The Show’s the Thing

by Jacob Coakley
Stage Directions editor Jacob Coakley
Stage Directions editor Jacob Coakley

LDI is the best place to create flash for the flash

Las Vegas is home to approximately 2 million people, with approximately 800,000 visiting each week, according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. (Think about that when you wonder why traffic on the Strip is backed up…) 

Still, 2.8 million people here at any given point. That’s a lot of people to try and come see a show, even if Vegas is the “Entertainment Capital of the World.” Reaching a potential patron, and convincing them to come see your show requires a lot of work, a lot of hustle and, yes, a lot of glitz. Luckily for show people, we understand from flashy. And while all 800,000 visitors the weekend of Oct. 21-23 won’t be headed to LDI, the ones who know the most about flash will be. 

Raising visibility is a crowded field is struggle we can all relate too—and it’s why trade shows like LDI continue to exert such a pull. Through the years LDI has seen some amazing product launches that have catapulted gear—and companies—to stratospheric heights of success. People remember Martin and High End kicking off the mega-booth trend in the early 2000s—with Martin offering a party atmosphere alongside their lights, and High End paying to move a palm tree outside the Peabody Hotel in Orlando just to show off their Studio Color 575. Clay Paky started their recent surge at LDI with the debut of the Sharpy in 2010—that luminaire is still a fixture at events around the world, even as they followed it up with hits like the Sharpy Wash and the more recent B-Eye. 

Robert Juliat served notice to the industry when they offered a sneak peek of their Aledin LED profile fixture—the first ellipsoidal style LED. ETC punched back soon after with the ETC Source Four LED. This year Chauvet will showcase their Ovation E-260WW—the first LED ellipsoidal-style fixture that outshines (literally) a 750W tungsten fixture. The arms race continues. 

A good product might not need a huge splashy launch at LDI. I think quality finds its audience, whether it’s on stage or lighting the stage—or even is the stage. The converse is true, too. If a product is merely a retread it doesn’t matter how good a booth you put it in. But making a big splash certainly helps your chances, and I guarantee that there will be a couple home runs at this year’s LDI. So if you make it to the show floor—or the bars afterward—introduce yourself, say hi, and tell me what you saw at the show. We’ll compare notes, and see what will be the next big thing. And if you can’t be there—follow along on Twitter (@stagedirections) and Facebook
(/stagedirectionsmag) for shots from the show floor, video tours and more.