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Give Me a Reason: Here’s Why You Should Attend Digital Video Expo

By James Careless. 

So you probably know that Digital Video Expo ( 2009 is taking place September 22-22, 2009, at the Pasadena Convention Center in California. And you also know that Digital Video Expo is the biggest event on the West Coast for the production industry — for content professionals who work in film production, television production, advertising, corporate video, event video and web and mobile video. But we want to make sure you knew about the many aspects and components and benefits of the show — what you can see and learn and try at Digital Video Expo, and why it’s worth your investment of time and energy (and possibly travel).

We asked some members of our content creation community about Digital Video Expo — why it’s important for them to attend or participate, and how they think it can benefit you.

James Mathers, Digital Cinema Society
“As a cinematographer and president of the nonprofit educational cooperative Digital Cinema Society (, I am challenged to keep on top of the latest entertainment technology trends,” explains James Mathers.
“By gathering key industry experts and leading manufacturers together at a convenient time and location, Digital Video Expo provides a valuable service that helps me to efficiently stay up-to-date,” he continues. “The people I want to see are at Digital Video Expo, and so is the gear I need to check out, right there and then, available for hands-on demos. I have been attending for many years, and try to never miss this important annual industry event.”

Philip Hodgetts, Intelligent Assistance
“Trade shows like Digital Video Expo are a great way to learn new information and network,” says Philip Hodgett, president of Intelligent Assistance ( Based in Burbank, Intelligent Assistance specializes in assisted editing products and consulting help for NLE workflow, creative effects, streaming and podcasting.
“There’s no real substitute to face-to-face teaching from industry leaders with their carefully-prepared presentations, plus you have the opportunity to interact with the instructors and ask your questions,” Hodgetts says. “These teachers have their pulse on the industry and will be the first to reveal new workflows and ideas as they getting established. Expos and trade shows present a unique opportunity to directly compare camera gear, lighting, or editing and post solutions.
“That’s not the only reason to attend Digital Video Expo,” Hodgetts asserts. “Without a doubt the most important reason to be at a trade show is to network — with vendors on the show floor and with your peers on the show floor or user group meetings, over coffee or in one of the many sessions open to the general public. This is a network-based business and a trade show presents a great opportunity to network.

“Finally, there’s the ‘serendipity factor’,” he concludes. “Serendipity — the art of discovering something wonderful while actually looking for something else — happens at expos and shows because you’re out of your ordinary routine, exposed to new people and new ideas in ways that you just aren’t in the normal day-to-day grind of making a living.”

Jay Holben, Adakin Productions
“The conference sessions at Digital Video Expo are carefully designed to give the attendees the most bang as possible for their buck,” says Holben. He is a director/producer at Adakin Productions in Los Angeles, and Technical Editor of DV magazine.
Holben will be managing seven conference sessions at the expo: “The conference hosts are all knowledgeable, experienced and ready and willing to share,” Holben says. “We try very hard to formulate and organize the sessions for the best results in getting out the most valuable and practical information possible. Professionals and aspiring professionals alike can benefit greatly from the conference sessions and walk away with a wealth of solid information. I’m very proud to participate in Digital Video Expo for my third year and look forward to sharing all the tools and techniques I possibly can.”

Lauren Selman, Reel Green Media
As founder and CEO of Reel Green Media (, Lauren Selman is on a mission to reduce the entertainment industry’s impact on the environment. And when you ask her why she’s attending Digital Video Expo — in fact, Selman is even giving a presentation here on “going green” in video production — she points out the business benefits.
“It is important to attend conferences like Digital Video Expo for multiple reasons,” says Lauren Selman. “One, it connects you to your community. You can meet people, network, find out the latest innovations and trends. Two, it gets you out of yourself and out learning more. The best thing we can do for ourselves and especially in this economy is learn, learn, learn!

“In my presentation series, [which is] about greening, I hope to bring people the knowledge and resources necessary to decrease the environmental impact of their industry,” she continues. “What are the choices that we are making? What are the biggest obstacles? What are our biggest opportunities? The best way for us to know is to talk about it. The solutions to the future of our industry begins in these conversations. It is important [to these sessions], both for our industry and our planet!”

Michael Horton, Los Angeles Final Cut Pro User Group
Michael Horton manages the Los Angeles Final Cut Pro User Group (, and his reason for attending Digital Video Expo is short and sweet: “Online social networks are fine and good up to a point, but where else can you meet total strangers in one setting that not only share the same passion you do but want to learn as much as you do?” Horton asks. “There is no substitute for face-to-face human interaction.”

Paul Holtz, Class on Demand
“There are countless reasons why industry professionals should attend conferences like Digital Video Expo,” says Paul Holtz, Founder & CEO of Class on Demand. He is not only attending Digital Video Expo, but hosting a sessions called “The Art of the Interview.” “As competition continues to tighten in today’s marketplace, staying informed on technological advancements is crucial for the optimization of both skill sets and profit,” Holtz says.
“Digital Video Expo gives cinematographers, editors, producers and videographers alike a variety of educational opportunities, including certification programs and a wide array of industry-focused, information-packed sessions that help strengthen marketability.

“Exposure to new products from a large number of manufacturers is also interesting to see — from both the attendee and exhibitor’s point of view,” he adds. “Learning about the upcoming trends in both hardware and software can improve the workflow of both attendees and exhibitors. I always look forward to discussing business opportunities with my professional peers.

“Industry professionals should also take advantage of the immense networking opportunities that exist at conventions like Digital Video Expo,” Holtz concludes. “Interaction with prominent keynotes and top-tier organizations can open doors to a variety of networking opportunities.”

Jessica Sitomer, The Greenlight Coach
A veteran career coach who specializes in the entertainment industry, Jessica Sitomer is the “Greenlight Coach.” Her site (, seminars and recently-published book, “And…Action! Powerful, Proven, and Proactive Strategies to Achieve Success in the Entertainment Industry,” are dedicated to helping creative, talented people maximize their potential. “It’s my job to help people succeed in the entertainment industry, and the best way to do that is to get you networking with the right people,” she explains.

“I find the number-one obstacle that most people encounter, is the inability to find the right contacts. Digital Video Expo is designed specifically to educate people on digital content creation. This means that anyone who works in — or may work in — the digital arena needs to attend. This would include producers, directors, camera departments and editors. An expo is the ideal place to find the maximum amount of people in a short period of time to grow your contacts and expand your visibility within the industry.”

“Here’s what I posted on my blog ( after receiving the following question from a director,” Jessica reads. “‘I hear you’re the Keynote speaker at the Digital Video Expo. Very cool! You know I’m a director, should I go?'”
Sitomer responded, “Everyone in the entertainment industry should go! It’s a Digital Video Expo which means, anyone who works directly with digital video, wants to work with someone who works with digital video, and/or wants to meet someone who works with digital video and may know someone you want to meet, must be there.”
Not only will there be “cool techie stuff to check out,” Sitomer continues, “there will be educational programming — including yours truly doing the keynote speech on ‘the business side of the business’ and a breakout room on ‘the keys to success at a networking event.’
“Of course, in my book, the number one reason to attend Digital Video Expo is because it is an opportunity to network with thousands of people. That means that you can potentially add 100 new contacts to your contact list. I’ve been asked the ‘minimum number of people one should know.’ I answer ‘100’ … and you can meet them ALL in 1-3 days! Get your butt to Digital Video Expo!”

Digital Video Expo 2009 takes place September 22-24, 2009, at the Pasadena Convention Center. You can find out more, including how to register, by going to