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Town Meetings Impress Californians
March 04, 2002

San Diego, CA - By hosting two WEVA Town Meetings within days of each other, California is the only state to hold that distinction. And the educational environment, along with the networking time, made these two Town Meetings incredible successes.

WEVA's week in California started with the San Jose Town Meeting. Held at a Marriott hotel just minutes from the San Jose airport, nearly 300 videographers came from all over Northern California, as well as Nevada, Oregon, and Washington state for the day-long program. The Featured Presenter, Tim Sudall, from Philadelphia, is a relative newcomer to the national spotlight. Well, it certainly didn't seem that way, as a near-capacity crowd filled his afternoon workshop. Tim Sudall's ideas for successful marketing were a hit with the audience (and a piece of his advice will be available shortly on WEVA-TV's streaming video clips).

Canopus, with their US headquarters nearby, had another hugely successful classroom session. In fact, all of the Sponsor's drew enthusiastic videographers to their informational displays. Sony brought the DSR-370 for the Sponsor's Reception. Panasonic's new all-digital camera line-up, as well as its related hardware, found a receptive audience. Moore Digital was again able to demonstrate why they are the leader in out-sourced DVD services.

At the Town Meeting itself, many 2001 Creative Excellence Award-winning videos were reviewed. Local videographers like Tim Zahoory and Mark Shepherd offered short programs during the evening, with Shepherd helping Zahoory in a pre-recorded comical routine. Tim Sudall also presented new information in successful marketing strategies.

After such warm welcome in Northern California, the WEVA Town Meeting moved south, this time to San Diego. Having hosted Expo in 1996, San Diego was no stranger to WEVA events. The Mission Valley Marriott turned out to be a wonderful and convenient location for videographers, as over 300 came to the Town Meeting.

Art Polin, the Featured Presenter, is a popular and well-known presenter. Although winter weather in the east made Polin's travel difficult, he still delivered his usual outstanding performance, to a crowd that filled the room to capacity.

Canopus had an amazing turnout for their daytime rpogram, as attendees spilled out from the room, into the hallway, just to gain some insights into their products. All of the Sponsor's were struck by how long a line of videographers existed just before the doors to the Sponsor's Reception opened. Easily the largest crowd (other than New York) of attendees were eager to go hands-on with the latest products from Sony and Panasonic, and Moore Digital also reported a wonderful response from the Southern California audience.

At every Town Meeting, a tape produced by WEVA's 9/11 committee is played. In part, it's to show how WEVA members responded to the tragedy, but it's also to show how videographers can give back to their communities. Another example of this was found in San Diego. As a way of assisting the family of a then-missing child, local veteran videographer Tom Jensen produced an extraordinarily moving video/photo montage that had been played on TV everywhere. Just a brief bit was played at the Town Meeting, and it turned into quite an emotional moment.

No fewer than six Local Videographers associations were represented at the San Diego Town Meeting. At every Town Meeting, the important way that Local Assocations help continue the education that starts with the WEVA Expo is stressed. The value that Local Association leaders put in these Town Meetings is evident by how many attend in each city.

With only a brief respite, the Town Meeting Tour continues on March 11, with another expectedly large crowd already registered for the Chicago meeting. The Indianapolis Town Meeting is set for March 14, then it's off to Detroit/Troy on March 18. As those three cities aren't all that far apart, many videographers report registering for for the Town Meeting workshops in more than one city.

Chicago, Indianapolis, and Detroit offer the final chances to attend WEVA workshops until the Expo, August 26-29. As always, more details are available through weva.com.

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