4 Jun 2019

ACETA Convention 2019


ACETA Convention 2019

Here’s what ACETA can do for you.

by Jason Allen.


The second annual ACETA Convention ran in Wangaratta, VIC, on the weekend of 3 to 5 May. The case for a strong peak body for our industry cannot be overstated. Here’s why it’s important.


Travelling up the Hume to Wangaratta for the ACETA Convention I was contemplating what I get out of participating. Presenting two workshops, I get to share my experience at the coal-face of media to help members negotiate their way in a shifting landscape, which I find rewarding.

I’ve given my entire working life to this industry, and I want to see all parts of it succeed. If my contribution helps someone to market more effectively and increase their bottom line, great.


I also get to spend some social time with the members, who distinguish themselves within our ranks by proving with their presence alone that they care about the rest of the industry, not just themselves. These are the kind of people I want to talk to.

I also get an amazing sense of what we could achieve together, which after returning back to the normal working week, turns into frustration. In the ill-advised words of one of the worst marketing campaigns in Australian history – where the bloody hell are ya?

The 2019 Convention was well attended, but didn’t grow from 2018, partially due to some notable illnesses (wishing you a speedy recovery, David Bell), but mainly due to the same hard-core of dedicated people being involved with no significant increase in membership.

ACETA will only be truly effective as an industry peak body if its membership increases dramatically, and the lighting and AV sectors are still largely unrepresented.

So, why should you join ACETA and participate in its workings anyway?

The most compelling argument is enlightened self-interest. A powerful industry body can offer tangible financial benefits to its members.

Here’s an obvious one – freight costs. How much does your business spend on moving things around the country? What kind of rates do you get from your freight company?

Now, imagine if every importer, manufacturer, distributor, wholesaler, integrator, and production company in Australia was an ACETA member, and ACETA went to a freight company to negotiate rates on behalf of ALL of its members as one customer.

Reckon you might get a better rate? You betcha. How much money did you just make? Now take that thinking and apply it to EVERYTHING your business spends money on.

Other powerful reasons discussed at the convention include official certification for importer/distributors and service providers. What does that mean? Customers (especially government) will preference products and services provided by ACETA members.

That’s an effective way to drive the cowboys out of the industry and improve your profitability. But it only happens with a strong membership and extensive promotion.

Collective action and bargaining will always net a better deal for your business, no matter which part of our industry you work in. The bigger ACETA gets, the more muscle it has.

Want legislation changed? Import tariffs dropped? Improved education pathways  to our industry? More favourable foreign currency rates? Cheaper warehousing? More comprehensive and affordable insurance?

Just think of something that would improve your business that you can’t achieve on your own, and ACETA can make it happen.

But only if we all join:


Members speak – What does my ACETA membership do for me?


Deb Sloss – Managing Director – Studio Connections Australia

MY ACETA membership has introduced me to lots of people in our industry that I knew by name but didn’t know personally, and I’ve come to realise that we share a lot of the same professional concerns, problems, and issues.

Membership gives you a sense of community, and you no longer feel like you’re beating this drum on your own. You get positive input to put into your company and ideas about ways to improve your business just by talking to the other members.

So for me, it’s about the network sense of community. We need to band together as an industry to move forward, and acknowledge that we can’t do some of the things we need to on our own. We need to work as a collective – yes, we’re all competitors to some extent, but we can work together to achieve better results for all of us.


Ben Clarke – Technical Support Manager – PAVT

It’s important for PAVT to be an ACETA member because we need to make sure that our business has an agency that supports us. Having an industry body means that there is a mechanism to deal with the forces that can act on our business, be they internal or external issues such as imports, exports, compliance, or safety.

We are stronger together than individually, especially when it comes to lobbying government.

PAVT attend the annual ACETA convention because it is as much about talking about issues as it is about personal growth. Having an industry body that can assist us with professional development and personal growth means that we become better business people.


David Di Muzio – Product Manager – PAVT

I’ve been dealing with compliance at PAVT since I joined the company. There’s a lot of ambiguity around compliance, and the compliance laboratories have led our industry into confusion or assumptions about what compliance should be.

According to the laboratories, being compliant would cost us hundreds of thousands of dollars. But having had ACETA working on compliance with the ACMA, we’ve proven that’s not the case at all. Having ACETA at the coalface creating guidelines has taken away the ambiguity and given us clear indications of how to get our products compliant.

Having an industry body helps further the industry. That can only be done from within, and the only way you can help is to be involved.


Peter Twartz – Supply Chain/IT Manager – Jands

I think there’s an inherent benefit to a quorum; a group of people who work in the same industry getting together and determining a way forward, defining what they want to achieve together, while still being competitive.

We should be looking for opportunities to produce more interesting outcomes for customers, and sharing new ideas.

ACETA membership saved Jands a lot of heartache and money during the Digital Dividend process. It was a huge problem for the audio side of the industry, and the benefit of a peak industry body couldn’t possibly be understated there. The ability to lobby government and speak for us is something that no other entity can do.

While we don’t have that exact problem at the moment, we likely will face something entirely different but just as disruptive in the future, and suddenly the entire industry will be challenged. ACETA will need to be there to get our teeth into it, talk, and lobby on behalf of the industry.


Tony Hambling – Sales Manager – Murray Tregonning & Associates

ACETA future-proofs our industry, represents us, and deals with the authorities on our behalf. It provides a forum for education and networking opportunities with similar business. The annual convention’s workshops and seminars enable us to put ideas into action in our businesses.

Learning about other people’s concerns within the industry makes you realise that we’re all in the same boat, and we become more unified.


Murray Tregonning – CEO – Murray Tregonning & Associates

I think it’s great that there is a peak body, which until recent times had been sadly lacking in our industry. We all need to come together and discuss problems. The Digital Dividend was definitely a big problem, and the same issues will come up again.

God only made so much spectrum real estate, and I don’t think the government realised how important it was to us and the community as a whole. RF management is a nightmare, and we’ve got to self-regulate, because we can’t rely on government.


“A powerful industry body can offer tangible
financial benefits to its members”



CX Magazine – June 2019   Entertainment technology news and issues for Australia and New Zealand – in print and free online
© CX Media






Published monthly since 1991, our famous AV industry magazine is free for download or pay for print. Subscribers also receive CX News, our free weekly email with the latest industry news and jobs.