As I write these lines, we are putting the final touches on the upcoming HPA Tech Retreat.  It’s an exciting time as we relocate to a beautiful new venue at the JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort in Palm Desert.  We continually move to improve upon the winning formula of the Tech Retreat, so this year’s event will include loads of new things.  Our program maestro, Mark Schubin highlighted a few of those in last month’s Newsline.  But in the spirit of never having too much of a good thing, I want to hit on some highlights!

On Monday, we are eagerly anticipating this year’s TR-X (as in Tech Retreat eXtra) that’s focused on AI in M&E, a half day foundation on what’s going on in this space.  Yves Bergquist from USC/ETC will deliver our keynote address, setting the record straight on a complicated time for AI and complicated implications of developing technology. We’re thrilled that USC’s ETC will be debuting “AI, a Primer for Entertainment” at TR-X. The rest of the afternoon’s program includes case studies, a look at the potential of AI in the creative process, AI in content intelligence, bleeding edge research and a look to the future.  It’s an impressive program with some of the most compelling speakers on these topics.

Did you know we have snowflakes in the desert?  Sometimes Mother Nature will put on such a display, but I am talking about the SuperSession, the special day we all look forward to during the Tech Retreat.  Not surprisingly, Jerry Pierce and Leon Silverman have organized another fantastic program centered on making the best decisions on workflows based on some real live examples.  I am especially looking forward to the session by the LAPD, who bring an important new perspective to managing petabytes of video content.

Mark Schubin’s three-day program is going to be as intense and as interesting as ever.  There are the traditional updates from CES, Washington legislation, and the broadcast panel, but this year the sessions bring a real focus on all things IMF.  It’s going to be a great opportunity to learn, and a chance to listen to and engage with these industry leading presenters.

There’s much to look forward to in the Innovation Zone, an integral part of the Tech Retreat. Vince Maza, Max Ma and the committee have done an outstanding job of bringing in over 60 participants who will be on hand to highlight their latest and greatest emerging technology, and the Tech Retreat schedule offers plenty of time to visit and explore. Among the innovators presenting the most exciting technological developments in our industry is a group from the HPA IMF User Group who will participate in IMF Central, showing IMF in action crossing various vendors’ technology. New this year will be the People’s Choice Award for IZ technology, to be presented during the Wednesday dinner event.

From early morning to networking time in the evening, your week in Palm Desert will be like camp for the media tech cognoscenti.  I look forward to this event every year and look forward to meeting many of you in just a few short days.

By the way, the Palm Springs Tech Retreat is not the only tech event that we’re planning for 2018.  Following two years of bringing the HPA Tech Retreat to the UK’s Oxfordshire countryside, plans are underway for year 3. We will be sharing exciting news about the UK event during the HPA Tech Retreat next week. Do save the date and plan to attend on 27 June.

See you all in the desert!

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