It had been almost 20 years since WABE last had a gathering in Winnipeg. Long gone are the days of the Winnipeg Press Club or and less often are the after-work gatherings since the pandemic so the May Monday Media Meetup at the Saddlery this past month was warmly welcomed. Thirty locals showed up to reconnect, meet a few new folks, and hopefully plant a seed of something we can grow. We had a mix of retirees, mid-career folks, and some new people who are just starting out but now know they are not alone in what they do. Although I knew almost everyone who attended, I was very happy to have some new faces to introduce to the community and the chance to make new WABE friends. The group was made up of teachers who taught students, former tech bench mates, suppliers, successors, retirees, old schoolmates from Red River College Polytechnic, and those who have been continuing to churn out content in our province.
It gave me hope that in Vancouver this fall, we can use what we learned at the meetup to create some of the same connections that leave participants excited about the future of media, engaged with the industry we spend so much time working in, and connected to people that will help them fill roles in their companies. Somedays, the only notable things about working behind the scenes in media and entertainment are easy access to coffee and endless to-do lists. Whether it’s a live show, an onsite production, a news program, or an early morning on-air with radio, as employees, we need access to events that show we are not alone in our struggles at work. They help us see that we are part of a larger industry experiencing similar challenges and there are opportunities waiting for us that we might not know about.
I am super proud of our volunteer committee and executive committee this year, whose hard work allowed us to open sponsorship, exhibitor, and delegate registration so we are ready to welcome everyone who wants to participate in conversations, learn new ideas, and make new connections. The cost is a reasonable $275 for the full conference—meaning you will be able to attend all the events and can immerse yourself in the community and content at the conference. This full experience allows you the chance to make strong connections and solidify new concepts without having to worry about packing a lunch. For those with busy schedules, we also have day passes and options to attend that fit your budget and calendar.
“We should be able to figure out just about anything if we work hard enough on it” is something that rolls around my head when I’m struggling with a concept or problem that I just don’t quite have a handle on. Sometimes, though, I just can’t get over the hurdle without asking for help. If you are in the Vancouver area working in media, own a company that services the industry, or are an employer looking for workers, I will be reaching out in some way to let you know about WABE. If you can take my calls, think about saying yes or pointing me to a new connection in the industry you think I should make—this would be incredibly helpful over the coming years.
We spend hours of volunteer time looking for volunteers, engaging paper content, and talking about why attending helps us continue to serve the industry. We appreciate every act of support—even forwarding an email, providing contact info, or offering to speak to members to educate them on real-world story topics or demonstrations of technology. WABE is a not-for-profit industry organization that has the privilege and the ability to bring a variety of media professionals together. We are here for our members and can offer a neutral third-party space that allows for idea sharing that might not be possible around the boardroom table, in the shop, or possibly just because you don’t work with anyone else who understands the technology you engage with every day.
WABE has always known it is technical people who make technology work. People who work with and support the technology behind the scenes are the core of media, entertainment, and broadcasting. Technical people who are engaged and earning a fair income allow audiences to experience the stories we tell, hear the music we need in our lives, and watch the images that make a difference in our communities.
I am pumped to see all of you in Vancouver this fall from November 27 to 29—let’s keep the conversation moving forward!
With my warmest regards,