Dave Colantuoni, Senior Director of Product Management, Avid Technology
Chris Brown, Executive VP, Conventions & Business Operations, National Association of Broadcasters
Bob Bain, Executive Producer, Bob Bain Productions, Inc.
Karl Kresser, President & Producer, Cine Gear Expo
Daniel Sacchelli, Event Director, BVE
James DeRuvo, Film and Technology Reporter, DoddleNEWS
Larry Jordan: Tonight on The Buzz, we are looking at planning and producing live events, from broadcast television, to trade shows. But first Avid is making big news today, David Colantuoni is the Senior Director of Product Management for Avid Technologies. And joins us tonight to explain what their big announcements mean to new and existing Avid users.
Larry Jordan: Next, Bob Bain is the Executive Producer for Bob Bain Productions. He specializes in creating live events for television. These are programs like ‘Miss America,’ ‘Kids’ Choice Awards’ and the ‘Critics’ Choice Awards.’ Tonight he tells us what it takes to create a successful event, including adding a little chaos.
Larry Jordan: Next, Karl Kresser is the President and Producer of Cine Gear Expo in Los Angeles. This is an industry centric event that is always located on a Hollywood studio lot. Tonight Karl explains how he plans this annual event.
Larry Jordan: Next, Daniel Sacchelli is the Event Director of BVE in London. This annual trade show is growing in importance and is ideally placed between IBC, and NAB. Tonight Daniel tells us how they plan their event and what they do to keep it relevant.
Larry Jordan: Next, Chris Brown is the Executive Vice President for the Conventions and Business Operations for the National Association of Broadcasters. Chris and his team are responsible for creating the massive, NAB trade show every year. Tonight we discuss how they create this event, how they respond to competition and what new things they are planning for next year.
Larry Jordan: All this plus James DeRuvo with our weekly DoddleNEWS Update. The Buzz starts now.
Larry Jordan: Welcome to the Digital Production Buzz, the world’s longest running podcast for the creative content industry, covering media production, post production and marketing around the world. Hi, my name is Larry Jordan, today we have a fascinating show on planning and producing live events. We will be talking with some of the largest event producers in the world, specifically the NAB show and Miss America. As well as significant regional shows like Cine Gear and BVE. We will spend time with each of these producers, discovering how they perceive the shows, how they stay competitive, what makes for a successful show and what they are planning for the future. In addition, Avid this morning made some significant announcements that will please virtually every current Avid editor. We have an in-depth interview with the head of product management at Avid, to learn about their new releases. And by the way, I want to invite you to subscribe to our free weekly show newsletter, at digitalproductionbuzz.com, every issues, every week, gives you an inside look at The Buzz quick links, to the different segments on the show, and curated articles of special interest to film makers. Best of all, every issue is free, and comes out on Friday.
Larry Jordan: Now it’s time for a DoddleNEWS update with James DeRuvo. Hello James.
James DeRuvo: Hello Larry.
Larry Jordan: So what is the news?
James DeRuvo: Well we’ve got a lot of updates. You knew this was coming when Apple announced the new MacBook Pro with the touch bar interface. You knew that everybody was going to be scrambling to update their software to take advantage of it. Blackmagic is one of the first out of the gate, we have an update to DaVinci Resolve 12, version 12.5.4, takes advantage of the Apple touch bar interface, and it also provides HDR support in Rec 2020, and 2100 in Hybrid Log Gamma. It is interesting because, like I said, everybody is going to be updating to take advantage of that touch bar, because the touch bar is highly customizable. So we are going to see that in DaVinci.
Larry Jordan: I’ve had a chance to borrow a MacBook Pro for a couple of weeks and fired it up for the first time this afternoon, and installed 750 upgrades and that touch bar is really quite cool. I am looking forward to writing about it and I’ll have more on my newsletter on it this weekend. What else do we have?
James DeRuvo: Well it’s touch bar night. There is an editor in Great Britain who has been using it, just as you have, and he has been cutting 5K footage in ProRes using the new MacBook Pro. He says that it is so powerful that it is buttery smooth in the editing and the touch bar streamlines the workflow to the point that it is just highly intuitive. He also goes onto say that even though the main beef that people have against the MacBook Pro is that it has a lack of ports now, it only has two Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports. He says that after an initial adjustment, and when more TB3 devices come on the market, it is just going to be considered a thing of the past. He really thinks it is a game changer. For those who really need to stick with their existing peripherals, there is a brand new device that is being raised on Kickstarter, called The HyperDrive. Which plugs into your USB-C ports, and gives you access to Thunderbolt 2, HDMI, USB-3, all of that is able to adapt so you can continue to use all your peripherals. That is on Kickstarter, and the best part is, it’s only $70.
Larry Jordan: Just the clarify the 15” MacBook Pro has four USB-C ports not two, and you are absolutely right in that the USB-C is a bus, so you can split that off into a dock of some sort and have all those different outputs, by connecting only one connector to your computer and then feeding them off the dock.
James DeRuvo: The beauty thing about this HyperDrive device, is it’s really tiny. It’s only about an inch wide, and about two and half inches long, it can fit in your pocket, and you can just leave it plugged into your MacBook Pro all the time, it is not going to get in the way.
Larry Jordan: We have talked about the touch bar, do we have any hardware stuff going on?
James DeRuvo: Well, Canon has released a huge firmware update to the C300, and the C300 Mark II. It provides shutter angle control, so you can maintain a constant shutter angle, regardless of any changes to any other camera settings. The cameramen are really going to love this, they can now adjust zebras all the way down to 5%. So you can go from 5% all the up to as high as you want. It also includes support for the electronic viewfinder, V70 and the wireless file transmitter, E8 and users can still use their E6 wireless file transmitter as well.
Larry Jordan: Which gets me to the last point, I am going to let you spill the beans. What is Avid’s new announcement?
James DeRuvo: This is huge, you remember a couple of years ago, when Avid announced, much to editor’s dismay, they were getting rid of PhraseFind, and ScriptSync, and they are bringing them back. That is the big news, they are bringing back PhraseFind and ScriptSync, in an upcoming version of Media Composer.
Larry Jordan: In fact, we are going to have the VP of Product Management for Avid on, in about 35 to 40 seconds to specifically tell us more about ScriptSync and PhraseFind and for people that want the latest news on the web, where do they go?
James DeRuvo: All news stories and more can be found at doddlenews.com.
Larry Jordan: James DeRuvo is the senior writer for DoddleNEWS, and James it is always fun chatting to you, we’ll talk to you again next week.
James DeRuvo: Take care Larry.
Larry Jordan: Take care bye, bye.
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Larry Jordan: As the senior director of product management at Avid, David Colantuoni is responsible for product vision, strategy and business management for Avid’s industry leading products. Which includes Media Composer, Pro Tools, Sibelius and Shared Storage. Hello David, welcome.
Dave Colantuoni: Hello Larry, thanks for having me, I really appreciate you taking the time to speak with me today.
Larry Jordan: Well you know, it has been a while since we have chatted, and the last time we had a change to sit and talk was at NAB, about seven thousand years ago, so it is time to get up to speed on the latest news. Which is what I want to hear first, what did Avid announce today?
Dave Colantuoni: So yes, we have some great news we wanted to speak about today. A long time coming for Media Composer users, today we are announcing new versions of ScriptSync, and PhraseFind. Those products are options for Media Composer, and do some really cool things around, for scripted television, and/or ingesting media. A few years ago we had taken these options away from the product, and now we are re-introducing them.
Larry Jordan: What makes these two pieces of software so important?
Dave Colantuoni: They use some technology from a company called Maxedia, and we quite frankly have been a partner of Mexedia’s for a number of years, almost ten years. The technology allows you to take, while ingesting your media, it phonetically indexes the sounds that are in a person’s voice, and puts them in a data base. Then that data base can be used for various things, searching is obviously the most important thing. So instead of a user actually sitting down and logging, this will actually take all the words that are being said and put them in a catalog data base, phonetically indexed and make them searchable. But it speeds up the editing process very quickly.
Larry Jordan: Well if you took this away a couple of years ago, why are you bringing it back now?
Dave Colantuoni: We actually had a partnership with Maxedia for, I think it was 2007. So it is coming upon 10 years, and we went into a negotiation to renew the contract so that we could use their technology. On the ScriptSync side of the world, we actually have integrated their technology with some of the technology that we have created. So they wanted us to license their technology, fine. But we could not come to an agreement to do that. It was more just a business decision. We are also trying to do other things, Maxedia was much more than just a company that created the technology behind ScriptSync and PhraseFind, and they actually do a whole bunch of other things. But they do this on a much bigger scale, this type of functionality works in news rooms, and it has a closed captioning features, and things like that. So what we were trying to do, was actually, figure out a business arrangement that not only allowed folks to use ScriptSync and PhraseFind and Media Composer, but actually use Maxedia products on our platform. It just took a long time, and we finally worked out the deals a little bit earlier this year.
Larry Jordan: Well a lot of Avid editors have held up upgrading for the last several versions, because of this lack of ScriptSync and PhraseFind. Does this essentially replace and update what they had on older versions, so they can feel save in upgrading now?
Dave Colantuoni: Yes. So this will absolutely allow those folks to upgrade to these latest versions, and use the functionality. We are actually spending some time and doing a few things to spruce up the products. There was some old UI framework that we needed to replace, we are putting some new features in the products. We also have taken a new version of the technology that Maxedia creates, and that has been updated and that is really cool because it allows faster indexing of the phonetically indexed sounds that it is requiring, and a whole bunch of other things. So yes, they will be able to upgrade to this version, I know some folks had stayed back in version 7, because their workloads demanded it, quite frankly. Using scripted television and the time savings of this product is just so great for them, they could not move forward. So yes, upgrades are coming and we are going to allow those folks that stayed behind on the old versions to upgrade their Media Composer at the same time, for a reduced price. So we want to make sure that they are able to move forward onto the Media Composer 8 version, because they were on Media Composer 7, which was released a number of years ago.
Larry Jordan: I can just imagine all the frustration that you guys have felt. That here are all these wonderful people that want to upgrade, and they can’t because the feature is not available. So I can imagine the relief on your side to finally be able to offer this.
Dave Colantuoni: You are right. I have been the front person for this, and you are right, it was frustrating. I would say, I had so many questions from our customers, but this was by far the number one asked question. When are we going to get ScriptSync and PhraseFind back. So it is a pleasure to finally after answering that question, where I didn’t know the answer. To actually have an answer. Not only that, to introduce new features that people had been asking for, for the past few years. So it is great to be part of soM.E.T.hing positive.
Larry Jordan: A couple of logistical questions. When will the update be available and how are you pricing it?
Dave Colantuoni: The update will be available in Q1 of 2017. We have actually done a bunch of things around pricing. We are able to work with Maxedia and reduce the pricing of the existing products, that were available before, in most instances by half. To make it so that customers who already owned ScriptSync, they can upgrade and $349. If they already own PhraseFind, they can upgrade for $149. So the prices are pretty advantageous, and what we wanted to make sure was that, the folks that had waited, really had an opportunity to upgrade, without have the price be too much money, quite frankly.
Dave Colantuoni: The other thing that is kind of neat, is one thing we had a request for over the past many many years, was an education version. Because students tend to have scripts and they use us in their productions for college. We never had an available version for education and students. So we are introducing a student version, that includes both ScriptSync and PhraseFind for $49. I think that was a very very big request from the education community, and not only that, it is pretty price advantageous for them to get the product.
Larry Jordan: In the intervening time between Maxedia first developed their software and today. IBM has been working really hard with their Watson Engine to provide a speech to text conversion, and I know of at least two other applications that have renounced to take advantage of this Watson technology. Is Avid able to compete against this IBM Watson speech to text conversion? Or is this soM.E.T.hing where it just took long to get the deal done?
Dave Colantuoni: No. We have actually looked at the Watson technology. The technology, I do not know specifically the engineering that created the Watson Engine, but if it is speech to text that is a little bit different than how Maxedia uses their technology. Because they are listening to your voice and indexing the spoken word and doing that phonetically. So they are able to get more exact results when you recall, and search for, a particular word that has been said. So Watson is great, I think there might be some applications for that in the media and entertainment space in the future, or even on the media central platform for our enterprise class customers. But for now we know that the Maxedia stuff is very very well engineered, works great, and not only ScriptSync and PhraseFind work station application. Also on an enterprise level, when you are indexing, hundreds and hundreds of hours of content, it is built to do that. It is built to scale for that, and it is also built that it gives you very very exact results that you are looking for. So the Watson stuff is interesting, we’ll see how that pans out. But for now, we are pretty comfortable, we have been working with this Maxedia stuff for a while and it is pretty good.
Larry Jordan: For people who want more information about ScriptSync and PhraseFind or Media Composer in general, where can they go on the web?
Dave Colantuoni: HYPERLINK “http://www.avid.com” www.avid.com all the information around Media Composer, ScriptSync, PhraseFind, will be up there. They should be able to find everything they need.
Larry Jordan: David Colantuoni is the Senior Director of Product Management at Avid. And David thanks for joining us today.
Dave Colantuoni: As usual I love talking to you, and thanks for having me, have a nice day.
Larry Jordan: Bob Bain Productions is one of the leading, award, event and variety producers, with hundreds of live event television specialists to their credit. This includes the ‘Billboard Music Awards,’ ‘Miss America,’ the ‘Teen Choice Awards,’ the ‘Kids’ Choice Awards’ and the ‘Critics’ Choice Awards.’ Bob Bain is the Executive Producer, and just finished producing the ‘Critics’ Choice Awards’ show. Bob welcome.
Bob Bain: Thanks for having me, happy holidays.
Larry Jordan: Indeed happy holidays to you as well. What got you started producing live events?
Bob Bain: Actually, younger in my career, I had an interest, if not a potential career in music. So I was able to turn that into an interest and a sub specialty in live events that involved a lot of music in the very beginning. I often tell people who are not really familiar with my specialty, that I consider myself both the architect and the general contractor. Because I am in charge of the overall, you know, 30,000 foot, creative presentation, and then it is also my responsibility to bring together the right team for the right vision. And that, by the way, changes from show to show.
Larry Jordan: If you are given a new show to produce, they just handed it to you today, the contracts are signed, the business deals are done. What do you do first?
Bob Bain: It is not any different from doing a wedding, really in that regard. You start with the date, you then select the venue, and then you start to work down what you think the creative needs of the show are. Again, that changes. By way of example, my creative approach to the ‘Kids Choice Awards,’ is naturally much different to my creative approach to say, ‘Miss America.’ What I call it, is kind of square peg in a square hole. So the first thing you try to do is information gather from the client, whoever that is. Whether it is a network or a cable outlet, or anybody else. What are they interested in accomplishing? Who do they want to reach? How do they want to reach them? Once you start to gather enough information about what your goal is, then you can start to put together a plan to reach the goal.
Larry Jordan: Are there specific things that enable an event to be more successful? Is there like a cookie cutter approach that we need to do x, y or z?
Bob Bain: I wish there were, that would make what I do a lot easier than it is. You are always searching for, what they used to call, water cooler moments. Now they tend to be described as sort of viral opportunities. The reason that people watch live events is really, often for as much as is not planned, as it is for what is planned. There are very few people on the planet who get more bored with award shows than I do. It is because we do so many of them, our vision is to make these things entertaining.
Larry Jordan: Are you looking for opportunities for chaos to break out?
Bob Bain: The answer to that is yes, particularly as I get a little more seasoned and little older in the business. When I first started, it was like, oh my god, if chaos breaks out it’s going to be the end of my career, right? Now I look at it, hey if chaos breaks out it could be the beginning of my career. Chaos is a great thing, and soM.E.T.imes we try to almost create opportunities for chaos. It needs obviously to be the right kind of chaos. But it is that kind of unpredicted ability that is what makes live television, I think interesting to watch.
Larry Jordan: How big a team do you work with?
Bob Bain: The team shapes and grows depending on the project. So basically, there is a plan of three stages. There is the developmental stage, when we are really kind of getting the overall creative into play, that is a relatively small group. It can be a half dozen. Then with about two months to go, that ramps up to staff that ends up being anywhere from 25 to 40. Then when we get on location, which tends to be the last two weeks, then it balloons from anywhere from, I’m thinking 200 to 400. Depending on the size and magnitude of the event.
Larry Jordan: With audiences fragmenting especially for television every year. How do you attract attention to get them to watch the event?
Bob Bain: Well it is probably the biggest single challenge, because it is very difficult to do that. The fragmentation is getting worse and worse. It makes it that much more difficult, not only to get an audience to watch your event, but even to get an audience to know about your event. Depending on the genre, and depending on the audience, the kind of emotional challenge is very substantial. In Teen Choice for example, if we don’t attack the audience digitally, we are not going to find them at all. Because they are not watching television. It is hard enough to get them to watch the television show. But if you want to let a bunch of teenagers know about anything, you will not be able to do it by putting 30 second promos on Fox, in prime time. Because teenagers aren’t watching Fox in prime time. It is a little different when you are talking about things like ‘Miss America’ and some of the more conventional stuff, some of the Emmy stuff we do. Some of the more conventional projects, because you still have an audience that was kind of raised and weaned on television. So the promotional strategies are different depending on the audience. But it is really difficult to get audiences for these shows, these days.
Larry Jordan: You are working in a high visibility, high pressure environment, where the audience is almost impossible to find, with demanding clients and huge budgets. What is it that makes you want to even come to work every day?
Bob Bain: I think to me it is the challenge of reinvention. Which is to say, the only way I think to keep these shows on, is to continue to try to reinvent them. And to recreate them, and somehow make them interesting and entertaining. That is a challenge that do relish. You said it, I’ve done hundreds of these things for years. It is still fun, and one of the reasons it is still fun is because we are going out of our way to make them different. If I were just producing the same award show over and over and over again. I’m not sure that I would still be doing this.
Larry Jordan: Bob Bain is the Executive Producer of Bob Bain Productions who specializes in creating live events for television. Bob thanks for joining us today.
Bob Bain: Thank you for having, and again, I hope everyone out there has a safe and happy holiday.
Larry Jordan: Karl Kresser is the President and Producer of Cine Gear Expo. He and his team create, produce and oversee every part of this live three day event that is located somewhere on a Hollywood studio lot every spring. Hello Karl.
Karl Kresser: Hello Larry. Thank you for having me.
Larry Jordan: It is my pleasure, thank for spending your time tonight. How would you describe Cine Gear Expo.
Karl Kresser: Cine Gear Expo is a trade show that is actually out of the box. We try to put it on a studio back lot, where the actual equipment that was invented and built for this environment, is actually being shown in the motion picture area.
Larry Jordan: How did you get started?
Karl Kresser: We got started in 1996, we used to exhibit at a different show. My wife and I came from a supplier point of view, I worked for a camera rental house. We were exhibiting at another show, and as I was talking to three people who looked at the wrong end of the camera, looked through the lens instead of the finder. Then by best customer was walking by on the other side, and I called him Roger, Roger Deakins, where are you going? He said, no you are busy, I’ll be back. And that was the last that I saw him for the weekend. So it was a disappointing set up. Then I found out how the people heard about the show, and they said, oh were just outside the door and we got asked to come in.
Larry Jordan: Where is Cine Gear located?
Karl Kresser: Located in Los Angeles. The last several years we have held it at Paramount Studios, but previous years before we moved around to Universal, and Warner Bros and we always like the life environment, the feeling.
Larry Jordan: Well the thing I love about Cine Gear is we are actually on the lot, we are in the environment where all this gear is used, and it is the widest range of production gear I have ever seen in my life. Stuff I have never heard of, is being shown at the show. How far in advance do you start preparations?
Karl Kresser: Well Larry, we are actually working pretty much all year round. But what happens is, because we have many different aspects from our film competition, to seminars, to the exhibits, to special screenings that we put on, to parties. But the issue is, you are dealing with an actual working studio, so we cannot really get confirmed until a few months out. Which throws you through a loop.
Larry Jordan: Well given all the competition, what is your biggest challenge in producing the event?
Karl Kresser: Well the biggest challenge is almost the venue. Paramount is very good with us, their team tries to do their best to make to happen, and get us all the stages that we need and the locations. But again, it is a working studio so if a feature comes in and books it for several months, and they are still there when we need it. We have to adjust and we have to find different ways, even though we have planned all year to have it there and in this location. We have to adjust and modify and go with the flow.
Larry Jordan: How do you get people to show up for a live event? With all the stuff that is available on the web.
Karl Kresser: We have slowly grown it. We grew it out of a little party, in 1996 it was seven different companies that got together and invited their customers to a Saturday afternoon at the Paramount lot, in the lobby of the theater, to have some food and wine, and then see the latest pieces of equipment we had at that time. So we built up on that, and the next year it was 30 companies, and then it was more companies. What happened was, we built up our contacts, and people wanted to come, and they heard about it. So we grew it carefully and slowly and last year we had about 16,000 attendees, from over 60 countries.
Larry Jordan: For people that want to learn more, where can they go on the web?
Karl Kresser: They can go to HYPERLINK “http://www.cinegearexpo.com” www.cinegearexpo.com
Larry Jordan: That is all one word, cinegearexpo.com and Karl Kresser is the President and Producer of CineGear, Karl this has been fun. Thanks for joining us today.
Karl Kresser: Thank you for having me Larry.
Larry Jordan: Take care, bye bye.
Larry Jordan: Daniel Sacchelli is the Event Director for the BVE Conference and Trade Show every February in London. This means that he oversees the planning and day to day operations across departments to ensure the show is a success. Hello Daniel, welcome.
Daniel Sacchelli: Hi Larry.
Larry Jordan: It is good to talk to you again, the last time we spoke was last year at BVE.
Daniel Sacchelli: It was, it was on site at the show, it has been a little while. Always a pleasure.
Larry Jordan: For people that have not had the pleasure of attending, how would you describe BVE?
Daniel Sacchelli: BVE is an event in the U.K. It takes place over three days in London, in Feburary. It targets the wider media entertainment and technology sector. So there is the exhibition, the show floor, and where visitors come to test, compare and check out all the new products that are on the market. It is accompanied by a three day seminar program as well.
Larry Jordan: With shows like IBC in Amsterdam, and NAB in Las Vegas which are much much bigger than BVE, why does BVE even exist?
Daniel Sacchelli: I think there are regional events around the world, for that sector. I think the U.K., it is known that we punch above our weight, certainly in the broadcast and media entertainment space, and always have. It is a very important sector to a lot of companies. We have got a lot of big players here, the BBC, the Sky, a lot of major buyers here, and a lot of new sectors that the U.K. is pushing now as well. It is a key market, so even though those two global shows and other events are very important, I think a key touch point in the U.K. is still very much vital.
Larry Jordan: When you sit back to plan a show, what are you trying to accomplish?
Daniel Sacchelli: The show itself is a product, and we sell that product, and like any product the first thing you have to do is understand your customers. So we have to have a really granular detail on our exhibitors, speakers, and our visitors to see what is happening in the market. Exactly what is happening with the latest developments, what is making our customers tick, and what they need to get, not just out of events, but out of their wider marketing campaigns. Ensuring that my event becomes a vital part of anything strategic that they are planning across the year.
Larry Jordan: Just to ask a cynical question, you have a big room, you have a bunch of people showing products, what is to plan?
Daniel Sacchelli: That is a fair point I guess from an outsider it may look that way. We start actually an annual cycle on site, at the show. The exhibition show floor is one element of it, the conference programming is another part, and that is slightly more complex. That cannot start being planned a year in advance, because as you know, this industry is very fast paced, it is always evolving. New technologies are appearing all the time. There is a lot of logistical issues that go into planning an event as well, because you are not just trying to repeat. If you just took the formula of BVE and you said, great let’s get that all on a spreadsheet, and repeat for the following year. Yes it would be very easy, but you would lose the impact of the event. You would not be as agile, your event would not be able to evolve and reflect the industry. I guess that is the main crux of it.
Larry Jordan: Give me an example, how has BVE evolved over the last couple of years, what is new?
Daniel Sacchelli: It came from place where it was very much a U.K. focused, broadcast show, broadcast technology was the order of the day. Now, our industry once again, as you know, has changed a lot in recent years. It has diversified, there is a lot of blurring of the lines between broadcast, live entertainment, AV and systems integration. Now with new technologies like VR and other immersive experiences, AR, mixed realities, these sorts of things. BVE has got to demonstrate that we are reflecting that. Always thinking of new ways to engage visitors and exhibitors, and we are always trying to do soM.E.T.hing new.
Larry Jordan: This to me seems like it’s the hardest challenge. How do you create an event that people feel they must attend?
Daniel Sacchelli: Well that is it. Keeping it fresh is absolutely key, and it comes around again to just knowing your customers. You cannot really replace, and we’ve found this time and time again, as long as you deliver the right event. So that the people come. You cannot really replace meeting your clients face to face. Whether it is customers and being that key touch point in the year, because you don’t get time to spend going out on the road and seeing all of your customers, or whether it is being able to present all of your products and services to new customers in a really dynamic setting. Do product showcases and do demos in real time. That is really unique, and we have to capitalize on that. It would be easy to be lazy and again just keep repeating. But as long as you can really capitalize on those unique aspects of exhibitions, you can keep delivering a really unique experience I think, versus other M.E.T.hods.
Larry Jordan: So what are you planning that is new this year?
Daniel Sacchelli: We are always looking at who is buying what. Who our exhibitors want to see coming through the door. Then what we can do to add to the show to ensure those visitors come. Case in point, with the brands, we are hosting this year for the first time, a one day conference run by the Branded Content Marketing Association, which is going to be a fantastic program. All about how you create the best branded content, and it will feature the top production companies that specialize in producing branded content. Some digital marketing agents, who is presenting case studies about successful examples, and those sorts of things. That is soM.E.T.hing that is very new to BVE and very much out of the wheel house of where BVE came from, this is a brand new thing.
Larry Jordan: Well I have always been impressed with BVE in all the years that I’ve attended it. You are right it continues to evolve over time. Where can people go on the web to learn more about it, and sign up to attend?
Daniel Sacchelli: Registration for visitors is open now, and the website is HYPERLINK “http://www.bvexpo.com” www.bvexpo.com
Larry Jordan: That is all one word, bvexpo.com and Daniel Sacchelli is the event director for the BVE Conference in 2017. Daniel thanks for joining us today.
Daniel Sacchelli: My pleasure.
Larry Jordan: Here is another website I want to introduce you to. Doddlenews.com DoddleNEWS gives you a portal into the broadcast, video and film industries. It is a leading online resource, presenting news, review, and products for the film and video industry. DoddleNEWS also offers a resource guide and crew management platform, specifically designed for production. These digital call sheets, along with their app, directory and premium listings provide in-depth organizational tools for busy production professionals. DoddleNEWS is a part of the Thalo Arts community, a world-wide community of artists, filmmakers and storytellers. From photography to film making, performing arts to fine arts, and everything in between, Thalo is filled with resources you need to succeed. Whether you want the latest industry news, need to network with other creative professionals, or require state of the art online tools to manage your next project. There is only one place to go, Doddlenews.com
Larry Jordan: Chris Brown is the Executive Vice President for Conventions and Business Operations, at the National Association of Broadcasters. He and his team are responsible for producing all of NABs major events, including the NAB Show in Las Vegas, the NAB show in New York, and the brand new NAB Show in Shanghai which just launched last year. Hello Chris, welcome.
Chris Brown: Hey Larry how are you? Good to talk to you.
Larry Jordan: I was just thinking the last time we spoke formally was five years ago, on the trade show floor at NAB, and a lot has changed since then.
Chris Brown: Yes, no doubt about it. We are living in a world that is changing at an unbelievable pace, and so for us that manifests itself in everything from the type of companies that we work with on our exhibit floor, to the kind of programs that we put together, for our education sessions. Five years is, I think we have had fifteen years of change in that five years’ time.
Larry Jordan: One would need to be a hermit in our industry not to have heard of the NAB Show. But just to set the stage, how would you describe the NAB show.
Chris Brown: I would describe it as the world’s largest innovation forum for media and entertainment. That is a bit more of an active statement than it may have been in the past. I think shows like ours tend to be viewed that places that really just reflect what is going on in the business, and that is true. But I think we are working hard and trying to do more to give it a more active role. I think it has that, and has had that in the past, but I think now with that pace of change that we talked about, it is even more important that it would be a real catalyst for what might be ahead.
Larry Jordan: To look at the highest level, you have got a big room, you’ve got a bunch of exhibitors showing products, what is the planning? What is the catalyst? What is needed?
Chris Brown: I think you know the big thing that keeps us up at night is trying to look ahead and determine what are the trends? What are the big challenges and opportunities that are impacting the business? And that our constituents, our whole universe of potential participants would really be interested in. You know, what are they scratching their heads over, and trying to understand. Things like VR, you know, it sounds cool, everybody is looking at it, it is certainly a hot thing right now. But there are lots of questions. Then there is the more, kind of in the weeds, and operational kinds of questions. All about the impact of the internet, and kind of this shift from a hardware based business to software based business and virtualization, and working in the cloud. Which is a scary thing for a lot of people. Then trying to figure out how we will build programs that will stimulate, reflect and get us into those kinds of conversations at the show. Then on the exhibit side, what does that mean in terms of the kind of companies that really should be on the floor that can help sort through those questions.
Larry Jordan: Why is that the role of a trade show, wouldn’t that be the responsibility of the exhibitors themselves?
Chris Brown: Yes it is, absolutely, and I would be unfair if I said our exhibitors do not do a great job of that. I mean, they truly do. But we are all in this together, and I think many of them have a lot of the same questions that we do, and are trying to kind of stay ahead of that same curve. Some of them are doing it better than others, so there will be certainly some exhibitors that reflect those kinds of trends, but there is always more can be done. I think for us the job is also trying to reach out to segment sectors, sort of adjacent sectors that may not themselves see the opportunity, or recognize the opportunity and we then try to help them understand that. For us that would be companies who look at our show as a more traditional broadcaster that versus really an event that reflects where our universe is heading. So toward, digital, towards IP, towards those kinds of technologies. So it means we have got to be able to reach out to the Google, Netflix, Amazon’s of the world, and say, you guys need to be in this discussion somewhere. Ideally be a part of that conversation.
Larry Jordan: NAB stands for the National Association of Broadcasters, yet the show is expanded far beyond traditional broadcasting. Aren’t you enabling the competition?
Chris Brown: Sure, I guess yes. But I think we view it as a clear rising tide raises all ships type of approach. The idea is that this is a very very complex business we are in, it would be great I guess, to some degree, if we were in the widget business. That is not our world at all. Our world is rapidly evolving and kind of, who is friend, and who is foe? Is blurring all of the time, and there is sort of partnerships now that we would never have contemplated, you know even five, certainly ten years ago, as traditional media evolves towards new media, and new forms of media, and responds to really what the consumer is demanding. From our standpoint it never makes sense to box yourself in, and not look beyond that world, and welcome the opportunity to be in the same place and in the same conversation with folks who maybe competing with you on some dimensions. But at some point, may also be your best partners. Yes it is the NAB Show, we own the event and launch event, and have been the curator of this for a long time. We really view it as an event that is for the entire media and entertainment eco system, however that is going to evolve. For our members, we think there is huge benefit for them to be in that exhibition hall, in that conference center, having those discussions to be with all those other companies, and understanding. Even if it is just to understand what their competitors are focused on.
Larry Jordan: Competition exists at multiple levels. What kind of attention do you pay to shows like CBS, and IBC?
Chris Brown: Quite a bit, we are hyper paranoid about all of that. We try to make it positive paranoia, I think you have to do that to stay ahead of the game. So we watch very carefully what those kinds of shows are doing. With CBS it is interesting, I think they have been very very smart, they have done a good job expanding what they have become, a mega event for really all of technology. Kind of spanning consumer, up through pro consumer, to even B to B. But as they move up that B to B scale, it does bring them into our world more, and we do know that many of our members attend the event, which is a smart thing on their part. That is a great event to see that entire landscape and understand, particularly from a device, and through a consumer perspective, what those trends are. What is leading that? So that is important. With IBC, they have done a fantastic job as well. This is where in our minds competition is good, it keeps us on our toes. We know they borrowed ideas from us, we are not above borrowing ideas from them, and ideally improving on them. There again, I think there is room, given the amount of change that is occurring in this business to have events, whether they are geographically regional events, or more specifically segment target events. Which is also why we feel it made sense for us to be in the New York market, with our New York show.
Larry Jordan: What is your biggest challenge planning the show?
Chris Brown: We cannot just continue to present the same things. We are in Las Vegas year, which is a great thing, and a great advantage. But it also means we are in the same facility, and just sort of physically lay out the show, it is going to already look the same as it did the year before. We want it to be a new experience for people every time they come, so we have to really look hard at what we can do, that changes up that experience each year. Then productivity, obviously it is a big event, and big events come with lots of challenges in terms of just organizing them. Making it easy for people to navigate them, both before the show in terms of their engagement and registering with the show. Getting their hotel room lined up, and once they are there, being able to do what they need to do. Has all the tools that you need to be able to find the people you want to find, the companies you want to find, the products and technologies you want to find. The programs you might want to find, sessions etc., so that again is a really important aspect of that.
Larry Jordan: There is so much information available online, how do you make NAB a must attend event?
Chris Brown: Well it is about, I think, both breadth and depth of content. The exhibitors represent a very important part of the content side, and the elements that folks will be interested in. Then of course there is the education components that we produce, and from that stand point, it means we have got to have thought leaders. Big names, recognizable names, and smart people in that mix. We have to have a breadth of programs that sort of cover the many segments of the industry that we do bring together. We can slice and dice it, our demographics actually probably cover 20 to 30 different business types. We cannot produce programs that will go deep for every single one of those, but we can produce programs that will cut across, I think, most of those to a good enough level, and certainly an executive level, will give somebody a very very strong orientation across that. We have got the most complete offering in that regard, but we cannot take that for granted, we have to keep evolving it.
Larry Jordan: So what have you got that is new this year?
Chris Brown: One program that we are really excited about is a new executive level program, we are calling it the 40 Leadership Summit. The idea is to put the C-Suite level folks together in a room, across all those sectors. So the unique part of this will be, there are lot of other executive level programs that are out there, and we have them ourselves at NAB. But they are primarily for like people, so you are in the room with other broadcasters, you are in the room with other cable execs, you are in the room with other tech execs. We want to be able to bring all of those different sectors together, at a leadership level, and have a real interaction and real discussion that will help drive where that is going. We are bringing back, in a bigger and better way, VR. Our VR pavilion was very successful last year, but it was a first time effort. We had about 30 companies or so participating. We are expecting, and have already laid out space, for more than double that type of program. We are really exciting about that overall. The other thing that we are going to try to do is weave in a whole bunch of elements that will tie to our theme this year. Our theme this year is the M.E.T. Effect. M.E.T. as an acronym, and that stands for Media Entertainment and Technology, but more importantly the term M.E.T. Effect is really meant to describe what is happening as those three eco systems are overlapping and converging and fusing together. The kinds of new relationships that is defining all the different intersections that have been created. We are going to introduce M.E.T. Talks, which many people are familiar with TED Talks and basically short form kinds of programs. Which are thought leadership based, which again will focus on kind of the intersections of those communities. In the main lobby of the convention center, where we normally have our store. We are going to have a series of exhibits out there, that will be more focused on trying to manifest what that M.E.T. Effect really represents. So think of a YouTube studio type of program, or all of the things we can do, sort of creating content on the fly. Steaming it to mobile, to any device, those kinds of things. We have a couple of new conference programs, that are coming into the mix, including a couple that are focused on the advertising community in particular. Because that is a community that we think should be more engaged in our event. That will tie to a whole Ad-tech pavilion which we just launched in a modest way last year, and want to grow again this year. Lots and lots in the works at this point, most of it, in the shoot but not completely laid out at this point.
Larry Jordan: I’m getting exhausted just listening to the list. How bit a team do you have helping you put this together?
Chris Brown: Directly working on the show and folks that worry about this all the time, or most of the time, are about 35. NAB as an organization has about 150 total staff and in some way or another there are a lot of those other staff members who do help out. 35 people work pretty hard, but a lot of our other folks in the building also contribute, I’m not sure we could get it done without.
Larry Jordan: NAB is absolutely my favorite show ever year to attend. For people that want to register, where do they go on the web?
Chris Brown: nabshow.com
Larry Jordan: That is nabshow.com, and Chris Brown is the Executive Vice President for Convention and Business Operations at the National Association of Broadcasters. Chris this has been fascinating, thank you for your time.
Chris Brown: Great, thank you very much Larry. Appreciate it.
Larry Jordan: I’ve always had a love for producing live events, because that is how I got started in my own broadcast career. It impresses me that each one of these shows works at least a year out. They watch the competition, but watch industry trends even more. Evolution is an ongoing fact of life. All of these look at creating communities and conversations to help all of us better understand what is going on in our own industry.
Larry Jordan: I want to thank our guests this week. David Colantuoni from Avid. Chris Brown from NAB. Bob Bain with Bob Bain Productions. Daniel Sacchelli from BVE London. Karl Kresser from Cine Gear. And as always James DeRuvo with DoddleNEWS. There is a lot of history in our industry and it’s all posted to our website, at digitalproductionbuzz.com. Here you will find thousands of interviews, all online, and all available to you today. And remember to sign up for our free weekly show newsletter that comes out every Friday. You can talk with us on Twitter @DPBuZZ and Facebook at digitalproductionbuzz.com. Our theme music is composed by Nathan Dugi-Turner, with additional music provided by SmartSound.com. Text transcripts are provided by Take 1 Transcription. Visit take1.tv to learn how they can help you. Our producer is Debbie Price, my name is Larry Jordan and thanks for listening to the Digital Production Buzz.
Larry Jordan: The Digital Production Buzz is copyright 2016 by Thalo LLC.