Submitted by Tessa Potter, President of WABE (Western Association of Broadcast Engineers)
I am so excited to announce that we have secured our venue in Vancouver and will be holding the WABE Convention, Nov. 27–29, at the Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel. We are pulling together a dedicated committee of great technical folks whose time and dedication to WABE I am so thankful for.
Over the past few months, I have heard these words more than any other from colleagues, team members, and employers: “Do you know anyone you can recommend who might be interested in a position?”
This might have to be the tagline of the 2023 convention, given the speed with which it is moving around in email and casual conversations. I’ve even found myself asking this same question in the past weeks as I gather a volunteer committee from the Vancouver area.
Giving time away when it’s all spoken for is not an easy ask of anyone working behind the scenes this year. If you’re in Vancouver and you have some time, even a pinky finger in the door working with media technology, and love tech, I invite you to consider reaching out to me to volunteer for the Convention this November. If you’re worried about the time commitment or your skill level, please know that they allowed a tech from Winnipeg who has three kids and three part-time jobs to be president, so you’ll have no problem fulfilling your role while balancing the balls in your home court.
We continue to seek new ways to innovate for this event, and on the evening of Nov. 27th, we are hosting a Monday Media Mixer that will be a first for WABE. Tickets to the evening network event are open to anyone working with media technology who wants to meet, mingle, and make new connections within the industry. We have limited space for 300 guests for this Monday evening event, but in my true Manitoba social fashion, I’m going to work to fill that room like I’m a bride with a wedding to pay for.
The mixer is not the only opportunity to expand your horizons. Growing, changing, and inviting new faces to WABE starts with creating a space that is accessible and makes it easy to encounter new ideas and tech. We can get our feet a bit wet trying something different in Vancouver and see who we meet and where it takes us.
To this end—and coming from a sold-out exhibit floor in 2022 in Calgary—we have a larger space this year to pack in more great vendors for our free trade show. The exhibit floor at WABE will be filled with people and vendors that have access to immense knowledge and almost any media technology your project requires. In the Internet era, knowledge is widely available online, but only people and businesses like those on the exhibit floor can help you and guide you personally—talking to people about products and ideas has always helped us meet budgets and deadlines. In addition, three streams of educational papers over the two days will amount to over 500 minutes of content—no doubt any gearhead will have an opportunity to learn something new.
WABE is also about seeing the big picture in the industry, and last year, Bill Stovold, Director of Technical at Pattison Media Ltd., showed the kind of leadership that I admire. Not only did he set aside budget to sponsor WABE, but he also sent over 25 members of his technical team to meet in Calgary. They participated in both off-site team meetings and the conference. Giving this kind of opportunity to technical team members—who have spent hours working to allow people to work from home over the pandemic, working abnormal hours, and showing up even when there is more work than people—is really a message. The message to me was that he values his team members and appreciates how important they are to the industry. If you have seen your team go above and beyond this year (and your business needs local team members to understand what technology is coming their way), the opportunity for them to connect and learn at WABE will be invaluable this coming year. The benefit as a leader this year may also emerge from coming and bending the ear of some new people outside your organization to ask the year’s biggest question: “Do you know anyone you can recommend who might be interested in a position?”
A WABE Delegate Pass is your key to attending all events, accessing educational papers, and becoming a member of this grassroots, bull-by-the-horn, small-town, big-dreaming, technically savvy nerd herd that is a truly connected family of industry professionals.
So much good to come … please join us!
Tessa Potter, President
I am a broadcast technician living in Winnipeg who has spent 20 years working for a variety of wonderful folks in a challenging—but very rewarding—career in media. You can find me on LinkedIn or connect any time via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please send me a message with any thoughts or ideas or possible ways to lend a hand to the organization.