WABE Newsletter October 2023

This November 27th-29th, at the Shipyard District, I am pleased to welcome all media gurus, operational wizards, and technical gearheads to gather, learn, and connect in Vancouver. This is going to be WABE’s most open and accessible event yet. We kick off the conference at the Pinnacle Hotel at the Pier on Monday, the 27th, at 7 pm with a media mixer. If you are attending the full conference, this is the time to say hello to old colleagues and be introduced to contacts in our community. The $25 entry fee can be purchased through our delegate registration or at the door. This makes the evening open to a wide range of connections working in our industry. Maybe you’re recently retired and want to meet colleagues you miss working with, maybe you just graduated from a media program and need an introduction to get started, maybe you work in live production or on a film set, and you need an excuse to meet up with industry contacts you haven’t had a chance to see since before the pandemic. This is the community where you can talk about the technology you have been working with or where you are hoping to take your career without the blank stare a family member might give you when you talk shop.

Over 70 years ago, WABE was started by broadcast engineers and technicians from radio and television stations who came together to share information about technology and learn from each other. Today, WABE members are found in every nook and cranny that media and entertainment tech are used. Some people still work as broadcast technicians in radio and television, but many, like myself, have an ever-expanding list of places they work for that use similar technology. You may support, install, operate, or sell technology ranging from transmitters to cameras. You may work in an AV department, an independent production house, or be up a mountain installing a tower. The shared experience of the community is that we have seen behind the curtain, we have unlocked a piece of the technical mystery that makes a story transform into something ready for an audience. No matter if you are mixing a live band at church, the PA at the local arena, or pinning a mic on a corporate executive about to be live-streamed to employees, you are a WABE friend.

Tuesday, the 28th, starts with breakfast at the Pinnacle leading into our speaker sessions where we are going to cover topics ranging from IP video, network security, lens filters, to the opportunities emerging in ATSC. After an ingestion of technical info, we open our Free sold-out Exhibit Hall at The Pipe Shop Venue. If you work in a technical communication department and need a new piece of RF equipment, if you have a budget to buy any audio and video gear this year, or if you need that light for your next commercial production, this is the exhibit hall for you. We know not everyone locally can make it to NABshow in Las Vegas or head overseas to IBC to check out the latest tech from manufacturers. WABE brings the community of suppliers and vendors who can help you find almost any media tech gear in the world. Because the exhibit hall is a one-of-a-kind local opportunity, we open it again the next morning, Wednesday, the 29th, at 9 am until noon to give as many people as possible the chance to come down and explore the exhibit floor.

Lunch on Wednesday the 29th is part of the tradition of supporting, encouraging, and celebrating community members with our Award Ceremony. In Canada, there are very few opportunities to highlight those behind the scenes who are doing amazing things. So we pull back the curtain and take a snapshot of careers, projects, and members who are continuing to push our industry forward. We finish off the convention with an afternoon of discussions including AI in media, conversations affecting broadcasters, radio in the cloud, Audio Mic fundamentals, and then ending the day with an industry panel discussion.

It’s going to be two full days of meeting new people, hearing new concepts, and engaging you in the industry. In a time of great change, it can be hard to see exactly what is next or where technology is leading us. Attending WABE has always helped me answer questions like: What media tech should I recommend? What media tech are others using with success? Where and who can sell me this tech in Canada?

You don’t always hear about grassroots local membership organizations because their bandwidth to get their message out is limited to volunteer resources and not-for-profit budget constraints. If you are already a WABE friend, make sure to spread the word as you know how valuable this connected group of technical folks is. The opportunity to invite new people to be a part of this community, which helped keep me employed, educated, and connected, has been the greatest benefit of being President of WABE.

I really am looking forward to welcoming you to Vancouver this fall!

Tessa Potter