Just returned from the NAB show in Las Vegas. NAB is the National Association of Broadcasters and every year they put on a show where 100,000 plus attendees come together to share information, exhibit new products and network. Quite simply it is one of the biggest shows of its kind – it’s also an overwhelming experience.
The trade show in and of itself is 5 buildings of everything from cameras, to software to satellite dish equipped hummers for network news teams to embed themselves in war zones. While an amazing display of toys and tools, if you don’t have a plan or a mission with what you want to check out – you’ll be lost.
But the draw for me is that it is the gathering of some of the biggest and brightest minds in the communications business. There’s a host of training sessions and niche sessions for engineers, animators, DP’s, editors etc. And then there are the Super Sessions which I like to attend. These sessions are basically discussions and interviews with some of the movers and the shakers in the biz. One session had a back and forth dialog with the CEO of Adobe and the CTO (chief technology officer) of Disney about a new partnership venture. Another session was with Indie filmmakers, another with the DP of the TV show 24 and another session was with Malcolm Gladwell, author of “The Tipping Point”. It’s an interactive experience with the panelists, the moderators and the audience and a clear example of the benefits of sharing and disseminating knowledge.
And then there’s the random conversations that I found myself having with Hollywood producers and heads of major manufacturing companies when sharing a table in the cafeteria.
But at the end of the day, what resonated most and surfaced amongst all the packaging and fizz was that everyone was fixed on ideas, content and the story. Essentially beyond the trends and the hype – all agree that storytelling is still key and paramount to the success of any content created.
It’s easy to get sidetracked and distracted by all the toys and lose focus on the message. As a “means to an end” type of person I try to keep in mind what it is I am trying to communicate and pick the tool that does that best.