Post-USITT 2024 Debrief: A First-Timer's Perspective

by Liam Haeffele | Mar 28, 2024

Hi there, 

While most people reading this are sure to be very familiar with the BMI Supply crew, I am a fairly new face - I started with BMI in September of 2023 as a marketing assistant, and we just wrapped up a very busy show at USITT 2024.

I figured I would log some of my thoughts and experiences here, in case they are helpful to anyone as a fellow first-timer, or even if you are interested in reading them as a seasoned vet!

My Experience:

While the USITT convention has become a staple in yearly calendars for many theatre professionals, there was an interesting statistic shared toward the end of this year's conference: 

At USITT 2024 in Seattle, there were a record number of first-time attendees.

Like many in the room, I found this to be quite surprising for a couple reasons: First and foremost, while some entertainment pros call the West Coast home, many of us (BMI included) are based far, far away in the upstate NY area. The expected turnout in Seattle was a bit of an unknown, simply due to the distance and cost of having booths shipped or traveled with across the country. Jumping on the plane to Seattle involved traversing across multiple time zones, not to mention setting up at a venue that USITT hadn't been held at since 1992. Needless to say, the concern was... valid.

But, if there's one thing I have learned during my 6-7 month tenure thus far at BMI, its that the live entertainment industry has a passion and zest for the work that you rarely come across in other fields. The community, the feeling of togetherness - the sensation you get from watching these people who (in many cases) have known and worked alongside each other for years, building careers out of what started out as a hobby or passion... it is a feeling that, frankly, goes beyond words.

You don't see that same "corporate fatigue" that characterizes the working experience for millions all over the globe, that look of defeat as people clock into jobs they aren't passionate about or trudge lifelessly through fields they end up regretting. There is an artistry and a craft in this world, our world - that I find extremely invigorating and contagious.

Don't get me wrong - I am, by all accounts, an outsider - I know very little about the nuts and bolts of the industry, and that lack of technical knowledge definitely showed as I took in these new surroundings alongside sales managers who have learned this field like the back of their hand. A phrase I found myself using frequently while working the booth was - "Let me get you over to my colleague for assistance", or "let me grab one of the sales managers to help you out." 

All of that being said, it was comforting to know that I wasn't the only one experiencing the Stage Expo for the first time. To think that someplace, there are others like me who are looking around wide-eyed, excited and anxious about this novel experience. It indicated to me that, perhaps one day, and assuming all goes well, maybe I can become one of the "old guard" holding this industry down. The future is bright, and I was elated  to be given the trust by BMI to attend the show after less than a year.

Putting faces to names and having proper introductions with several people who I had only "met" via email was similarly fun. We enjoyed a successful show filled with a huge variety of product, which in turn brought many attendees into our (comparatively modest) booth. 


Here are some product highlights:

Rosco DMG Dash  

Rosco Dash Pocket LED

The Rosco DMG Dash Pocket LED is a nifty choice for film/video folks who fancy a mobile lighting option with a punchy output. 

LogiCue Cue Light System

LogiCue System Photo

Our booth buddy Noah showed off his LogiCue system, and it was a smash hit all throughout the convention. It makes coordinating with production crews and actors an absolute breeze!

Pliant MicroCom XR

Matt and the rest of the Pliant crew showed of their MicroCom XR intercom system at our booth. It offers a highly reliable intercom solution with fantastic range and performance.

Antari ICE 101 Low Lying Fog Generator

A few booth guests had a blast with this one and even posted photos on their personal social medias! The ICE 101 allows you to have low-lying fog without the inconveniences of dry ice.

GLP Fusion X-Par 12Z

You might have noticed this little guy in our booth! The GLP Fusion X-Par 12Z Oom-Par is a powerful fixture in a highly portable form factor with IP65 weather resistance and RGB + lime color options. 120W light source.


Corona PAL Brushes

ON SALE! Several of the Corona PAL brush offerings are on sale until the end of April as part of our USITT sale.


We look forward to next year's show, and feel free to shout if you have any questions about what was featured on the show floor!