LDI2018 Celebrates Its 30th Anniversary With The Largest Show Floor To Date

LDI2018 celebrated its 30th anniversary with the best-attended October show in its history. Over 14,000 registered for the most immersive show in the live event production industry. While the core of the show remains entertainment lighting, LDI2018 showed attendance growth from key segments, including audio engineers, video and projection designers, and rigging/staging professionals.


LDI2018 by the numbers:

  • 230,000+ square feet of exhibits including LDI: Live Outside
  • 360+ exhibitors with a wide range of new products launched at the show
  • 100+ conference and professional training sessions

LDI launched a new event, the Knight of Illumination Awards USA (KOI-USA), prestigious awards for entertainment lighting and video design. Launched in the UK in 2007, this inaugural year for the KOI-USA Awards was a big success, with over 300 top international designers and industry professionals in attendance at the ceremony and gala dinner. LDI joined forces with Fifth Estate, event organizers, and head sponsors Claypaky and A.C.T. Lighting to produce this gala event, and The Paky Lifetime Recognition Award was awarded to Pat MacKay. This year’s winners were:


  • Finn Ross & Adam Young, winners for Mean Girls, DTS Award for Projection Design
  • Al Crawford, winner for Victoria, ETC Award for Dance
  • Jules Fisher & Peggy Eisenhauer, winners for The Iceman Cometh, Altman Lighting Award for Plays
  • Joe Levasseur, winner for Cellular Songs, Elation Professional Award for Opera
  • Tyler Micoleau, winner for The Band’s Visit, Robe Lighting Award for Musicals

Live for Broadcast:

  • Robert Dickinson & Travis Hagenbuch, winners for The 90th Academy Awards, Philips Vari-Lite Award for Awards Shows
  • Michael Figge, winner for The 2018 MTV Movie & TV Awards, Green Hippo Award for Set & Video Design
  • Noah Mitz, winner for America’s Got Talent, SGM Award for Unscripted Series
  • P.J. Dillon, winner for The Alienist, Season 1 on Netflix, ARRI Award for Scripted Series
  • Al Gurdon, winner for Jesus Christ Superstar: Live in Concert, NBC, Ayrton Award for Entertainment & Events

Concert, Touring & Events:

  • Sarah Landau, winner for the Fever Ray Tour 2018, MA Lighting Award for Club
  • Bob Bonniol, winner for GM World Installation, disguise Award for Video Content
  • Tom Sutherland, winner for Pitbull’s Time Of Our Lives Las Vegas Residency, Avolites Award for Stage
  • Cory FitzGerald, winner for Beyoncé at Coachella, Robert Juliat Award for Events
  • Andi Watson, winner for Radiohead’s W.A.S.T.E Tour 2018, GLP Award for Arena

LDI and Live Design also announced a major new initiative to encourage diversity in the next generation of designers and technicians with the creation of the Pat MacKay Scholarships, named after the founder of LDI, and one of the female pioneers in our industry. There will be three scholarships presented annually to undergraduate university students who exhibit strong commitment to design or technical training for the live event industry and represent gender and ethnic diversity. The first series of scholarships will be awarded in 2019 in these three areas: lighting, video, and audio.

This year, Live Design/LDI’s recently established Impact Committee launched a program with Families for Effective Autism Treatment (F.E.A.T.), providing a night out for parents on Friday at our industry party and a sensory Sunday stroll for the kids on the show floor. During LDI registration, attendees donated over $2,000, which LDI will match, to the American Cancer Society, Behind the Scenes, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, Event Safety Alliance and Planned Parenthood. For the third year, LDI partnered with the Girl Scouts, hauling in a record amount of toiletries, socks, clothing and personal hygiene items that will be distributed to homeless and women’s shelters.

LDI: Live Outside saw its largest attendance, with five stages and a new wedge demo and training sessions. Live Outside, designed for the outdoor festival audience, was loaded with cutting-edge entertainment technology (audio, lighting, video, staging, special effects), a VIP tent where over 750 LDI attendees participated in the New Technology Breakfasts, and a free beer garden for LDI’s 30th anniversary industry party with live music on Friday night.

In its weeklong professional training program, LDI2018 presented over 100 sessions, ranging from hands-on courses in the LDInstitute™, partnering with many top exhibitors, to the in-depth LDIntensives™ covering such subjects as project management, technical direction, and Ethernet for entertainment. LDI also offers more courses that carry ETCP renewal credits for ETCP certified riggers and electricians than any other industry event, including many of the sessions in the LDInnovation Conference, such as a variety of rigging subjects.

Susan Rose, lighting designer for Ringo Starr said, “I always enjoy coming to LDI. Not only is it a great opportunity to see all the latest and greatest new lighting products, it's an even greater opportunity to network and reconnect with old friends and meet new ones. The networking in this industry is so important and LDI provides us those priceless opportunities.”

“I look forward to LDI every year. 2018 was no different,” said Herrick Goldman, owner HG Lighting Design and founder/principal Evoke Collaborative. “I see so many people from our industry there and make new connections every year. Just being able to meet manufacturers face-to-face is so valuable to me when I need to find solutions for my designs. The KOI awards were a highlight. We so rarely come together as an entire industry, and this was a very special event.”

“LDI is the place where you find many of the biggest names in the business, so it goes without saying it’s a must-go to spend a weekend to see them,” said Chris McMeen, rental account manager at Christie Lites. “Then you also get to hang out with them and spend the time looking at all the new and upcoming equipment offerings from all the manufacturers. My favorite part is the light shows the manufacturers put on with some of the greatest designers in the biz.”

LDI2018 concluded with a sold-out, two-day offsite professional training event at Disneyland and California Adventure, post-show, allowing attendees an insider’s look at how the Disney magic is made.

“As we celebrate 30 years of LDI, we are gratified by the positive response from so many attendees and exhibitors about both our established and new initiatives this year,” said Live Design/LDI managing director David Johnson. “From the amazing new gear on the show floor, to our community outreach with FEAT, to a hugely successful kickoff of the KOI-USA Awards, LDI proved yet again that it is the must-attend event for designers, dealers, and manufacturers in event technology.”

For additional information, visit www.ldishow.com.