Next year's conference is planned for Saturday 22nd February 2014 at The Leys School in Cambridge. Early-bird discounted booking details are now available in our Members Area.
As usual, we will have a busy full-day programme of workshops/seminars, including lunch, followed by 3-course dinner and accommodation at a nearby hotel.
We are still in the process of discussing and arranging the workshop sessions. Details will be posted here as each session is finalised. We once again thank our sponsors - White Light (main sponsor), Charcoalblue, AC Entertainment Technology and Stage Electrics. We always welcome new sponsors, so please contact the Group Administrator if you would like to be involved.
You can read about previous conferences below...
The fourth STSG conference took place on Saturday 16th February 2013 at Hampton School, London.
The day was followed by dinner at the nearby 4-star Lensbury Hotel, with overnight accommodation included in the full conference package. Pre-dinner drinks were sponsored by AC Entertainment Technologies.
The third STSG conference was held on Saturday 18th February 2012 at Rugby School, with an extra visit to the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford on Friday 17th February.
There was a busy line-up of technical workshops and seminars, as well as the usual lunch and dinner social events. Read a full report.
As always, our thanks go to the conference sponsors and workshop providers: White Light (main sponsor); Stage Electrics; Charcoalblue (including sponsorship of one delegate); AC Entertainment Technologies; Stage-in-a-Box; Tophex TheatreCom.
Comments from the conference:
"I just wanted to thank you for organising last week's conference. I have been [working in a school] for seventeen years and it is easy to lose touch with the outside world. Listening to professionals who are in the thick of it and at the top of their game is an inspiration."
"Congratulations on organising an excellent conference, full of interesting people and good things. I felt very welcome and enjoyed all bar the most technical aspects of the sound talk!"
"I had a great time and I am sure the day was very worthwhile for us. Looking forward to next time already!" - Sponsor.
Comments from the conference:
"It was brilliant; I came home with lots of ideas. [It was] organised so well." - Head of Drama, Ipswich School.
"The whole event was very worthwhile." - Hampton School.
"It was really good to meet other people doing the same thing and discuss issues." - Sir James Smith's School, Cornwall.
"It was a really good mix of informative workshops, useful networking opportunities and socialising!" - Dean Close School.
"Well staged, effective and useful - and very friendly. It's a very worthwhile event." - Hurst College.
Our second conference was held in February 2010 at Rugby School in Warwickshire. The event was sponsored by White Light, Philips Selecon, AC Entertainment Technologies, Zero 88, Stage Electrics and Showcomms, with workshops run by KV2 Audio, Philips Selecon and Showcomms.
The first session of the day looked at 'active' or self-powered loudspeakers and discussed some of the advantages and disadvantages of their use over conventional loudspeaker systems. The session was presented by Andy Austin Brown of KV2 Audio. There was no doubt that everyone was impressed by the clarity and volume from KV2's range of small portable loudspeaker systems. The clarity and distinction of different instruments in a typical music track was outstanding, as well as the frequency range from the relatively compact boxes.
After lunch, the conference divided into groups for two smaller workshop sessions. The first was a presentation by Selecon Lighting, looking at the company's popular range of lanterns and the particular features making the lanterns suitable for school use. We were also given a 'sneak-peak' of Selecon's new range of profile spotlights.
The second session was a demonstration by Showcomms of wired and wireless communication equipment for use backstage. The conclusion seemed to be that on a budget it's best to avoid wireless communications in favour of the reliability of traditional 'Tec Pro'-style systems, despite the restriction of cables.
Brian Attwood, editor of The Stage newspaper, chaired an open-forum session, in which it was discussed how best to encourage and support young people into backstage theatre careers, amongst other issues. The intention is for three or four members to form a sub-committee to liaise with The Stage and take things forward.
A suggestion was made that the STSG could develop a relatively simple, self-administered, 'reward' or qualification scheme to recognise the many students involved with backstage theatre at an extra-curricular level, with the intention that it will perhaps encourage them to consider taking a career further. Any feedback or suggestions on this would be welcome, particularly if you're currently in charge of a group of students backstage.
The Group's AGM closed the daytime sessions, with most delegates adjourning to a nearby hotel for dinner, drinks and an overnight stay.
Photographs from the day and evening can be found in our Gallery, or on our Facebook group.
Comments from our first conference in 2008:
"It was a very useful, friendly, informative conference and just the right mix of social, business and networking."
"Both of the events were appropriate for my level of understanding and I found it very helpful."
"A really well organised and enjoyable event."