So, 160 video coordinators walk into a room...
There are so many jokes that come to mind to finish that sentence; but honestly, after spending a few days recently with the video coordinators at their annual conference, the real way to finish the sentence is... and get right to work.
I've attended the AFCA each of the past 6 years, the DFO's Spring meeting each of the past 5 and I've been to countless other meetings and conventions and I can honestly say that the structure of the CSVA Conference is very effective. The conference runs from Monday late afternoon through Thursday and is designed to allow the attendees the forum to share ideas and and learn how to be both more efficient, and more effective in their role.
Allow me to share some observations:
- By my estimation, over 75% of FBS programs had their video coordinator or an assistant attend.
- Nearly 100 others attended from smaller programs as well.
- Nearly every person there is excited to be there.
- They learn together, share with each other, have excellent speakers & roundtable discussions.
- It is a very open forum and it is not unusual for 10-15 members in the room to speak on any given subject.
Members of the CSVA pay dues but the organization (and the conference in particular) is largely supported by the sponsoring companies. This year, the CSVA had about 20 sponsoring companies attend the conference. Each had a nice display in a modest sized banquet room and was given a few minutes to introduce themselves and to speak about their current product offerings in front of the collective audience. I spoke with a number of the sponsors and the feedback was very positive regarding this conference. The sponsors loved the fact that they were each allowed a few minutes in front of the group and then they really like the fact that during the middle of the conference there is a defined 5 hour block where the video coordinators do not have any other meetings and nearly everyone in attendance spends those five hours in the exhibit room visiting with the sponsors.
Back to the meetings, all 160+ attendees go to nearly every meeting on the agenda, they participate and they talk about real life issues they all face. They actively share ideas and look to help each other. I probably observed 15 different times when one person would walk up to another and say, "Hey let me ask you a question. How do you guys....?" They do it in the meetings and they do it on the their breaks. Oh, and they typically break for dinner on their own; but then almost all of them reconvene later in the evening at the hospitality area. They are all different; but they are all the same; no egos, happy to play the role they have, wish they received more recognition (but aren't whining about it), willing to help each other out, etc...
Their meetings range from hyper technical, to meeting with technical leads from ESPN & Apple to discussing technology, safety & work / life balance and everything in between.
No matter what stage in your career you are in, if this is your field, or if you want to break into this, I'd definitely recommend that you attend next year's conference (Phoenix - May 11-15).