Friends with Benefits!

Happy April! This month we ask what else UDEN can do for you - how useful, for example, would a benefits package be? And would you be prepared to pay for such services?  We also announce the details for UDEN #22 and have an offer of booth space at Salt Lake Gaming Con.

Read on!

Let me begin by asking the question – what do you want out of UDEN?  Our goal, as you may recall, is to build a community of the creators of digital entertainment and technology in Utah, leading to economic growth for our sector.  No doubt that’s a worthwhile and lofty goal, but what does that mean to you, today, and your needs, tomorrow?  How is UDEN helping?  We’re always trying to think of practical things we can do that will help our community.

Please take a minute to help us by competing this quick survey about additional UDEN benefits that might be of interest to you:

Many of you are contractors, or ‘indies’ and so you don’t usually get the kind of benefits you might get if you were employed in a larger company and if you do, they’ll often be more expensive because you’re not part of a larger group. 

For example, healthcare.  Perhaps with a large enough group, UDEN could provide cost-effective healthcare options to UDEN members at better rates than they can get individually.  This might be especially useful to sole-traders and small businesses, but it might also be useful for people who expect through the course of their career to work in different companies, and for whom a continuous healthcare plan might be preferable.  Would this be something that you would be interested in UDEN investigating?  Would you use such a benefit if we can provide one?  Maybe you already have a healthcare plan that works for you, in which case, perhaps there is no need for a UDEN alternative. To be clear, this needs further research, but before we spend much more time we want to know how many of you would find that useful.

Pension plans. With so many of our group being contractors, planning for retirement might seem impractical, but with enough of us in a group, again, perhaps we have some leverage.  Throughout the course of your career, perhaps having one plan, rather than multiple different ones through different companies might be beneficial for you.  Would this interest you?

Discounts on goods and services. We manage to arrange these from time to time, but are these of any value to you?  Are there any specific ideas you have in this regard that we could investigate?

Other services. Are there other things that you think UDEN should be focused on in addition to what we’re doing, or that might have more value to you than those we are already providing?  Maybe a website feature?  Some other service?

Membership fee.  We’re a free service for the community run by volunteers, and we are happy that way!  However, if that’s not providing what you need and there is demand for more valuable services, we may need to introduce a membership fee to fund a staff member. Would you be willing to pay such a fee for increased benefits?

I’m sure you have thoughts on all of the above and we would love to hear them, so please let us know what you think by completing the quick survey 

Also, if you are in the healthcare or pensions business and would like to help our research, please do get in touch [email protected].  Likewise, if you would be willing to offer services or products at a discount to UDEN members, we would like to hear from you too!

UDEN #22 DETAILS - Get Tickets ASAP!

We have been teasing recently about our plans for the next UDEN networking event – we can finally reveal that we’ll be holding the event at WildWorks in Draper, one of the oldest and most successful Utah video game studios.  WildWorks are the creators of the massively popular, award-winning online playground Animal Jam and the 2017 winner of Google's Best App for Kids award: Animal Jam - Play Wild!  With a focus on purposeful games that educate and delight, WildWorks has a proven track record of growing hyper-engaged and loyal young audiences where kids make new friends and learn about environmental science. 


The keynote for the evening is from UDEN co-founder and WildWorks' CEO, Clark Stacey.  He will share the remarkable journey that the company has been on, from small indie studio to taking on and beating Disney in this space; about collaborations with major partners such as National Geographic; creating and marketing a global brand; getting into the toy business; expanding with a studio in Europe - and so much more!  It's a fascinating story about smart, passionate people, determination and drive. 

Of course we'll have our usual terrific networking opportunities later in the evening, where you can mix and mingle with the best and brightest of Utah's creators of entertainment and technology.  Be prepared to come with your business cards and find your next great collaborator, client or contractor!

Plus WildWorks will be happy to give you a tour of their new state-of-the-art Draper studio.

You really don't want to miss this! Register today as space is filling up fast! Full details here:

We're still looking for a food sponsor for the evening -- if you would like to help or know someone that can, please get in touch [email protected]


If you are an indie game developer, streamer, film maker, podcaster, board game creator, if you create arts, crafts or other entertainment and you would like to get feedback from real consumers, why not take a booth at this year’s Salt Lake Gaming Con? It's now one of the top 10 in the nation; it’s huge and will be held at the end of June at the Salt Palace, downtown Salt Lake City.  They’re offering UDEN members a booth on the showfloor at cost, just $250. 


Email them at [email protected].  Full details about the show here: Let them know UDEN put you in touch!



Many terrific events coming up in the month of April and you can find the best of them on the UDEN website events page!  Please do check them out - here:  

REMEMBER: if you have an upcoming event you would like to share with UDEN members, you can add it to our website for FREE on the same page!

upevents_apr19.jpg...and many more!

From all of us at UDEN, our thanks for your continued support,

     - Jon Dean

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