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Industry News

ILDA 2003 Conference
Slated for Brussels, Belgium

Laserists from around the world will gather in Brussels, Belgium Nov. 27-29 for the annual ILDA Conference. All conference activities, except the trade show, will take place at the Hotel Le Plaza Brussels, a grand hotel located in the center of Brussels. Laser System Europe, the conference host, promises a special evening of entertainment for the Awards Banquet.


The Plaza Theatre, which will host the ILDA Awards Banquet and Lase-Off at the  November conference in Brussels.


ILDA’s trade show will be held in conjunction with the Audio-Visual Creative Fair (ACF), giving ILDA exhibitors their largest ever exposure to buyers from the commercial entertainment industry.  A special ILDA Village for laser exhibitors will be set up inside ACF, a major European trade show that is expected to draw some 15,000 professionals from such fields as lighting, special effects, video and film production, stage equipment, and more. ILDA delegates will receive free transportation to the fair, which runs Nov. 25-28 in Brussels.

The ILDA Business Meeting is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 28, with the Advanced Technology Workshop scheduled for Saturday,  Nov. 29. The nights for the Lase-Off (an open exhibition of laser shows) and the Awards Banquet have not yet been set.

In another first, all registration fees for the conference will be handled in Euros. Early delegate registration is €475 (about US $535, at press time), which includes all lunches,  dinner at the Lase-Off and Awards Banquet, and transportation to the ACF exhibit hall. After Sept. 15, registration will increase to €625 (US $700).

Trade Show Registration

Trade show registration materials have been posted on The Laserist Web site at, and delegate registration information will be posted shortly. All existing ILDA members will receive registration packets in the mail.

Hotel Registration

The special ILDA hotel rate at the Hotel Le Plaza Brussels is €140 (US $157) per night (2 persons  €158/US $178), including tax and breakfast. To make reservations, contact the hotel at: (+32) 2 278 01 00;

More details about the conference will be announced on as they become available, including a special program for traveling companions who want to tour Brussels. For more details, contact ILDA.


ILDA Unveils New Web Site

A wealth of  information about the laser display industry is only a few keystrokes away, thanks to ILDA’s new Web site,  With just a click of the mouse, visitors can find information about companies that produce laser shows and manufacture equipment.

Need to learn more about how laser displays work? The new Discover Lasers section will guide visitors through the basics of atmospheric displays, graphics and complete shows. For those looking for information about ILDA’s workings, there are links to committee chairs, board members, technical standards and more.

“Our goal with the new site was to highlight how amazing laser displays are and to make it easy for visitors to contact a member-company who can help them with a particular project,” said David Lytle, editor of The Laserist magazine and creator of the new site.  A “company finder” feature, for example, makes it easy to search for ILDA members by specific countries and regions. The site also features a variety of high-quality photographs generously donated by ILDA members.

“If you aren’t familiar with lasers, we think this site is your best starting point. And if you know laser displays, we think you’ll be impressed by all the information and tools we’ve gathered in one place,” said Lytle.


In Memoriam: Dean Hodges

Dean Hodges, known to laserists for his work on entertainment lasers at Laser Power Corporation and Melles Griot, died unexpectedly on April 13 of natural causes. Hodges’ work helped lay the foundation for today’s widespread use of solid-state lasers in the entertainment field. He was not only a technological pioneer, but will also be remembered for the serious consideration he gave to entertainment applications, a relatively small percentage of his overall work.

“He treated entertainment people with respect that was very genuine, even though they comprised a smallish market. When he set out to do something, he would do it correctly,” said Brian Bohan, head of Cambridge Laser Laboratories. ILDA members will recall meeting Hodges at the 1998 Amsterdam conference, where his Laser Power Corporation was the first company to exhibit a line of red, green and blue solid-state lasers.

Melles Griot purchased Hodges’ company and continued to support the line of solid-state lasers, which set the standard for small green YAG lasers. Hodges was recently hired as a consultant by Melles Griot and was present in that capacity at the 2002 ILDA Conference in Orlando. Once again, he showed sincere concern for the needs of laserists that was reassuring at a time when many large laser companies were moving in other directions.

Hodges’ career in lasers dates back more than 20 years, including work as a manager and engineer for Spectra Physics and Newport Corp. He resided in Del Mar, Calif., and is survived by his wife, Mary Jane, and daughter, Lauren.


Laser Jam Moves Ahead with
Cow Wars,  Beam Show, Revised Web Site

Laser Jam, a volunteer project run by laser artists for artists, is hard at work on a graphics show for the 2003 ILDA Conference and recently added a beam show to its list of projects.

Laser Jam premiered its first show, Troglodyte, at the 2002 ILDA Conference and is now working on Cow Wars. The new show is set to the music of Cows with Guns, a folk song by Dana Lyons that celebrates a bovine revolt against slaughterhouses and fast-food restaurants. Over 60 artists are involved in the show, which uses visuals based on Star Wars’ movie characters.

The efforts of volunteers can be seen at, which recently received a major upgrade to its content and visual look. Visitors will soon be able to see animation files at the  “Laser Jam Drive-in Theatre,” which will simulate a laser show with computer-generated beam effects.

The project uses a distributed-work concept, with artists from around the world logging on the site and selecting assignments. Jammers are now voting on which music they would like to use for the new beam show. Once the beam show music is selected, jammer Cory Simpson said that artists will pick which portions of the song they want to work on.



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