The first Showlight took place in 1981 and, according to Cue magazine, would definitely ‘not become a regular event’. Organised by Fred Bentham, Ken Ackerman and Phil Rogers (of New York), the venue for Showlight ‘81 was London’s Barbican, where speakers included Richard Pilbrow, who really needs no introduction; DoP Denys Coop, who won an Oscar for his outstanding flying photography in the 1978 Superman movie starring Christopher Reeve; and BAFTA winner and first chairman of the STLD, John Treays.

The organising committee then was made up of representatives from the National Illumination Committee, the Chartered Institute of Building Services Lighting Division, The Royal Television Society, The British Kinematograph, Sound and Television Society, ABTT, The British Society of Cameramen and the STLD, and included Fred Bentham and Ken Ackerman, who went on to chair the next four events.

Originally financially supported by the CIE (Commission Internationale de l’Eclairage), Showlight became an independent organisation in 2002.

Over the years, Showlight has visited many exciting and varied locations, including Hollywood, Amsterdam, Ghent, Edinburgh, Munich, Glasgow and Cesky Krumlov. Alongside the conference and exhibition, the event offers delegates a unique insight into the host region with a popular social programme carefully planned by the organising committee.

To find out more about previous events, visit our Timeline where an archive of articles from the industry press can also be found.

Memories of Showlight