Guest Editorial

6 Feb 2024


by Frank Andrewartha, Treasurer, ACETA

The downside of island life is that your perspective on the rest of the world is limited to what the tide delivers. As for over the horizon, it is a world of mystery. The industry of public entertainment tech is like a collection of islands, largely unconnected, yet in the same ecosystem and dealing with the same tidal influences. Not to mention the occasional typhoon, and not even reliable weather reports. Uncertainty about the future is as normal as change is guaranteed. There are no guarantees of permanence. Each year companies big and small go out with the tide. There is a way to make life more certain and get the resources that are normally out of reach.

The bridge between castaway and community is industry associations. There are a few niche associations able to act as the bridge and voice to governments and media, promoting the collective interests of their members. Not to mention being a resource repository. Much of their work is unacknowledged and, in many cases, unknown by the industry at large. Without them and their efforts, many of the basic benefits the industry experiences would not exist.

The common denominator between all these associations is they are the bridge to governments and other influential entities that represent common interests. Governments generally don’t talk to individuals. They consult with industry peak bodies and pressure groups. As a production company, you won’t get anywhere complaining to the government about selling off your wireless spectrum.


However, they will listen to an industry peak body representing your interests. And as far as maintaining a peak body to be there when you need help? Like all created beneficial entities, ignore them and they will go away.

ACETA is an example of an industry peak body run by volunteers and supported by a membership within the entertainment technology community. This includes production companies, wholesalers, content creators, manufacturers, educators, and a host of large and small enterprises from audio, lighting, rigging, staging and pretty much everything in staging or producing a show of any kind.

The benefits of joining an association are many. In the case of ACETA, benefits such as industry wide free wireless spectrum access, appropriate electrical safety standards, sensible venue laws, entertainment industry rigging standards, IP protection and a host of seemingly uncontroversial but essential foundations we now all take for granted. One big benefit of association membership is probity and standards accreditation. Your business, by being recognised and promoted as a member of a peak body is instantly taken seriously by customers and contractors. The smaller the business, the more important it is to stand out and be considered someone safe to do business with, especially if your customer is new to the market or territory.


Spending a little time and money on your segment association is the best investment you can make in a challenging market. In these times of change and transition, there is no time like the present. Find your segment association. And if you are into entertainment tech, look over the horizon and check out ACETA.


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