Over the course of my years with SMPTE, I’ve enjoyed visiting many of our Sections during their meetings. I love that each Section has its own culture, based on what part of the industry is more prevalent. Hollywood has the obvious connection with motion picture studios, while Hong Kong seems to pay closer attention to the broadcast side of things. San Francisco leans heavily toward new media, and the U.K. represents a microcosm of the global media technology ecosystem. Each Section does a great job in catering to the needs of the local audience.
Sometimes things change, and Sections fade away. This is often because an enthusiastic volunteer decides to step down, leaving a void that is difficult to fill. Today, we have gaps that we would love to fill in our Central Texas, Germany, Nordic, and Nashville Sections. So, if you are reading this and want to bring SMPTE to life in a quiet location, please reach out!
This dreadful pandemic has demonstrated the resilience of the Sections. They pivoted very quickly to delivering core content using virtual event tools. Suddenly, local needs are open to the global SMPTE audience! Rocky Mountain, Chicago, Hong Kong, Hollywood, and New York all held Section meetings virtually the same week in January, available to anyone. All in all, the Sections delivered more than 40 virtual events in 2020. This is an amazing community of dedicated volunteers sharing their knowledge.
I am delighted also to share that the cooperation between the Sections and our home office team is stronger than ever. With our new website, the Sections are now better equipped to manage their websites; we are linking them to the e-mail platform and helping with event platform services. These tools allow the Sections to concentrate on what they do best—delivering excellent content—and the staff team can support their endeavors with our partnership. The cooperation also enables us to coordinate programming to share across the SMPTE community. It is a win–win situation.
SMPTE survives because of the generosity of volunteers across the spectrum of the Society’s activities. Our local Section leaders are the ones closest to the needs of our membership. We are grateful to all of our Section volunteers.