDInstitute is the place for day-long, in-depth training courses ranging in lighting, software, and electrical skills. The LDInstitute also includes two rigging courses presented in conjunction with The ESTA Foundation’s Seminar & Training committee, one in theatre rigging and one in arena rigging. The audio component of the LDInstitute includes a series of three courses from Syn-Aud-Con, the industry’s recognized leader in audio education. In addition to Pat Brown’s popular classes for operators and technicians (which sold out last year at LDI), he has developed a new course for specifically for LDI: Fundamentals of Sound System Design.

One of the radical departures for this year is that the basic LDI Conference program will run on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, leaving attendees all day Sunday to visit the 400+ companies exhibiting cutting-edge technology on the show floor and at the outdoor audio stages of ET Live. Another facet of this year’s program is Backstage Las Vegas, the annual insider’s tour of some of the technically challenging new shows and theatres in Las Vegas, with two new Cirque du Soleil shows, Ka and Love, on the menu, as well as Blue Man Group show in their new home at The Venetian.

New to LDI2006 is an innovative collaboration with Live Design magazine in the form of the second annual Live Design Projection Master Classes, following their success in New York City last year. Seattle-based projection designers (and frequent columnists for Live Design) Bob and Colleen Bonniol will act as creative consultants for the Projection Master Classes, heading up a faculty of leading designers and programmers who will examine everything from content creation to the latest technology in the fast-paced world of projection. The LDI Conference includes a range of tracks, from the Engineering of Entertainment, ESTA technical updates, a Lighting Summit, a full day dedicated to show control, a special session on patents, a presentation by Cirque du Soleil about their new student internship program, and an inspirational series of sessions for houses of worship, presented in collaboration with Technologies for Worship Magazine.

All attendees are invited to the New Technology Breakfasts on Friday and Saturday morning, as well as the Designer Roundtable on Sunday. This year’s focus for the Roundtable is a Salute to Boston, sponsored by Barbizon Lighting Company and Color Kinetics, while the Lighting breakfast is once again sponsored by its longtime partner, Leviton, in conjunction with SeaChanger by Ocean Optics. Another LDI veteran, Le Maitre Special Effects, will co-sponsor the Special Effects/Laser breakfast.

There are numerous sponsorship opportunities at LDI, which are a great way for exhibitors to enhance their presence at the show. Companies taking advantage of these include Nocturne, a new Premier Partner, and Scharff Weisberg, Platinum Sponsor of the Projection Master Classes and sponsor of the LDI lanyards. There is also an exciting new formula afoot for the awards ceremony this year, planned as a big party and benefit for The ESTA Foundation’s Behind the Scenes efforts. Stay tuned for more details about LDI2006---this is just the tip of the iceberg!