Judith Rubin, InPark Magazine Editor
A piece of advice I always give to anyone looking for opportunity is to get involved with an association. This is something to do at any stage of your career. You don’t have to go it alone – there’s an organization for every industry, and likely more than one. And in the attractions sector, which is well served by a number of associations, you absolutely should not go it alone, because it’s an industry built on team culture and your relationships will get you to your next project. In addition, you simply can’t know everything, and things evolve quickly.
Some of the most vital education you will acquire will come through dialogue with your peers at industry gatherings. Our associations (IAAPA,TEA, WWA, InfoComm, Licensing Expo, AAM, IMERSA, IPS, GSCA, MAPIC, and many others) facilitate these gatherings. They deserve our thanks and support for the work they do to bring us together, help us network, share information and develop professionally.
And for what they did – and continue to do – in the course of the pandemic, they deserve ten times the appreciation. At a time when resources were shrinking, uncertainty was growing and business was at a standstill, our associations regrouped. The learning curve was sometimes steep but the tools were available, and they found ways to deliver the services, community and continuity their members needed – including full conferences and trade shows, awards programs and publications. (I experienced this first-hand during my time as a senior staff member at the Themed Entertainment Association.)
We’re still in a hybrid situation now in regard to events. Some in-person gatherings have resumed, but for logistical reasons, a number of events are being brought to us virtually a second time around. Let’s pause now to acknowledge and appreciate those industry organizations that continue to do so much for our enrichment and the growth and betterment of our industry. They should not be taken for granted. Join, participate, sponsor, volunteer: support them as they support you.
IMAGE: Judith Rubin and industry peers at a Themed Entertainment Association event, 2019 (clockwise from top left: Matt Kent, Scenario; Joe Kleiman, InPark Magazine; Cory Rosen, Tippett Studio; Judith Rubin; Lisa Jey Schanley, Technomedia)