In the upcoming month, WABE will be busy with planning and meetings in preparation to open sponsorship and exhibit registration for our upcoming November 2023 Conference at the Vancouver Sheraton Airport Hotel.
We are working hard to give members an experience that helps their careers, gives them the knowledge they can use, and supports them, so they know they are connected with a dynamic and engaging industry.
Nothing stops changing when you work with media and entertainment technology. It’s always been a “think on your feet,” “solve problems quickly,” and “be ready for the unexpected” vocation every single day.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the stories I tell others about the work I do. It does really make me appreciate talking to my team members and industry connections because they understand what I do as a technical person working in this industry. Friends and family used to think that I operated a camera or maybe was a director, and many people thought I must be a reporter. It’s hard to describe to people what it’s like to drive to a remote site in a rural community and open a gate, and then a fence gate, and then a steel door to a windowless building with a 20 KW FM transmitter inside that sends out magic radio waves to their cars. It’s hard to explain that you hook up wires behind racks in foreign countries that make the pictures come to their TVs at home during a final soccer game. It’s equally hard to say you programmed a router, configured a frame sync, and converted a video signal or spent the week researching ASI to IP conversion technology. So instead, I say “I fix video cameras,” and their glazed-over eyes come back in focus and they nod in understanding.
This is the life of technical people across the media and entertainment industries. We are often so far behind the scenes it’s almost hard to imagine what exactly we are all doing in these shops, at our desks, or with our faces buried in computer screens. Just having access to and entering these unique technical rooms and spaces is limited to a small group of skilled individuals.
Part of coming to work for me is just having someone to talk to about what it is I do all day. Talk tech, talk shop, talk industry—anything that so few of my personal connections can do with the same enthusiasm and understanding. This is what WABE is for so many of us: a place of community.
Industry associations like WABE serve the membership to allow for this kind of networking and industry engagement while offering education so we learn about new technology and understand standards and best practices. This kind of personal and professional development is essential for keeping employees engaged. WABE also offers recognition for the hard work and time we commit to being professionals, and we invite you to submit your nomination for the awards to be given out this fall in Vancouver. You can see our website for the criteria and deadlines for submission.
WABE, just like our industry, is also not immune to change. As part of this, we are working on putting together a strategic plan that can help the organization focus and set some goals to see if we can make sure that WABE is around to support technical people for years to come. We will be engaging membership and partners to help understand how WABE can be a part of the future of the media and entertainment technology industry.
While I am part of a larger industry in Canada that is made up of large media players, I have thought a lot about how many small businesses participate in our industry to keep technology running and solve technological problems for clients every day. Small businesses are engaged, continue to make excellent products, and solve problems that push our industry forward. A small Canadian business gave me my start, and they are as much a part of where we are headed as the audiences and the larger media and entertainment companies. Recently ChiChi Liu from Burli reached out to WABE to relay news to our membership that she had some openings at her company for the right candidates who might be interested. Based in Vancouver, Burli is by no means small, especially in its accomplishments as a company, as they have been contributing and making a product used successfully in radio broadcasting. This kind of connection between companies and our membership has never been more important than it is post-pandemic.
In film and television, radio and live audio, transmission and distribution, Canada has a unique and distinct community that is tech savvy, business savvy, and industry savvy. This is a powerful combination to take on the uniquely Canadian challenges and future planning required to keep up with constant change!
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