Leading Italian lighting manufacturer Claypaky is proud to have been the Headline Sponsor and host of the Showlight 2017 conference, which closed on 23 May after three extremely successful days in Florence, Italy. Over a three-year period, the Claypaky team has worked closely with the Showlight committee to help produce this extraordinary event.
Showlight combines a unique mix of elements – a world-class conference, an exhibition of manufacturers and service providers, and a rich and varied social and cultural programme designed to maximise networking opportunities among delegates, manufacturers, lighting designers and students. Attracting a broad range of the world’s leading lighting designers and practitioners, Showlight happens just once every four years, and has long been a favourite event on the professional show lighting industry’s calendar.
Staged in the beautiful Tuscan city of Florence, Showlight 2017 saw the highest attendance in the event’s history. Around 450 delegates, including some of the best-known figures from the world of show lighting, plus exhibitors and sponsored students, spent three days together watching a total of 29 presentations in the stunning setting of the Palazzo dei Congressi, which includes the grand 19th-century Villa Vittoria and a modern, 1000-capacity conference theatre.
Speakers included Al Gurdon, discussing the lighting of Grease Live! broadcast for the Fox network; Jeff Ravitz on his 33 years of lighting Bruce Springsteen’s concerts; Durham Marenghi, who gave a fascinating account of lighting the closing ceremony of the 2016 Rio Olympics; Martin Kempton, who discussed his experience of lighting for television sitcoms, and Mikki Kunttu, who delivered an inspiring talk on his design for the Royal Danish Ballet’s 2015 production of Swan Lake.
Some of Italy’s finest lighting designers also participated in the programme, including opera specialist Marco Filibeck, theatre set and lighting designer Vinicio Cheli and Andrea Bocelli’s lighting designer, Aldo Visentin. Other papers covered an eclectic range of lighting subjects, from puppet theatre to medieval buildings, from film locations to zoos, and from candlelight to virtual reality.
Aside from the conference itself, highlights of Showlight 2017 included an afternoon of cultural visits to places of interest including Florence’s historic Pergola Theatre, the city’s new opera house and the Antinori family’s stunning winery facility, nestled in the hills outside the city. On the Monday evening, delegates gathered for the Showlight Gala Dinner, hosted by Claypaky in the beautiful surroundings of the Torrigiani Gardens. Speaking at the Gala Dinner, Claypaky CEO Pio Nahum thanked the Showlight committee for placing their trust in Claypaky and allowing the event to be hosted in Italy.
In all, the event was an extraordinary success. Attendees were unanimous in their praise of the experience, the insights offered by the paper presentations, the quality of the cultural visits and the uniquely relaxed and informal networking environment that Showlight offers.
Pio Nahum commented: “We have wanted to host Showlight in Italy for many years and we have been delighted with the result. It is an honour to welcome so many lighting designers to our country, to show them our famous hospitality and to spend so much quality time with them. And I have been so impressed by the speakers – there has been such diversity in the presentations. Of course, everyone here is a lighting expert, but there are always new things you can learn from each other at an event such as this! Showlight has been a wonderful opportunity for Claypaky to strengthen our relationships with so many prominent people in the world of lighting.”