Wall Street Communications’ Sunny Branson attended SMPTE 2019, and she was impressed! She shared a few of her thoughts on the show ….

The highlight of the show for me was the NASA and AWS workflow test. The audience was able to view an interview, streamed live, with the astronauts 250 miles above the earth! From the press release: “The test took place during a special SMPTE program honoring the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, and supported a special live interview with NASA Astronauts Christina Koch, Jessica Meir, and Andrew Morgan located 250 miles above Earth aboard the International Space Station and two NASA colleagues presenting at SMPTE 2019 in Los Angeles.”

I saw so many familiar faces — and met some amazing people. We had about 20 press members there, and my role at the show was press liaison for SMPTE and speakers at the show. I helped to schedule interviews with speakers, awards winners, and SMPTE staff and volunteers. During an interview with Rodney Grubbs, the Imagery Experts Program Manager for NASA, he talked about some of the imaging programs they are working on for 2024. I couldn’t believe I was in the room where these conversations were happening!

The sponsored “happy hours” each day were held in the back of the exhibits hall. (SMPTE’s strategy was to draw people in to walk by all the exhibits, and it seemed to work!) The events were fun, and they gave me — and many others — the chance to catch up with old friends and make some new connections.

I also loved the Storytellers element of the show. This was SMPTE’s second year doing these events, which mimic Ted Talks.  Here’s an overview that IBC365 did: https://www.ibc.org/create-and-produce/smpte-focusses-on-storytellers-at-2019-conference/5111.article

My favorite of the Storytellers was “Moving Expectations Forward” by Jeffrey Shapiro. It was about diversity and inclusion for those with autism. Jeffrey runs Exceptional Minds, an organization training, employing, and helping those with autism become self-sufficient. I asked “With autism covering such a large spectrum, how do you decide who to bring into the program?” The answer was … they take them all. Anyone diagnosed with autism is eligible. Such an amazing organization.

SMPTE was able to secure Steve Wozniak to present the newly elevated SMPTE Fellows during the Awards Gala. We did a press release announcing this, and his PR team warned me not to send it over the wire nor to any celebrity publications. It was the first time in my career that I was warned we might have a mob on our hands. We arranged for extra security.

Science comedian Kasha Patel hosted the awards gala. I really like her humor. She uses science to analyze her jokes and presents it on an Excel spreadsheet. If you have a few minutes, this 8-minute video is worth watching: https://2019.smpte.org/home/gala