I know I’m on the payroll for Live Design, but that does not stop me from being utterly impressed with what that team has accomplished with the LDI show. And after my nights at the Hard Rock Casino, I’m going to have to ask for more money.
Due to other engagements clashing with this show, I had not been to LDI in three years, so as much as my liver was terrified of going, the rest of me was very excited to come back to Vegas. This year’s edition of the show was superb. Call me crazy, but I think this was the biggest one so far, or maybe I was just blinded by the light, but I think it was the best one ever.
While PLASA is facing challenges, LDI has found a formula that works and a solid platform on which to grow. What impresses me the most is the extended educational program that many other trade shows miss.
I think the only disappointment during my week in Vegas was the new Center Bar at Hard Rock Hotel. How on earth can you turn this legendary drinking hole into what it has become? It’s dirt ugly, the layout is horrible, and it’s smaller than the old one! WTF? At least the pools with bars were left untouched by the anti-genius interior designer that f’ed up big time. Correction of error is expected for 2016!
I went to the show with Fredrik Jönsson, the lighting designer for the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest 2016. We were there to follow up with all our meetings from PLASA, catch up with good friends, but most of all, to find new toys for the show we’re working on. It was a couple of very busy days, but we got what we came for and more. There were plenty of new and fun toys, and I’m sure several of them will make it all the way to the Eurovision rig in Stockholm next year. We also brought our two show producers, and it was brilliant, like letting two kids into a candy store with a million dollars to spend. They were walking the floor with silly, happy grins on their faces.
Booths With A Little Extra
If you are a true “livedesigner” (Is that a word? Well, it is now!), then I’m sure you’ve seen videos on the Live Design website of a guy in a very blue golf shirt and a purple hat blabbing about a bunch of stuff that he found on the trade show floor. Well, that was me, and clearly, I have no sense for combining colors on clothing on Sunday mornings—blinded by the light.
I do stand behind every word that I’ve said about the products in these videos, even though they might not be the deepest analyses of products that you ever heard. Keep in mind that content director Marian Sandberg and I did all these videos in 30 minutes total, including all the running in between booths that was needed, and Marian was in high heels: respect!
Looking back at LDI now, there are two things that struck me a bit extra. One is mentioned on one of the videos, and it was High End Systems’ booth. I’m still in awe about the fact that there was not a single bulb used for the booth design. It was all LED-driven products, and they were all beautiful. Amazing job, guys!
Another thing that blows my mind is the fact that, last time I was at LDI in 2012, I had a meeting with Robe in their tiny little booth, and there was nothing new under the sun. Their whole range of fixtures were more or less updated versions of fixtures that had been on the market since 2005, besides one very energetic little thing that was twisting and wobbling with the speed of light. To be honest, overall it was very boring.
Walking into Robe’s 2015 booth was a completely different ballgame. Not only was it one of the largest stands on the floor, but it was also filled with beautiful, innovative, and sexy fixtures. In just three years, Robe has managed to turn its entire inventory into something extremely attractive, and I’m very happy to watch the manufacturer’s success. I can’t believe that I forgot to make a video about any of their fixtures, but Czech them out, as they are indeed awesome. Yeah, I went there.
I’m hoping to be back next year and do a conference session about Eurovision Song Contest, so stay tuned, and Happy Holidays!
Ola Melzig has 25 years’ experience working in the entertainment concert industry, working his way up from stagehand through all facets of production. Today his resume includes technical director on large-scale events worldwide, including the Eurovision Song Contest, the Commonwealth Games opening and closing ceremonies in New Delhi, India, Espectaculo Conmemorativo, the Cinco de Mayo 150th anniversary show in Puebla, Mexico, and the 2014 IIFA Awards. He recently worked as senior technical manager for the closing ceremony for the 2015 European Games in Baku, Azerbaijan, and he’s currently working as the technical director for Eurovision Song Contest 2016.