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Students in Focus

Backstage Academy students studying the Foundation Degree in Live Events Production give their take on their first visit to PLASA Focus in Leeds.

Harry Harrison: “After visiting PLASA at Earls Court for a few years, I was expecting something similar at PLASA Focus. How wrong I was.

“The event is split between two buildings, separated by a large courtyard. The exhibition halls are not the largest on earth, but they manage to fit everything in nicely, the exhibitors’ stands are a lot smaller than London and there weren’t as many products on display, but I enjoyed it far more than I could have ever hoped!

“Over both days I found myself walking around and networking with people, everyone was so welcoming and they were all very interested in the Backstage Academy course. The event seems to be just one big social gathering with people having a good laugh and generally enjoying themselves. I found this made it far easier to approach even the biggest of companies.

“Over the two days I met a huge number of people from lots of different businesses, which I think will be vital to my future, after all, the words, ‘It’s not what you know, it’s who you know’, keep popping up!

“I was introduced to James Bawn at A.C. Entertainment Technologies who was very enthusiastic about what I was doing. He was keen to help me find work and is going to let me know about any future jobs. Other companies like J&C Joel and L.E.D. (Projects) Ltd spent ages talking to me about the industry and giving advice on how to approach getting into it. I even got chocolate croissants and tea from Joel’s!

“d&b audiotechnik gave our group a talk on their products and showed us a great bit of software for designing line arrays. I will definitely be using it for our sound module and best of all it is free; a word us students love!

“Product wise I was very interested in the new Vista L5 console from Jands and I’m even more excited that they have agreed to bring one to the Academy to show us how to use it.

“Towards the end of the second day, Tom, a fellow student on the course, and myself were approached by Ian Kirby from L.E.D. (Projects) Ltd who asked if we could assist him in de-rigging their stand. This was a fantastic offer, which of course we both jumped at.

“After spending two whole days at the event I can safely say it was a huge success for me and I look forward to all future PLASA Focus events.”

Alex White: “I thought PLASA Focus was an extremely beneficial experience to help my knowledge of the industry. It opened my eyes to just how many businesses are involved, and it also highlighted the close relationships these competitors have.

“It was a great opportunity to meet people and discuss what my options were after graduating from the Foundation Degree in Live Events Production. It was a good time to look for work to fill my Industry Practice module.

“Finally, I think the whole event provided me with technical, functional and relevant material to aid my assignments in the Degree, whilst offering the perfect chance to network with some industry experts!”

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