DV Expo 2009 in Pasadena, Worth Attending? What do you Attend?
So I have been battling with what expo/shows to attend this year.
So far my company has sent me to Adobe MAX, NAB, and is thinking of sending me to the "DV Expo" in Pasadena.
To put in perspective, I am the sole member of a Media Group that produces corporate and creative media, both broadcast and for internal web/corporate use. Primarily we produce training and marketing collateral for clients.
Is this show worth attending other than to rack up frequent flyer miles, and hotel points?
What shows would people recommend that I put on the calendar?
They have moved out of the Los Angeles Convention Center -- where they had been for years and in which they became ensconced in a small corner in recent years -- to the Pasadena Convention Center. Pasadena is a nice town, one that I think is the closest thing to being a bit of San Francisco in the Southland. If you have never been there, it makes a nice visit and the Pasadena Convention Center is in a nice part of town with many wonderful shops, restaurants, etc. It's a fun day trip if you want to blow through the show quickly and then take in some of the local flavor. (Remember that Van Halen, The Kaleidoscope and The Association were three bands that called the town home, so have them handy for the car or iPod player for vibe.) ;o)
Mostly camera companies attend now, and you may wish to attend for a chance to get your hands on cameras in Los Angeles. For that purpose, it is a good show as the camera manufacturers tend to bring units to the show.
Whereas Sony and Canon used to attend, they have dropped out and now it is down to Panasonic and JVC. Many optics and accessory companies are slated to attend, so you can take in their offerings at DV Expo.
The last year I attended, neither Adobe nor Apple were there. Even Sony Creative Software, makers of Vegas -- who were slated to attend -- canceled just before showtime. Avid attended but also has opted to not attend this year. So no Adobe, no Apple, no Sony, no Autodesk and no Avid. So if you are going with an interest in software, the pickings are pretty lean.
My advice is to move into conventions you would not normally attend. I used to attend the New Media Expo (also known as the Podcast Expo) every year in Ontario, CA. While there was hardware there, it was much more about producers and what they were producing. The show has evolved and has merged with Blog World
Initially you may think, well I'm not really a blog or web guy, but it seems like you do online content, marketing, etc. so it may be worth checking out.
Years and years ago I hit the hardware shows, and basically saw new toys, got excited about hardware, and well that was about it. Then I moved into shows where it was more about what you can do with the hardware, more about ideas, methods, and I found them much better and got tons more out of them.
These days its all about ideas and how to harness the latest technologies like the web to move your content in more and more directions. I am constantly amazed by shows that focus on new shiny hardware and then scratch their heads when no one shows up. Hardware info I can get on the web in about 5 minutes. However ideas, inspiration and creative methods are much more valuable to me these days.
If your expo has a keynote about new hardware announcements, thats fine. But if your keynote is a guy who is a "thought leader" well you may get tons more out of it, and be able to apply a much larger percentage of info to your creative career. (Check out the conference TED Talks in iTunes for a convention that will really get you thinking..)
So I would suggest branching off into shows that are not what you would normally attend. Outside your comfort zone even. People may be surprised you are going to these shows, but when you do, you may be even more surprised on the scope of things you learn.
One last suggestion, my benchmark with expos is to always be the dumbest guy in the room, not the smartest. Going to a convention where you are as smart or smarter than the vendors and attendees will be nice, safe, predictable...but not amazing. Going to an expo where you are almost lost in a sea of new info and technology, ideas and new content, most of which you are rapidly trying to catch up with, will be a much more enriching experience. Instead of going to a big convention that basically reaffirms what you already know, go to a show outside the comfort zone that really gets you thinking in new directions.
Franklin McMahon / Host
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