Happy March! We hope this note finds you well! Lots to feel excited about this month: the Lightspark Media Summit starts in SLC today, the 90th Academy Awards is on Sunday and mid-month will be the annual Game Developers Conference as the digital entertainment sector gets into full swing.
We often talk about the film industry, or the games industry in Utah - but is there such a thing? Is it helpful to use that terminology? This month we discuss that, plus continue our theme of business development and our trade mission.
Are we an industry in Utah?
What we do have is a lot of very talented individuals and companies that provide services to industries that have their centers elsewhere. Indeed, Utah's role in film and games is so well hidden that it's almost a secret, which results in few people in the industry looking to Utah to find the very thing we can offer and do really well. So much of this is about business development: creative and technical people tend not to be the best at it, nor do they prioritize it. As a result, we wait for business to find us, or look to the taxpayer to provide a little buffer.
What can you do? Here are some suggestions; we would love to hear yours:
- Hire local. So many digital entertainment projects rely on a flexible workforce - i.e. hiring contractors. You can help by hiring people who live in the state whenever you can. Perhaps you will pay a small premium for this - but you will be helping to build a healthily ecosystem here. Can’t find the right talent? Please get in contact with us. Info@utahden.org. Post job openings on our website. Perhaps you won't find what you want but at least make the effort each time you have a need
- Promote your services to the globe, don’t wait for the work to find you. Consider attending trade shows, placing ads, getting attention via social media and similar channels. Promote your services and promote Utah digital entertainment at the same time. Don’t know how to? Collaborate with us on our trade missions this year (see below); we'll be attending trade shows, telling the world about our members and their services. We can make it easy for you - get in touch and we will tell you how Info@utahden.org
- Join UDEN and support our initiatives. Come to our meetings and hear from the experts on a wide range of topics, including business development. Volunteer some time. Help shape the future of the digital entertainment sector in Utah
Next UDEN Meeting
We're planning an entire week of activities focused on digital entertainment, including our next membership meeting, at which we plan to have an expert presenter explain how to use social media effectively as part of your business development strategy.
UDEN TRADE MISSION
UDEN plans to attend a handful of relevant trade shows this year outside the state, exhibiting under the UDEN umbrella. There are two reasons for this:
- Put Utah digital entertainment on the map! Let the world (outside the state!) know that we have a vibrant community of creators of digital content and technology; and
- Business development for our sector -- share details of the services offered by UDEN member companies and individuals
Now we need your feedback: we're looking for sponsors and participants. Which trade shows would be most valuable for you? Would you be prepared to pay a contribution towards the cost? Please let us know what you think by answering our poll, here: http://utahden.org/trademission. If we get enough support, we’ll figure out next steps and update you!
WHAT ARE YOU UP TO? TELL US!
We're in the entertainment industry, right? So let's share news and updates about what we're all up to in our community! We have added a 'Product Announcements' page to the UDEN website, where you can go and add whatever news and announcements you would like to share with the community and the World! Maybe you have come across some interesting data about our industry - share it on this page too!
Jump right in here: http://utahden.org/prodann
Today and tomorrow - Lightspark Media Summit
Last minute onsite registration available early today: Join fellow digital artists, musicians, directors, producers, actors, businesspeople, students, and attorneys to explore emerging trends in the film/TV, music, social media, AR/VR, and gaming industries.
Sundance has you wanting to see even more movies, right? Well, this month you can find terrific, engaging independent film showtimes all across the state including Mr. Frog and Hidden Figures! The wonderful Utah Film Center maintain a great list here: https://www.facebook.com/pg/UtahFilmCenter/events/
Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays – Entrepreneur Launch Pad
The Entrepreneur Launch Pad (ELP) helps startups and small businesses on the Wasatch front. Free mentoring, education, resources for growth. These meetings in Sandy, Kaysville, and Orem. More info here:
- Sandy: https://www.facebook.com/SaltLakeValleyEntrepreneurLaunchPad/
- Kaysville: https://www.facebook.com/groups/241120856036211/
- Orem: https://www.meetup.com/Utah-County-Entrepreneur-Launch-Pad-Meetup/
GAME - GamesIndustry.biz maintain a comprehensive list of upcoming events for the gaming industry, here: http://www.gamesindustry.biz/network/events
FILM - Our partners at the Utah Film Commission have an events calendar, here: https://film.utah.gov/event-calendar/
TECH - You can find an interesting, wide variety of tech-related events at our good friends Silicon Slopes' events page here: https://nvite.com/community/siliconslopes
VR/AR - The VR/AR Association maintain a growing list of events relevant for those involved in the creation of VR and AR, here: http://www.thevrara.com/events/
GAMES - the Utah Games Guild maintain a calendar of local events here: https://www.google.com/calendar/embed?src=v468q15oiiqtdu7dmfcs5l9ui8%40group.calendar.google.com&ctz=America/Denver
REMEMBER: if you have an upcoming event you would like to share with UDEN members, you can add it to our website for FREE here: http://utahden.org/upevents
From all of us at UDEN, our thanks for your continued support,
ON BEHALF OF TEAM UDEN
- Jon Dean