Professional Lighting and Sound Association

Professional Lighting and Sound Association
Abbreviation PLASA
Formation 1976
Type Trade Association
Headquarters Eastbourne, UK
Matthew Griffiths[2]
Director of Events
Christopher Toulmin[2]
Formerly called
British Association of Discotheque Equipment Manufacturers (BADEM)

The Professional Lighting and Sound Association (PLASA) is a trade association based 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]

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.[4][5]

In 2010 it merged with the Entertainment Services and Technology Association.[6][7] In 2015 PLASA Governing Body chairman John Simpson announced that the organisation had been facing "critical cash-flow problems", precipitating the sale of its Eastbourne office, staff reductions, business restructuring and a reduction in services provided to members. In addition, the de-merger of the American arm of the organisation into a separate body (similar to the ESTA association that preceded the merger deal in 2010) and relocation of the PLASA Show to West London at a smaller venue were announced. Chris Toulmin, the organisation's Director of Events, stated that much of the difficulties faced by the organisation stemmed from the reducing profitability of the PLASA Show in London. In the same release, it was stated that the long-serving CEO Matthew Griffiths would be leaving his post and the Finance Director Shane McGreevy would take up a part-time role.[8]


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.[9]

After merging with ESTA, PLASA took on the role of maintaining the industry standards for DMX512 and RDM.[10] PLASA have also been responsible for the development of a UK National Rigging Certificate, which launched in 2007[11] for individuals working in the entertainments rigging industry.[1][12]

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.

See also


  1. 1 2 "PLASA case study". EAL Website. EAL. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
  2. 1 2 3 "PLASA Team". PLASA Website. Professional Lighting and Sound Association. Retrieved 4 November 2015.
  3. "Multiform Lighting History". Retrieved 22 July 2013.
  4. Barrett, Andy. "BEIRG representatives to meet MPs". Music Instrument Professional. Intent Media. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
  5. Austin, Jeremy. "Experts warning of catastrophe in digital switchover". The Stage. The Stage Media Company Ltd. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
  6. Low, Andrew (4 Jun 2010). "PLASA and ESTA members approve merger". Audio Pro International. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
  7. Vanderkar, Lauren (18 Jun 2010). "PLASA and ESTA vote to merge". Retrieved 16 May 2013.
  8. "PLASA Outlines Recent Changes and Future Opportunities". PLASA. 23 October 2015. Retrieved 4 November 2015.
  9. "Plasa in Profile". PLASA Website. Professional Lighting and Sound Association. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
  10. Huntington, John (2012). Show Networks and Control Systems. John Huntington. pp. 241, 259. ISBN 0615655904.
  11. 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 0955703506.
  12. "The PLASA National Rigging Certificate (NRC)". UK Rigging Website. UK Rigging. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
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