IBC will be taking place in early September, and just like the previous six years, the Creative Pro User Group Network (CPUG Network) are set to put on a SuperMeet. The event is happening on Sunday, Sept 14, 2014 at the Hotel Krasnapolsky in the heart of Amsterdam. Our very own Kevin P. McAuliffe stopped by the most recent Supermeet during NAB and talked through just a few of his experiences. One of his conversations there was only ten minutes, but in his words, “that 10 minute talk made my whole trip.”
These events have been described as the User Group of all User Groups, and they attract people from all corners of the industry. They’re a great place to network with exhibitors, learn about new products that are coming down the pipeline and interact with people you might have only met over email. But those are just a few of the highlights.
To find out more, we spoke with SuperMeet organizers Michael Horton and Daniel Bérubé about how their event has changed and grown, what sort of conversations people get into at these events and what someone who has never been to a SuperMeet can expect to experience in Amsterdam. They also tell us about a special offer available exclusively to PVC readers.
This is going to be the 7th Supermeet at IBC. How has your event changed and grown over the past six years?
The first Amsterdam Supermeet took place in the giant Gashouder, an industrial pillar-less converted gas tank located just outside Amsterdam. At one time it was the largest steel gas tank in the world. A magnificent structure, it was nonetheless too large for a SuperMeet. We had to divide it with large curtains, bring in our own seats and set them up ourselves, bring in our own catering as well as our own A/V. It was a crazy nuts undertaking done entirely by email, Skype and trust and we made a lot of mistakes. That SuperMeet was not one to be proud of, but a heck of a lot of people attended and we learned that Europe really wanted a SuperMeet. So we moved the SuperMeet the following year to the Hotel Krasnapolsky in the heart of Amsterdam. We have been there ever since.
Each year we try our best to present what is cutting edge and what is new. Each year the SuperMeet changes because the world of digital movie making changes. What never changes is storytelling. And most SuperMeets devote time to just the good old fashioned craft of storytelling.
Many folks in the industry describe IBC as “the NAB for Europe”. Do you think that's accurate? How do you describe the show to someone who has never been to it?
Well, quite honestly it IS the European version of NAB. The biggest difference is that more European, Middle Eastern and African companies exhibit at IBC than at NAB. But not that many more. The RAI is much like the Convention Center in Las Vegas. It’s HUGE. Once you get inside it’s hard to tell the difference between NAB and IBC. There have been times when we both look at one another and say, are we back in Vegas?
Someone once said that NAB is where companies announce their products and IBC is where they ship the products. Hard to argue with that. If you have been to NAB you will feel very comfortable at IBC. You will see a lot of familiar companies, in the same familiar booths, see a lot of your friends you made online, and generally have a much better time than you did in Vegas. Why? Because you are in Amsterdam for crying out loud! How cool is that?! Especially if you have never been. Can't begin to tell you how much fun this city is.
One of the big developments in media & entertainment seems to be around consolidation as companies look to make themselves “one stop shops” for various production needs. Is that a trend you’ve noticed as well?
Oh sure. Can’t add much more than what the very smart people in your round table have already said. Except we noticed the trend back in 2000 when tens of thousands of artists joined the digital revolution. The SuperMeet was formed to fill a need for those tens of thousands of people. They came into the industry simply because of the chance to now BE a one stop shop. Before that there was NO chance. All of a sudden we had professional equipment that was affordable. We just didn't know what to do with it and who to go to help us learn. A whole industry of training followed. User Groups popped up all over the world. Companies took notice. And they were forced to adapt or die. Most adapted and some died. And the trend continues. It’s crazy to keep up, but we do keep up and SuperMeets help you to keep up.
What are some other trends and surprises you’ve seen in 2014?
Nothing surprises us really. Not even 4K TVs. Why not 4K TVs for your living room? Maybe they will upscale 1080P better. We’d buy one if that is the case, and when the price comes down.
A big trend now is you can’t go on a set and not see the iPad or cell phone being used in production. It is an essential filmmaking tool. Surprising? Not really. Just look at the filmmaking tools available for them. They are often brilliant and now essential.
Bottom line is a lot of very smart people are coming up with a lot of very affordable solutions to at what one time were spectacularly expensive problems. That’s the trend and has always been the trend. What is expensive and confusing now will be affordable and simpler soon. It’s what works. “Keep it simple and affordable, stupid.”
And I imagine these are the sort of topics you'll be discussing at the Supermeet?
We try. As stated above we try and show what is new and what is essential. Not always the case, but we try. But what is new today is old tomorrow and next year it all changes.
For folks who have never attended, what should they expect to see and experience at the event?
Fun! A SuperMeet is unlike any event you have attended. It is first and foremost a networking event. What you put into it is what you will get out of it. Have the courage to come up to someone and say “Hi my name is” and you are halfway to changing your life. Because it's the people you meet that can and do change your life. But you got to have the courage to say hello.
When you arrive at the SuperMeet you will be greeted by 20 hardware and software vendors who will be showing off their solutions. You can mingle and ask questions in a much more intimate setting than the show floor at IBC. There will be free food and cash bars. Some vendors will have their own raffle and some will be offering big discounts for their software. One of our vendors will even be passing out drink tickets. At 7PM, (19:00) the SuperMeet stage presentations begin and you will see USER driven new solutions to old problems. Rounding out the evening is the “World Famous Raffle where we will give thousands of Euros worth of valuable hardware and software to dozens of lucky people. The raffle is something you have never seen. It is crazy fun.
Maryann Brandon, ACE and Mary Jo Markey, ACE are set to be your keynote speakers, so there’s going to be some Episode VII talk, isn’t there?
Hah! Knowing the iron clad NDA all cast and crew are under for this movie I highly doubt it. In fact we never even spoke about it when we asked them to be our guest. To be honest, we were in shock when they said yes!
We intend to talk about the craft of editing. We hope to show a couple scenes from movies they have cut and talk about their process. From that we assume you will be able to tell how they will approach the new Star Wars movie.
One thing we CAN tell you is these are two very articulate women who know their craft well, who are good at what they do and are an absolute delight to be around. And it is for those reasons we will give ample time to the audience to ask Maryann and Mary Jo questions. This will not be a boring talking heads interview on stage. We want you the audience to get involved. Just don’t ask questions about the plot of Star Wars: Episode VII.
What's the best way/time to sign-up for the Supermeet?
Very easy. We actually have a discount code just for PVC readers. By clicking this link, you'll be able to save €5.00 off GENERAL ADMISSION tickets. You can also click the banner below and be taken to the page which has the discounted price.
Tickets are on sale online only and you can find more info at http://supermeet.com. And tell a friend. This is going to be one hell of a show that we promise!