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NAB Recap Blog Post

May 1, 2023

The 2023 NAB Show wrapped up recently, and SMPTE left a lasting impression with everyone in attendance. From the moment participants entered the event, they were greeted with the iconic SMPTE color bars decorating the space from top to bottom. This good omen was followed by days of engaging conversations, dynamic presentations, a refreshed spirit of collaboration.

SMPTE hosted several presentations and sessions, the largest of which occurred on the first day of the conference. The Future of Cinema, led by current SMPTE President Renard T. Jenkins and Education Vice-President Michael Zink, was an all-day affair that began with a speech from Jenkins, who later gave the keynote address that kicked off NAB. Jenkins stated, “Opening the NAB conference and reconnecting with so many members in person was great.” Jenkins has been a pillar for SMPTE since he was elected, advocating for change in the society and the industry as a whole. “Having two young engineers bump into me on the trek between West and North Hall to tell me that they are joining SMPTE because of me was a bit humbling and surreal. I had to take a moment to let that sink in.”

Jenkins and other SMPTE leaders were thrilled with how well attended Future of Cinema and other sessions were. SMPTE Student perspectives on virtual production workflow, production opportunities in the cloud, and updates regarding SMPTE’s Rapid Industry Solutions initiative during the IP Showcase encouraged in-depth conversations about the issues facing the industry, as well as possible solutions for said issues. “There was a lot of interaction with everyone regarding new educational opportunities,” said Maja Davidovic, SMPTE’s Director of Education. “There was a lot of support for training and certification programs to be added to SMPTE, especially considering the shortage of engineering talent currently facing the industry.”

The SMPTE for a Change campaign also received a lot of attention. DEI efforts are a top priority for the organization, and SMPTE voices were ever-present in these conversations. Dr. Michele Wright, Ph.D. was an especially vibrant and welcoming presence, participating in the “For a Bright Future” breakfast roundtable, taping an interview with Goran Nastic about her position on the judges panel for the Cable and Satellite International Awards, and expanding SMPTE’s international presence. It was an exciting chance to share SMPTE’s past and plans for the future. As Dr. Wright often says, “The best is yet to come.”

That sentiment was felt far and wide at the conference. “Traffic at our booth was robust with people renewing membership, asking about Standards and RIS, as well as new folks learning about SMPTE,” said Executive Director, David Grindle. “We met folks from small and large broadcast stations from Alaska to South Carolina, many of whom said our training got them through the pandemic and has made them stronger. We also met new people from Nigeria, Ghana, Guyana, India, France, and Latin American press. It was also great to see many of our members from around the world.”

Overall, the 2023 NAB Show was a great success for SMPTE, industry leaders, and the engineering field. From start to finish, SMPTE made it known that it was still an innovative force in the film, television, and media world. Our members and leaders were honored to be part of so many floor sessions, participate in award ceremonies, and cement a future for both current industry members and the new engineers and technologists who will transform film and television as we know it.

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