PLASA Rigging Conference 2014 - Conference Programme

Registration; morning tea and coffee served

0800 - 0830

ICoPER Progress

0830 - 1000

Just prior to last year’s conference PLASA commissioned a review of the various rigging codes of practice from around the world in preparation for creating an International Code of Practice for Entertainment Rigging, the outline of which was agreed during the 2013 event. 12 months on we will hear about the document’s progress from members of the regional groups and delegates will have a chance to comment on the work done so far.

Keynote address - Bill Sapsis

1000 - 1045

Bill Sapsis is this year’s keynote speaker. Bill started his career as a scenic workshop welder and has been involved in the entertainment industry for 40 years. In 1981 he started Sapsis Rigging and developed the company into an internationally recognized leader in the design and installation of stage equipment. As a rigger and author, Bill's seminar program has garnered worldwide recognition. Bill is a USITT Fellow and a past member of the USITT Board of Directors. Currently Bill is a member of the ETCP Council and Chair of the Rigging Working Group for PLASA NA. He is the recipient of the 2012 EVA Swan Award, ESTA's highest honour and sits on the advisory board of the New York City Technical College. Bill co-produces the highly acclaimed North American Theatre and Engineering Conference in New York and is no stranger to addressing entertainment industry professionals.

Tea and coffee served

1045 - 1100

Pushing the Limit - Abigail Matthews, Momentum Engineering

1100 - 1300

Abigail Matthews from Momentum Engineering is giving a presentation about the misunderstandings surrounding factors of safety in the industry. The very mention of safety factors always seems to create anxiety about the failure of materials, or worries about compliance with regulations. Abigail’s session will consider a range of situations and discuss a structural engineer’s approach to determining an appropriate factor of safety for a given application and why this may conflict with traditional ‘lifting’ safety factors.

Lunch served

1300 - 1400

Raising Your Game - Matthias Muller – Liftket / Hoffmann GmbH

1400 - 1515

This session will address the use of the industry’s workhorse and consider often overlooked questions in selecting an appropriate chain hoist for a given task. With well over half a dozen different hoist brands in daily use across the world it can be confusing to decide on the most appropriate for a given task. This session will help delegates make an informed choice rather than simply being guided by price or robust design.

Tea and coffee served

1515 - 1530

CDM - Michael Anderson, EC&O

1530 - 1630

Michael Anderson, Group Head of Health & Safety, Earls Court & Olympia will be offering guidance on the impact that the revised CDM Regulations might have on the industry when they are launched in April 2015. At the time of writing the consultative process is under way and we should have a clearer picture of at least how we might best implement the regulations by October. This session will explain what we might be faced with and what delegates can do to ensure that they are as prepared as possible.


1630 - 1645

The piece rather than the rigging- Alan Bartlett, Royal Shakespeare Company

1645 - 1800

Presented by Alan Bartlett, Head of Technical Design for the Royal Shakespeare Company’s scenic workshops, this session addresses the integrity of the scenic items we’re asked to lift for a production. This is a subject often glossed over in favour of the weight or size of the piece.

An art in itself, structural design is frequently essential in order to realise the artistic designer’s vision. Alan and the panel will discuss subjects ranging from the provision of appropriate flying points on scenery to the merits of various materials used in the construction of flown scenic elements or props.

Drinks served; Summary & Q&A - Robin Elias, Unusual Rigging

1800 - 1900

Robin Elias, Technical Director of Unusual Rigging opened the conference in 2013 and this year will chair the closing question and answer session in his unequivocal style.