Geeking Out!

There was an awful lot going on this past Wed-Sat! Folks in costume*, eager fans lining up for panels, staying out late, drinking, joking, comparing originals to sequels, flipping out over sneak peeks of coming attractions, vying for the most awesome swag and everyone sharing a common love of one thing…. Theatrical Lighting Controls.


You totally thought I was talking about San Diego Comic Con didn’t you?


Last week Electronic Theater Controls (ETC) hosted its bi-annual Workshop event for reps and dealers of their top of the line products from across the country and it was awesome.

Why have a help desk when you can have a Lucy Help Desk instead?

I’m a veteran of SDCC (and many other comic and pop culture cons), but this was my first Workshop and I was totally (and happily) caught off-guard by how much like a fan convention in style and execution it was.

Sleeping in-line for a panel… just like SDCC!

We arrived and picked up our badges and overstuffed swag bags, then checked the panel schedule and AWESOME newsletter detailing the events of the week and featuring (I kid you not) facts about Chuck Norris. Does Chuck Norris have ANYTHING to do with lighting controls? Other than being able to call light cues simply by staring at a console and daring it to execute, no. But anything is more awesome with Chuck Norris and ETC knows and understands this. There was even a crossword puzzle that you could complete for even MORE swag. (The swag at this event was seriously sweet).

ETC’s version of a super hero – founder Fred Foster… complete with cape!

Regular readers of my blog here know that I never, ever, EVER talk about my day-job unless it’s to put up a place-holder post explaining that I’m out of town due to work so no real post that week…. This is the first time I’ve decided to give any sort of detail as to the work-a-day world I live in; but ETC got me so damn excited and thrilled me with so much fun this past week in Wisconsin that I had to share it with the world (or at least the six subscribers to my blog).

ETC’s version of w00tstock!

This is a company that gets “it”. That something that separates them from other dry, dusty, self-important manufacturers in the world I work in. They understand that we’re all human beings, and human beings, much like otters, are “friendly critters who’ll do just about anything to have a good time.” Meaning, if you’ve got a group of people whose job it is to be excited about YOUR product you might as well give them a great reason to be excited, and offering a giant celebration where they happen to learn something as opposed to a boring, stifling, average training class is definitely the way to go.

ETC’s version of “Hall H”. The dude presenting is a Walt Disney Imagineer.

I cannot wait for the next Workshop to come around!

2 thoughts on “Geeking Out!

  1. So was Chuck Norris the keynote speaker?
    And how complex are lighting controls? More than just on/off/dimmer?

    How many Chuck Norris does it take to change a light bulb?
    None. When Chuck Norris is there, lightbulbs change themselves!

    • No Chuck for a keynote, but that’s ok. Theatrical lighting controls are VERY complex… won’t get into the why’s and how’s here… it would take too long.

      And Chuck Norris knows it’s not a light bulb, it’s a LAMP!

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