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10 Reasons to go to Industry Events

It’s 2016, and time to break into the film industry (or to renew your enthusiasm for it). Film conferences, exhibitions, trade shows and conventions are a great way to meet the right people, learn the right stuff, and stay ahead of the curve.

Not convinced? Read below for the shows Optical Support will be attending this month, plus 10 reasons why you need to be getting out there if you want to compete with the best:

1. Don’t get left behind

By attending the latest industry conferences, you can ensure you’re on the cutting edge of equipment and technique. It’s a great way to guarantee your style won’t become outdated or tired.

These events give you the chance to see what other people are doing in your field: learn from their skills. No-one ever got brilliant in a vacuum.

2. Meet your employers

Everyone is at industry events. Regardless of your skill level or field, it’s likely your future prospective employer is in the same room as you. Get to know everyone, listen hard. If they remember you, you’ll be the first person they call for that entry-level position.

3. Meet your collaborators

Similarly, meet those people that differ in skills to you. A film isn’t made solely by Steadicam operators, no more than it’s made solely by editors, focus technicians, directors or actors. Branch out, make friends, get to know what other people are working on. You might be the missing piece of their puzzle.

4. Social Events

Not to be ignored are the fantastic parties and awards ceremonies that accompany many conferences. A great chance to cement your new relationships with potential employers and collaborators. After all, you’ll be working with them for a long time to come.

5. Raise your profile

Meeting all these people has another great benefit: raising your profile. The more people who know you and your work, the more value your work has attached to it. Add everyone to your professional social networks, share your demo reels. Be shameless, you’re your best agent.

6. Learn from the experts

The best resources from industry conferences come in the form of brilliantly put together panels, workshops and seminars. Getting to see the experts discuss innovations in your field is both inspiring and informative. It’s the most solid advice you’re going to get, especially early in your career, so lap it up and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

7. Try the latest equipment

This January, Optical Support will be allowing visitors to trial the new Flowcine xArm at the BSC Expo. Similarly, other manufacturers will be demonstrating their latest and most innovative products at trade shows throughout the year. Stay ahead of the curve by getting to grips with the latest tech before its release.

8. Buy the latest equipment (at the best prices)

Manufacturers frequently use conventions to unveil their latest products, and will often give a discount for buying them on launch at the show. If you have the budget, this is a great way for established filmmakers and crew to stay up-to-date and slightly less light in the wallet.

9. Free stuff!

For those of you just starting out in your career, you’ll be pleased to hear that those exhibiting at trade shows are totally happy to give you loads of free stuff. Short of t-shirts, pens, keyrings or tote bags? Get yourself down to a convention!

10. Travel

From BSC Expo in London, to NAB show in Nevada: theoretically you could travel the world going from conference to convention to trade show to seminar. The sky, and your bank account, are the only limits!

Seriously though, if you’re not from London, get yourself down to the SWPP or BSC Expo, and enjoy a day out in the big city too.

Optical Support will be at SWPP and BSC Expo this January. SWPP will run from 20-24 Jan, with the trade show running from 22-24. The BSC Expo will run from 29-30 Jan. We’ll be trialling new equipment, giving tutorials and advice, and unveiling new products. There are some brilliant masterclasses and workshops lined up, so if you’re waiting to break into the industry, 2016 could be your year!

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