Presidents Annual Report to the ACETA AGM 2018
Once again, the time has arrived to reflect on another year of demonstrable ACETA progress and report on core issues that currently impact the life and well-being of the Australian Commercial Entertainment Technology Association. The financial & intellectual property assets of your peak body have increased significantly over the past year, whilst leadership & administration continues to function in a most fluent and complimentary manner. I believe that current program development is both dynamic and progressive, reflecting the needs of our constituents, and in doing so providing enhanced benefits and potential. Once again, we have experienced outstanding service and support from the administration team at Stockdale ACS, in particular our administration officer Emily Dittman, and the ACETA executive were pleased to renew our administration contract with Stockdale ACS for another year.
Another pleasing aspect of the years activity is the realisation of program balance and the development of benefits for the three entertainment technology sectors constituting our membership, namely manufacturers, manufacturers’ representatives (distributors) and service providers. A number of these issues will come to life at the inaugural convention, one of many productive outcomes could be the institution of industry certification and/or accreditation that identifies those committed to compliant and responsible behaviour including safety and ethical practises and marginalise those who do not care.
Finally, the impact of the inaugural convention remains to be seen, but it needed to be experienced. Whether it becomes a permanent fixture on the industry calendar or is relegated to a distant memory, one thing is certain we had a go and it was made possible by a vast number of generous hours committed by colleagues. Let’s just hope the effort is not in vain.
The Inaugural Industry Convention and the Outcome
Well the effort was not in vain, far from it, and the impact of the inaugural convention no longer remains to be seen. The dust may have settled but the positive energy hasn’t, and the focus now is to build on this momentum. The multitude of convention benefits were clearly obvious to all as reflected in the delegate survey results, where the event achieved an unprecedented 100% satisfaction rating. At the concluding convention plenary, attendees unanimously voted it an annual event on the industry calendar and unanimously agreed it be held next year in Wangaratta. Therefore, the second convention dates have been set for Friday the 3rd through Sunday the 5th of May 2019 with venue and facilities now booked. Whilst we haven’t the space in this forum to enter into detail, we will pick up on the core outcomes.
Feedback indicates that the seminar/workshop program satisfied the needs of attendees in both subject matter and quality, and the post-convention delegate survey endorsed the broad convention focus and format. Input was received that will help streamline next year’s presentation, therefore we have a unified endorsement to progress. Ongoing interaction indicates the convention was effective in delivering both personal and corporate development opportunities. To progress, our industry needs the security only boundaries can provide and it in this regard work has begun on significant new industry wide initiatives such as the implementation of standards, certification and/or accreditation programs. The industry workshops also provided input into the challenges that confront the three distinct sectors, manufacturers, distributors and service provider, providing the type of intelligence and consensus that will manifest in valuable benefits to our constituents.
It would have been difficult to come up with a better setting, the region has much to offer delegates and particularly partners who were able to explore a rural city and its surroundings where attractions are both abundant and diverse. Social activities and networking opportunities were a critical contributor to the overall satisfaction level, there was something for everybody, all events rated highly and will be repeated with one or two alterations next year.
Despite more individuals than ever progressing through the highest forms of education and a so-called heightened age of information and communication, a common theme of the convention would indicate enlightenment is at best nominal. Based on the common threads expressed throughout the various convention forums, we can surmise, that we have a profound industry skills shortage, most organisations are not training staff (particularly middle management) in a personal development sense, and our customers are not equipped with desirable technical knowledge. It is clear we must nurture the next generation of industry leaders, we must find and develop new skill and we must adequately educate our clients. This is a massive issue and one that ACETA will continue to focus on, but it must be recognised and supported by our constituents, as it will require dedicated thought and action.
The convention certainly revealed the challenging times we are living in. Perhaps the single most common sentiment expressed could be summarised as “I thought I was the only one, I thought I was passed it, incompetent, not knowing what to do, I didn’t realise so many are in the same position as me”. It is hard to prioritise the benefit of being together, but it clearly empowers, fells common obstacles, unifies and delivers hope and a future. And before closing, I would make one further observation, I believe there is significant resident stress in our industry (maybe it’s the age we live in), I suspect mild to severe depression is far more common than we realise, much of it undiagnosed. There is no downside to associating, it is a good antidote to stress, providing benefits to you, your company and the industry that sustains us all.
All the best