ETC's CUE (Create. Understand. Experience.) professional-development conference can help lighting professionals improve their skills and become more confident in their work. CUE - to be held June 26th
, in Madison, Wisconsin - will have something for designers and programmers of all skill levels, whether they have years of experience in the most well-known venues, are just getting started in their careers, or consider lighting to be their hobby or side job. The conference is beneficial for professionals who work with all different kinds of lighting, including for theater, houses of worship, broadcast, dance, academic institutions, architecture, live events, and more.
This summer's CUE conference will be the third end-user event that ETC has held. Attendees to previous CUEs have been able to apply what they've learned to their everyday work. "The 2013 ETC conference gave me the skills I needed to come back to my theater and successfully train our current board operator, who had no previous
knowledge," describes Kearston Dillard-Scott, a lighting supervisor at the Virginia Opera Association. "I was also able to gain more knowledge about maintaining systems and used that knowledge to help other venues maintain their consoles and equipment."
Matt Hazard, the lighting-studio manager for the Department of Theatre at the Ohio State University, who attended both CUE 2011 and CUE 2013, had the same experience: "I learned about trends in specifying gear for installations and newly-constructed spaces. One of the sessions specifically addressed hybrid theaters, the expanding use of LEDs, and the diminishing need for dimmers. This has been very relevant in one of my technical classes, where we are examining an actual renovation plan for a branch campus."
The hands-on classes and real-life education taught at CUE gives attendees the time to fully grasp new concepts and to
create designs using what they learned. "The time set aside to work on a console and have ETC engineers at my side guiding me through steps and concepts was very valuable and has resulted in more efficient designing and cueing. The CUE conference certainly helped expand my knowledge base," says Aaron Bahmer, technical director at Goshen Community Theatre in Torrington, Wyoming.
Brant Hilty, lighting programmer at Grace Church in Wooster, Ohio, also got much-needed time to try out what he learned: "As a volunteer lighting designer/programmer/operator for a church, I found attending ETC's CUE conference to be
! I would assume a lot of churches are similar to mine, in that I do not have the opportunity to go into the church during the week to play on the board. At CUE, I can spend an entire day training on my specific board with outstanding instructors. If you run into problems or just have questions on how to do something, they have staff on duty willing to help you out and answer any questions - no matter how small."
understand part of CUE can come about from attendees networking with other lighting professionals, both from their industry and outside of it. ETC encourages attendees to share their own experiences and swap ideas. "It was great for me - being from a small venue - to see what the 'big players' in the industry can do with upper-level tools," explains Bahmer.
And ETC ensures that CUE is a one-of-a-kind
experience , with attendees leaving with valuable tips and tools relevant to their work. "I think most important to me at the 2013 conference was the fact that ETC wasn't running just a sales conference - they weren't promoting the benefits of LEDs in order to make me buy," Bahmer summarizes. "Instead, they were talking about transitional and layered use of LEDs - information I could take home and make decisions about."
To get more information about CUE and to register for the conference, visit