PLASA is the Professional Lighting And Sound Association, a UK-based trade associations representing over 500 members worldwide.
In addition to providing members with expert advice on a wide range of business and technical issues, PLASA also monitors legislative developments, alerting members to forthcoming UK, EU and international laws and regulations that may affect the way they manage their business.
PLASA's is developing qualifications for the industry in the UK.
In a wider role, PLASA also offers guidance on careers and professional development opportunities in the sector, underlining its aim to ensure that the skills needs of the industry are fully addressed.
The Association also recognises the need for close liaison with Government and other partners to develop a greater understanding of the needs of the industry. The Association's work in this area - in particular lobbying campaigns and its research activities - is helping to build better recognition for the industry.
An increasingly multi-faceted organisation, the Association also runs media and events arms, responsible for two of the industry-leading magazines Lighting&Sound International and Lighting&Sound America and one of the main European exhibitions for the sector, the PLASA Show in London's Earls Court.
PLASA is also a member of the World Entertainment Technology Federation (World-ETF) - an alliance of international entertainment technology associations. Together they create an international forum for the discussion of common issues including technical standards, trading methods, training and education and industry growth worldwide.
The other members of the World-ETF are:
- The Professional Lighting and Sound Association of Germany (VPLT)
- The US-based Entertainment Services and Technology Association (ESTA)
- The Association of Italy|Italian Manufacturers for the Entertainment Industry (APIAS)
- The Japan Association of Safety Staging Technology (JASST)
- The Electronics and Information Technology Exporters Association of Spain (SECARTYS)
The Professional Lighting and Sound Association (PLASA) was formed over 27 years ago when a fledgling industry began to develop from the pioneering work of the talented individuals who first explored new concepts in sound, lighting, projection and staging.
From 1976 to 1983 the Professional Lighting and Sound Association (PLASA) was known as the British Association of Discotheque Equipment Manufacturers (BADEM). In 1983 it was decided, in order to reflect the broader business activities of member companies and also the wider entertainment, leisure and presentation markets that member companies were servicing, that a change of name was necessary.
In 1987, PLASA's new headquarters were opened in Eastbourne, and in addition to the PLASA secretariat, the association's own magazine Lighting&Sound International also operated from the same offices.