Everyone knows about NAB. Some people know about Avid Connect, but it’s surprising how often I speak with people in our industry who don’t grasp that they’re part of the same business trip. Or even if they do, they just don’t consider Avid Connect to be a “thing”.
I’m not here to give you a sales pitch. I just want you to understand what happens at Avid Connect from the point of view of a simple craft editor.
Connect is like a mini-NAB just for Avid users. I’ve been to a few so far. Every year is different. Sure, you can glimpse their new products and chat with third-party vendors, but many editors, sound designers and engineers say “Why bother when I can see all that for free on websites?” Many others don’t see the urgency because purchasing new hardware isn’t in their budget this year.
That’s fine, I understand. But that’s not why I go, here’s why I go:
1. Access to Avid
Every year, I arrive in Vegas on the Thursday or Friday before NAB. While that seems crazy for many people, here’s why. From Friday through Sunday, actual Avid staffers are everywhere. These are the people who create, update and feature-add to the software I use every day. They’re not just standing in a room, giving lofty speeches about workflows or Avid sales pitches. They’re meeting you (yes you), one-on-one, during sessions, in the hallways, at a table for coffee, or even over drinks at Connect’s evening events. They’re at Connect to answer questions – your questions.
This is especially true recently. Since Jeff Rosica became President, there was a noticeable increase in Avid’s desire for transparency. They began communicating directly with everyone. He was also appointed CEO recently, and immediately afterwards I saw an even greater push for communication with all users. I’m a Media Composer power-user, and it is becoming obvious that Avid wants to take a product like Media Composer and keep it relevant. After 2017’s Facebook Live event at KeyCode Media discussing Media Composer, they stated, “…we came back energized to work harder to infuse the application with the needed changes.”
2. Peer-Led Sessions
If you go to NAB, you know that getting a full pass to Post|Production World is an additional cost of about $1,300. Of course, the Avid Connect sessions are smaller, but then so is the cost of admission ($495 before the end of March).
By peer-led, it means these are not sessions run by people trying to sell you a piece of hardware. You’ll find editors (including numerous ACE editors) and assistant editors discussing their workflows. You’ll find sound designers on Pro Tools workflows. You’ll find CEOs presenting workflows to the latest technology, and college professors giving crash courses in Avid workflows. Here’s the full list of peer-led sessions, and every year there are more.
Notice the common word above? Workflows. I learned more about Avid-specific workflows in the short time at each year’s Connect than I did all year long, hunting and pecking for things online.
And what’s the most fun about it? You’ve been to three days of intensive learning sessions before everyone else. That Sunday night, go hang with other craft editors at the Blue Collar Post Collective meetup. Hang with other like-minded #postchat friends. The following Monday, go to the Avid booth at NAB and waive to the same people you’ve spent all weekend with. While everyone else is just catching up, you’re on the showroom floor investigating everything you’ve been thinking about since Friday.
In short, Connect is the ultimate Avid user’s group.
Oh… and you might even get to meet Marianna!
I’ll be there this year. Hope to see you. Seriously, just stop me in the hallway and start talking. Ask questions. Because silence is a wasted plane ride.