ABTT Theatre Show overcomes strikes for a welcome return!
After an unavoidable two-year hiatus, the ABTT Theatre show made a triumphant return to Alexandra Palace for the 42nd edition of this much-loved industry event.
Running over two sun-filled days, the ABTT Theatre Show gave the Industry a chance to meet face-to-face once more in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere which became a hot-bed for new conversations, connections, knowledge and productivity. There was a fierce sense of determination to build the industry back better which continued in the discussions presented in the diverse range of seminars and talks available in this year’s Theatre Show programme.
As always, the show floor was packed, with over 130 brands present as well as a full seminar and demonstration programme which took place over five rooms. Many visitors took advantage of these free specialist-led events, curated by ABTT Co-Chair Mig Burgess Walsh and ABTT Council Member Oliver Brown. Key topics included ‘The Danger of Saying “Yes!”’, “Diversifying your Backstage Workforce” and “Mental Health and Well-being in the Workplace”, offering a chance for discussion, reflection and promoting action to address some of the key challenges facing the Industry as it rebuilds.
After a two-year break, brands were also eager to demonstrate their latest product developments and innovations, many of which being entered for the respected ABTT Product Awards.
The presentation of the ABTT awards was hosted on the evening of the first day of the show by ABTT Co-Chairs Mig Burgess Walsh and David Evans, alongside a drinks reception supported by TAIT.
Originally started in 1976, the Awards have progressed from the initial single category of “Product of the Year” to four product categories: Engineering; Sound; Lighting; Widget and also “Stand of the Year”.
Decisions are made by an experienced jury of working practitioners and industry peers who consider all the entries and view the products on the show floor. The following winners were announced for 2022:
ABTT Engineering Product of the Year: XM Automation’s XMove
ABTT Sound Product of the Year: Clearcom’s Arcadia Central Station
ABTT Lighting Product of the Year: ROBE’s T11
ABTT Widget of the Year: CallQ’s Showcaller Training Software
ABTT Stand of the Year: Prompt Side
The Awards have progressed from initially celebrating products to also celebrating the individuals in our Industry making a difference. This year there were some very worthy entries for both “ABTT Technician of the Year” and “ABTT Award for Emerging Excellence” which are open to ABTT members and non-members alike – celebrating those who are both well established in the Industry alongside those just starting out!
Also announced was the ABTT Virtual Ideas Platform’s “ABTT Idea of the Year 2021” which is a new initiative open to anyone and everyone with an idea. The scheme aims to connect innovative thinking with practitioners, developers, designers and manufacturers to help realise the potential in an innovation. It aims, through promoting collaboration, to enable new solutions to reach a wider audience. Details about the Virtual Ideas Platform can be found here: https://abttvip.com/
This winners at this year’s show were as follows:
ABTT Technician of the Year: Daniel Ewing
ABTT Award for Emerging Excellence: Kat Ellis
ABTT Virtual Ideas Platform, Idea of the Year 2021: Matthew Dean
The ABTT Theatre Show draws exhibitors and visitors from all over the world whether they be interested in lighting, audio visual, scenography, rigging, set construction, sound, costume, seating, staging, wigs, make-up, pyrotechnics or anything else employed in a performance.
The ABTT Theatre show provides THE essential meeting point for our community – supporting our suppliers, service providers and networks with the opportunity both to renew existing relationships and to forge exciting new connections. The next ABTT Awards will take place on the evening of 7th June 2023 at the 43rd ABTT Theatre Show at Alexandra Palace.
Here’s a few testimonials from visitors and exhibitors at the show.
“The show proved to be a hub and meeting point for theatre creatives and practitioners working in all sectors, and was a fantastic opportunity to get kit in front of people in-person again. We saw many good-quality people all with a huge enthusiasm and appetite for new tech – and using it – as they get back to work!”
Dave Whitehouse, Product and Theatre Specialist, ROBE
“After the disappointment of the cancellations in 2020 and 2021, the ABTT team threw themselves wholeheartedly into producing the Theatre Show after an absence of three years. Despite the ongoing challenges which included rail strikes, supply chain issues and COVID, our two show-days at Alexandra Palace were good-humoured, productive and absolutely jam-packed with content! 12% more exhibitors than 2019 were represented on the show floor and conversations flowed. A huge ‘thank you’ to all those who came along to share knowledge, enjoy the buzz and do business.”
Nikki Scott, Vice Chair, ABTT
“Despite the desperate disappointment of not being able to attend myself due to COVID, it was tremendous to know what a fantastic range of exhibitors had committed to being present on the Show Floor, to see the calibre of the contributors who undertook to participate in the seminar programme and to receive reports of all the visitors who attended, undaunted by the transport challenges they faced. I would like to personally thank all our exhibitors and their teams for making the heart of the event truly the only THEATRE show of its type; everyone who contributed to the discussion, debate and discourse that filled the seminar programme; all the manufacturers and suppliers who provided opportunities for demonstrations and learning and, of course, each and every visitor whose presence made the Theatre Show the place to be for our sector. The ABTTteam and theABTT Council worked incredibly hard and it is fantastic to know that they created such a successful 42nd ABTT Theatre Show.”
Robin Townley, CEO, ABTT
“We always exhibit at the ABTT, we have lots of the theatre products and lots of people come here with it being in the heart of London and being so easy to get to! The show has always been good for networking, for socializing and looking at all the products on the market – as its all under one roof! The ABTT Theatre Show is unique as it specialises in Theatre and Live Events so we get to meet those people in the heart of the Industry!”
Chris Munn, Harman
“The ABTT Theatre Show has always been great as it is very focused on the theatre world, and as we haveproducts that sit beautifully within that field, this show is an absolute necessity.”
Roger Harpum, Business Development Manager, EM Acoustics
“It has been a real pleasure to be involved in the return of the 42nd edition of this Industry staple. The response from exhibitors and attendees alike has been overwhelmingly positive. We are delighted that the ABTT Theatre Show remains such a popular event, particularly after the adversity experienced by the events community over the past couple of years. We are privileged to be able to provide a platform for our industry to discuss, share, reconnect and be inspired. We cannot wait to return to Alexandra Palace in 2023 on the 7th – 8th of June.”
Elysia Moore, Events Manager, ABTT
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