The other day I received notification that my MCA-i membership was up for renewal. These days every purchase or expense leads me to evaluate it just a little closer. I wanted to take a moment and consider what value and benefit this membership was to me. So I did a little plus/minus column exercise.
I thought about our local chapter. It is a strong one within the international MCA-i organization. We have a passionate group of people who work diligently at putting together great meetings, writing articles for and working on the website, coordinating meetup group notices about meetings, making sure the finances are in order and organizing ground breaking events like our annual MCA-i MediaProCamp. It’s a healthy and active chapter. So that’s a check in the plus column.
Our industry is changing constantly. We all need continuing education about current technologies and workflows. For a fraction of the cost of a seminar I can get a wealth of information from the presentations given at any meeting. Another plus column check.
The majority of us are independents; so networking is a lifeline to professional survival. And even those of us working for someone else know that our industry is fickle. At every meeting there is the potential of meeting a future client or another media pro who can help me achieve my business/career goals. Check – plus column.
Also, it is helpful to share our experiences in order to get feedback from other professionals. It is quite likely that someone in the room has worked on a project similar to what I’m working on and may have valuable advice or suggestions. Again, plus.
At every meeting I have met someone who has given me insight to some facet of the “business” of media work. Plus column once more.
The chapter website consistently has very informative technical and media production articles. Plus.
OK, I need something in the minus column. I guess for me it’s a bit of a drive to come to Orange County from where I live so I’ll throw a check in the minus column for distance to the meetings. I know for a fact though, that the majority of you live in OC— so you don’t get that minus check!
And here’s one that surprised me. I became more involved in the chapter itself when I became a board member as the chapter secretary and also did things like tape the meetings and help plan events etc. The thing that I really didn’t expect is that while doing these I had a lot of fun and have made some good friends as well as formed some important professional relationships. Plus—x 2!
I don’t think I need to go any further with this exercise - the plus column wins big time. And I was only analyzing the local chapter benefits; I hadn’t even gotten to the networking, product & services discounts and more which come on a national level with MCA-I membership!
So, the renewal check is in the mail. My advice; don’t hesitate to take full advantage of all your membership can do for you and if you really want to multiply the benefits then just approach a board member at the next meeting and tell him or her you’d like to help out and get involved. You will be happy you did.
Mark Alexander, President MCA-I LA/OC Chapter
Alexander Video Productions