Happy New Year! In my first newsletter for 2019, I ask for your support - in fact, more support in order to get some growth in Utah's digital entertainment community. BTW - if you don't get our newsletter and would like it in your inbox, please email [email protected].
I hope you had a peaceful and happy holiday and that your New Year's Eve celebration was joyous last night! I wonder if, like me, you find January 1st rather dull? The beginning of the new year is a bit like a Monday morning in that everything lies ahead and still has to be done. And like a Monday morning, January makes it hard to take those first few steps. But UDEN is here to help you kick it into high gear!
For UDEN, 2019 will be another year of helping forge our community for the creators of digital entertainment. It's a long road and both you and we need to step-up our pace this year. Bottom line, if you like living and working in digital entertainment in Utah, we have to grow this sector. It won't happen unless we work together, put in the effort, sacrifice whatever contribution you can afford (whether time or money). Together we can build an ecosystem that can be profitable and ensure jobs for all in the long term.
Many people in our sector don't think UDEN has anything to do with them. Why? We hear "I'm in a job and I don't need you". Or "I don't have time". We hear that UDEN is "just about business" or "just for the games industry" or "just for the film business". Yet these are the same people we see when their studio closes; they come to us for advice and contacts to help get their next job. After they get that job? Back to the excuses again. This is short-sighted; the truth is that a lack of growth makes it hard to find a new job when you need one, so great talent ends up leaving the state even though they would prefer to stay here. Less talent means smaller growth and so we end-up in a downward spiral.
We need YOU to help us change that mindset, dare I say, change the culture of this sector and thinking of our colleagues, to enable us to grow digital entertainment in Utah.
This year UDEN plans to:
- encourage more collaborations (through more frequent networking events);
- expand the community (we aim to take our meetings to more locations in the State);
- continue to share knowledge and expertise (at our meetings and by supporting other related groups);
- advocate for our community (including gathering more data about who we are and where we are);
- start an ambitious apprenticeship program (we have our first partner company identified, now we just need funds);
- fund at least one staff member (through donations, sponsorships and the apprenticeship program).
That's a lot and we'll need your help. Our ask of you, the UDEN community in 2019 is simple: do as many of the following as you can:
- SUPPORT. Make sure to attend our meetings. Also, did you know there are more than 50 other groups specializing in digital entertainment in Utah? Find the one or two most useful to you personally and support them also! Most of them post on our events pages www.utahden.org/upevents
- HELP YOUR FRIENDS. Encourage your colleagues and other people you know in the industry to join UDEN (at the website - www.utahden.org/join_here).
- ADVOCATE. Bring other people to UDEN meetings, tell them why YOU believe and how this is in your collective interest.
- SUPPORT LOCAL, HIRE LOCAL whenever you can. By insourcing in the state, we support each other and it will make a huge difference to our ecosystem. If this isn't your job, talk to whoever in your organization does. We can help make connections for their needs.
- BE UTAH PROUD. If you talk to the media about your work, remember to also tell them you're a Utah digital entertainment company. (When was the last time you saw or heard that?). Tell them Utah is a great place to live and work. Tell the world about the great talent and digital entertainment community we have here. Make it personal - tell them why you're here. Share your passion. Again, if this isn't something you do directly, get your company to start doing this.
- SHARE UDEN's social posts to YOUR networks, whether large or small, it all helps. Twitter, Instagram, Facebook. Please also tag your posts #UDEN and @UtahDen
- VOLUNTEER. If you can spare an hour or two a month, please get in contact. [email protected]
- DONATE. We're a non-profit run by volunteers and every penny helps keep our activities FREE for members. www.utahden.org/donate
UDEN's directors, advisory board and volunteers are not giving up on digital entertainment in Utah and we're ready for another year of trying to build something meaningful. I hope you'll join us and make supporting UDEN one of your resolutions for 2019.
Let's do this!
The Events page on the UDEN website always has lists of upcoming events that are of interest to our community; it's a great way to meet others in our industry, give back by sharing your expertise as well as learn new skills. REMEMBER: if you have an upcoming event you would like to share with UDEN members, you can add it at our website for free!
Here is to a great start to a great New Year!
ON BEHALF OF TEAM UDEN
- Jon Dean
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