PlugFest returns to France

PLASA's PlugFest returns to Lille, France, uniting lighting professionals from across Europe to test products and learn about protocols and standards.

Returning for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic, PlugFest aims to improve the connectivity of lighting products and provides a unique opportunity for manufacturers, developers and technicians to test and debug their products.

First time attendee, Vincent Bouquet of Robe France, commented: “PlugFest has been a really great opportunity. Here on mutual ground, we can put our competition aside and all together test things and work out issues to help the industry go forward.”

TAIT’s Dan Murfin added: “PlugFest is a great opportunity to talk to people, to think more about standards, to see what manufacturers are doing, and to help formulate ideas to formulate how we create industry products.”

In addition to interactive testing, PlugFest offers a programme of educational seminars, unpacking the most widely used protocols. This year, the programme included DMX512, RDM, DALI, sACN, Art-Net, ArtRDM, RDMnet and LLRP.

First time attendee, Alex Gardner of Royal Opera House, noted: “Working in the control department of the Royal opera House, it’s important for us to see what’s coming up, not just now, not just in five years, but ten years down the line. The PlugFest seminars have been informative, and meeting people and building relationships has been really important.”

Over 39 representatives attended from 25 companies, including ChamSys, CHAUVET Professional, ETC, GLP, Highlite, Lamp and Pencil, MA Lighting, National Theatre (London), Robert Juliat, Royal Opera House (London), Robe, Swisson, TAIT, and TSL. Many of which were new attendees to PlugFest this year.

Company NA’s Ricards Veips reported: “We are in the process of upgrading our kit and infrastructure and we’re curious to see where technology is going and making sure we are futureproofing our systems.”

PlugFest is hosted by PLASA, the lead association for entertainment technology, along with Hamish Dumbreck (JESE Ltd), Wayne Howell (Artistic Licence) and Peter Willis (Howard Eaton Lighting).

Howell said: “This year, we’ve had a wider range of companies than ever before, and lots of new faces too. Getting the right mix of education and interaction is quite hard, but this year we’ve done a good job of getting that right.”

Dumbreck commented: “It was good to have the new entrants and folks that were interested in seeing the basics. It’s certainly been a good thing to meet new attendees, and the networking is advantageous to anyone, and I recommend PlugFest purely for that reason!”

Willis added: “We go out of our way, ahead of time, to ensure that we are communicating with newcomers, ensuring the topics are right from year to year. I certainly always go away with new things that I’ve learned as a presenter and organiser. There is plenty to be gained from PlugFest, not just for our future presentations, for our day jobs too.”

Nicky Greet, PLASA Director of Membership, Skills & Technical, concluded: “Thank you to everyone who helped make this year’s PlugFest a success as a valuable and educational experience for the lighting community. For those who wish to return, or those who missed out on a ticket, PlugFest will return next year. So, I invite you to sign up for email alerts via the PLASA website – everyone is welcome!”