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SMPTE UK’s Media Technology Conference focuses on transformation and education

The event, held in collaboration with Rise Up Academy, covered topics such as the future of contribution, production, and distribution

This year’s SMPTE UK Media Technology Conference showcased technology, solutions, and educational efforts from across the broadcast industry, and included discussion on how to transform the future of media in a collaborative and sustainable way.

The event, held in collaboration with Rise Up Academy, took place at the end of June.

“The SMPTE Summit in Hollywood is a world-class technology conference, but few people in the UK and European media industry are able to go,” says John Ellerton, chair of SMPTE UK. Ellerton opened the conference along with SMPTE executive director David Grindle and SMPTE UK education director Polly Hickling.

“We wanted to bring the very best of the SMPTE Summit to London and establish the SMPTE UK Media Technology Conference as the conference of the year in the UK to hear about the latest technology across film, production and TV.”

The conference was broken into three main sessions: The Future of Contribution, led by Russell Trafford-Jones, The Future of Production, led by Polly Hickling, and Future of Distribution, led by Yvonne Thomas. Other presentations included IBC Accelerators and The Future of Education, presented by Rise Up Academy.

“The most satisfying part was hearing students say things like ‘I’m studying computer science and never knew I could have a cool career like the people here in the media’ and ‘my favourite talk was from Tim Borer covering holographic light field displays’,” said Hickling. “Hearing that these students were inspired by the content and to potentially join our industry was by far the most satisfying part of delivering this event.”

This year’s conference saw an increase in attendance of 10 per cent compared to 2022, with people from all walks of life, and from ages 16 to 80+.

“The UK Section Technology Conference was a great day of learning and networking,” said SMPTE executive director, David Grindle. “People from across the industry at all levels were learning the latest and refreshing the basics. This kind of gathering is an expression of everything SMPTE means for its members and the team who put it together and presented it are incredible assets to the Society and the Industry.”

“Next year, we want the conference to be bigger – double the number of delegates if we can,” added Ellerton. “We’re thinking about the time of year because we want a lot more students to attend.”