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Archive for June 17th, 2008

Typical ITVA Conference Badge

There once was a communication trade group called ITVA. Long ago, that stood for Industrial TV Association, and then International TV Association, I think. I’m not sure because the name was never really that important. (Are you sensing a branding nightmare? Yeah, we’ll get to that.) It was a trade group for people like me (at the time) who worked in corporate communication departments making training videos and never seeing the sun except in exterior shots. The ITVA did all the trade-groupy things like monthly meetings, electing boards, and having annual blowout drunk-fests in far-off cities. It was a cool hang and, as long as your company was paying the $450 annual membership, everything was groovy.

But things changed, as they always do. I know I aged 10 years in the time I was active, and so did everybody else. Things like vitality and new blood became less important. And our chapter evolved from a networking group of young people trying to make connections into a social club more concerned about the refreshments being served. As the average age continued to skew older, the national office lurched into “action.” In a delicate situation that required lots of tact, they displayed precisely none, and civil war broke out. They said (quite rightly) that to remain vital, we can’t be the “video dude” club anymore. And many people found themselves on the Status Quo side, largely in response to the ham-fisted actions of the national office. We said, if the Teamsters can have a horse and a wagon-wheel as their logo, then we can be the ITVA!

Anyway, it became a race between re-branding and irrelevance that, somehow, achieved both. The ITVA became the MCA-I, the Media Communications Association International. It wisely attempted to incorporate all the elements of communication that weren’t video, like print, web and multimedia, but had no idea (as of 2002, anyway) how to do it.

It’s been years since I attended a meeting, even longer since I was on the local board. So I have to ask…do organizations like this even have a place anymore? Or do forums and chatrooms fulfill the same purpose? What do you think?

Update: Old Cincinnati hands were aghast that the Flying Pig was not on the name badge. So, take your pigs and stick them!

mmm...pork!

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