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Getting members more engaged

Fri 27, 09 2019

An interview with Andreas Hilmer – the new chair of the IABM Members’ Board

Andreas Hilmer – Lawo (Chair of IABM Board)
As reported earlier in the year, a new Members’ Board was elected in July by IABM members. Andreas Hilmer of Lawo is the new Chair of the Board. We spoke to him about his career in the industry and how he sees IABM developing under his watch.

After leaving university, I studied marketing and PR and started working as a consultant in a boutique agency with some well-known brands on their books, including Patek Philippe, McDonald’s and BBC World. I became the go-to person for high tech accounts; I’m not an engineer but I have the ability to talk to engineers and understand what they’re talking about and I enjoy communicating this to potential customers and the wider industry.

In 2004, I jumped the fence to the client side to join Riedel. I found being able to concentrate fully on just one ‘account’ much more satisfying. I left Riedel after nine happy years to join Lawo as Director of Marketing and Communications in 2013.

I then joined the IABM Board representing Lawo when the company was elected to the Members’ Board in 2017. My mission was to achieve a greater degree of visibility; not all of the organization is readily apparent to its members – how it is governed and what level of influence every member has.

As Chair, I will continue this work – getting members more engaged in IABM processes will pay off for everyone. The whole organization will become more powerful and effective if we promote and achieve active member engagement. Currently, to really know about what IABM does, you have to be an active seeker of the information. If members understood more about how it runs and everything it can do for them, they would engage more.

The formation of Regional Members’ Councils has been a good step in this direction, and I will be looking to further broaden the scope and activities of these over the next two years.

The bottom line is finding the right balance between the interests of the members – who form IABM – and the industry at large: broadcasters, networks, service suppliers etc. We need to cater to both groups to keep the industry prosperous. This will also help make IABM stronger by increasing income across a wider range of sources. IABM has the opportunity to become the ‘agent’ for this industry – to represent it on all levels globally.

I believe in partnerships – they are the basis for sustainable success, balancing the interests of vendors and the wider industry. Partnerships ensure that all stakeholders benefit from opportunities and face challenges together. Indeed, sustainable success is based on trusted partnerships; IABM plays a crucial role in this process to ensure that all stakeholders benefit from the vast opportunities that lie before us. But we can do even more.

On a personal level, I will continue not to be shy and say what I think! I don’t believe in revolution – evolution is more healthy. On the technology front, I would contend that IP is just a stepping stone to Broadcast 3.0! It’s about creating and controlling systems in combination with IP and software defined architectures – with floating resources allocated to specific productions. The real revolution is in automated workflows.

What will look different at the end of my term as chair of the IABM Board in 2021? I’m at the knowledge gaining stage at the moment – I’ve got a lot to learn, but achieving more visibility into the organization for its members and increasing the influence of IABM as the leader in the industry will be high on the list – showing everything the organization has to offer by upping our approach to member engagement. That way, everyone wins.

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