ABTT Theatre Show welcomes more attendees than ever for another successful event!

2 July 2024

With over 4,000 registrations, this year’s ABTT Theatre Show at Alexandra Palace was busier than ever. This much-loved industry event drew a broad range of attendees at all stages of their careers alongside an ever-increasing list of exhibitors from all areas of the industry.

Running once again over two sun-filled days, the ABTT Theatre Show gave the industry an opportunity to meet face-to-face in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. The ABTT would like to thank all those exhibitors who returned, along with the many new exhibitors joining us for the first time. With a 10% increase of exhibitors on the show floor, this year’s event gave our attendees over 165 brands with whom to speak, catch up and discuss new projects with.

New exhibitors for 2024 included (but is not limited to) 2scale.shop, Acoustic Design & Architecture, Ascender, Cameo, Cell Pack Solutions, Creative Spark, DPA Microphones, Ezcray Seating, Hollyland, Jezet, L-Acoustics, Mervolyte, Open Automation, Peregrine MLS, Sonoros, StageSet.Shop, Tracer Power and Wasp Barcode Technologies.

The ABTT would also like to thank all those visitors who joined us, contributing to a 9% growth in overall visits, among which was a 24% increase in students and apprentices attending. Responses from those who attended have been overwhelmingly positive with 8/10 likely to recommend attending to a friend or colleague for 2025.

The growing programme of ABTT ‘Skills Workshops’ were particularly popular, nearly doubling the number of attendees tutored this year following its launch in 2023, with 9/10 attendees finding the sessions useful and helped improve their knowledge or skills.

Sessions covered a broad variety of topics including ‘Ingenious Tactics for Concealing Mics on Performers’, ‘The Transformative Magic of Prosthetics’, ‘Care and Handling Drapes’, ‘Wig Knotting and Hairstyling’, ‘The Magic of Automation’, ‘Refine your Get-in and Get-out Skills’ plus many more.

ABTT Event Manager Elysia Moore commented: “It has been a real pleasure working with our exhibitors and our hard-working volunteers at the ABTT to develop this diverse programme of workshops for 2024. We believe it is important to offer as many opportunities as possible to help engage young people with our industry and show them the broad range of job roles available. We have also continued to provide the ABTT ‘Careers and Professional Development Hub’, now in its third year, to provide aspiring future industry professionals with the chance discuss their career development, training, and job opportunities with Industry Specialists.”

This year’s Industry Specialists included individuals from a broad range of companies including The Albany, Birmingham Rep, English National Opera, Footprint Scenery, Henley Theatre, Guildford School of Acting, National Theatre Wales, Production Managers Forum, Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, Royal Opera House, Steeldeck Industries, TAIT  and the Wigs, Hair and Makeup (ABTT) Committee.

This was situated just along from the ‘Associations Area’ – a one-stop shop to meet industry associations, unions, and professional bodies key to supporting people’s careers, and next to the popular ‘Education Alley’ where attendees can meet exhibitors who are focused solely on theatre and live events education, career development and training.

Rose Bruford commented “I think (the ABTT Theatre Show) is one of the biggest exhibitions, particularly for students and young people, and it is very well known in the industry. We particularly like “Education Alley”, as students can actually see and speak to different universities and courses providers side by side, and make an informed choice. I would encourage people to come along as the networking is extraordinary… the venue itself is extraordinary and the energy of the event is magic.”

The ABTT Theatre Show also included a diverse range programme of talks, with a second Silent Seminar Room added for 2024, with free specialist-led seminars on key topics including but not limited to; ‘Revolutionising Physical Wellbeing and Mental Health’, ‘Technologies in Theatre Sound’, ‘Health, Safety, Welfare and Respect in the Workplace’, ‘Theatre Green Book Version 2.0’, ‘Next Generation – Tips and Tricks for Getting your First Job in Theatre’, ‘An Open Standard for Automation’, ‘What is WHAM Design?’ and ‘Upgrading to LED? Planning for Financial and Artistic Success’. These sessions offered a chance for discussion, reflection, and the promotion of actions to address some of the key challenges facing the industry. These sessions were recorded and will be made available on the ABTT website in July as a benefit of ABTT Membership here.

TAIT added; “The ABTT theatre show is certainly the best tradeshow we attend in the UK and Europe, and we are avid supporters of this event and the ABTT itself. The Show brings in a lot of our clients both locally as well as from all over the country, and you get to see a huge range of companies, products, and people in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. Plus the broad range of seminars, including TAIT’s session on ‘Bringing MJ the Musical to Life’ along with the ABTT Workshops are not to be missed!”

Alongside the ABTT’s initiative to promote the importance of ongoing skills and training, there was a fierce sense of determination to continue building the industry back better, with a focus on recruitment and retention. This year saw exhibitors both displaying products and seeking visitor engagement with over 30 stands, giving profile to their recruitment campaigns.

There were six cruise lines in attendance (Celebrity Cruises, Disney Cruise Line, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean International), alongside theatres, companies and venues such as Academy of Live Technology, The Backstage Centre, Cameron Macintosh, D&B AudioTechnik, Delfont Macintosh, LW Theatres, PRG, Royal Ballet and Opera, TAIT and White Light looking to recruit. Feedback suggested this was successful in both promoting these exhibitors’ brands, and also in gaining new staff and freelancers for the future.

LW Theatres stated: “ The ABTT Theatre Show has a great atmosphere and a broad range of exhibitors and people to speak with as well as products to see. There are a large amount of young people here, so we are here to tell them about our work experience programme, apprenticeship scheme, and scholarship scheme in association with Mountview, alongside recruitment opportunities we have in our six beautiful venues too.  The show is a great way to find out about opportunities about getting into and progressing in the industry… perfect for students, those in their early careers and anyone looking for a new role.”


The variety of Exhibitors continues to reflect the breadth of our industry with 8 seating suppliers, 4 booksellers, 4 in health and safety, 25 in sound and AV, 15 in rigging and engineering, 19 in lighting, 36 in careers, education, training or recruitment, 15 associations, charities or committees and 30 specialist companies covering areas such as 3D printing, laser scanning, drapes, production, theatre supplies, software and plenty more!

Coemar stated, “We have found that this is the best show for us, it is a wonderful venue and the people and exhibitors we have met have been fantastic. I believe that real innovations and the newest products are presented here at the ABTT Theatre Show, giving attendees a window and opportunity to see them first hand. This is our favourite exhibition to attend as it is much more focussed on the people, making connections, networking and providing solutions for the industry as a whole.”

Orbital Sound noted: “There is no other show around like the ABTT Theatre Show; it is unique! Where else will you find all the different people from suppliers, manufacturers and users coming together to talk to each other? It doesn’t happen anywhere else. It is a great annual event for young people to come as it is the only event where they can see so many people specifically from the theatre industry in a single location.”

Reflecting on the successful return of the show, ABTT Events Manager, Elysia Moore, commented:
“It has been fantastic working on the 44th edition of this staple event. Seeing ideas such as the ABTT Workshops and the Careers and Professional Development Hub continue to develop with such support from our exhibitors and attendees is overwhelming. The increase in attendees and exhibitors is excellent and I am delighted that the ABTT Theatre Show remains such a popular event. We are privileged to be able to provide a platform for our industry to discuss, share, reconnect and be inspired. The addition of the ABTT Social on the evening of the first day following our annual awards was well received, we plan to repeat this next year and cannot wait to return to Alexandra Palace in 2025 on the 4th – 5th of June.”

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.

Providing THE essential meeting point for our community – the Theatre Show supports our suppliers, service providers and networks with the opportunity both to renew existing relationships and to forge exciting new connections.

To find out more about ABTT Theatre Show 2025 visit: https://www.abtt.org.uk/abtt-theatre-show/

If you would like to exhibit at the ABTT Theatre Show on the 4th – 5th June 2025 please contact the ABTT Events Manager, Elysia Moore on office@abtt.org.uk General Booking will open in August 2024. More information can be found on the website here: https://www.abtt.org.uk/abtt-theatre-show/exhibit-at-the-show/