I just returned from beautiful Orlando. The good news is it’s a great looking day here in Dallas. I was missing my family, so it’s great to be home.

Yesterday was a full day. My morning started with me catching a little bit of a Final Cut Pro class, then heading to my classroom where I was leading a Q & A Panel on creativity and the future of Church media – that was fun. I was joined by Phil Bransom (the producer I mentioned in my last blog), Steve Reed (who works with Acoustic Dimensions and runs sound for Prestonwood) and Steve Smith (Media/Communications Pastor at First Baptist Orlando). The four of us fielded questions from trends we see in church media minisitry to philosophy of ministry, to ideas for the future and what to offer in a new college degree program where students can major in Media Ministry.

After my class, I hit the exhibit floor, as it was my last day and therefore my last chance to see some friends and check out some equipment that we’ll be getting in our new worship center. From projectors to switchers to camera, I did my homework. I got to briefly say “hi” to Phil Cooke, as he had a group around him and I didn’t want to interrupt. After chatting a bit, I hit the showroom floor and began making the rounds. I went straight to the JVC guys to see the camera that I’d like to get for our new worship center. As I was finishing up talking with the crew from Panasonic (even though I’m going to go with JVC), I looked over and saw my friends that created ProPresenter (one of my Charter Sponsors) in the booth next to Panasonic.

I ended up spending the next hour or so letting Brad Weston show me the new features of ProPresenter 3, which I blogged about a while back. If you’re already running on a Mac, ProPresenter is the way to go. My only hesitation is switching over our computer from PC to Mac. I must admit: the changes that they made when they released version 3 and the changes that are coming in the next couple of months (before NAB) are amazing. Brad, who walked me through the programs new features, is the Video Director for the Passion Conferences and the Catalyst Conference, as well as serves as a Video Director at North Point (Andy Stanley). Brad was also the Assistant Producer of the movie “Facing the Giants”.
I left Brad and Matt from ProPresenter so they could talk to others and continued making my rounds. While walking around and grabbing every free pen I could find (I love me some pens!), I felt a tap on my shoulder and turned around to see Nelson Searcy (pastor of Journey Church in New York) and his worship pastor, Jason Hatley, both of which I met 7 years ago. I caught up with them for a while and am always glad to hear how God is blessing them and using them to reach New York City. They are a church to keep your eye on.

From there, I checked out several more exhibits, snatched up many more pens (I actually got 2 thumbdrives, too) and then stopped to talk with the guys from Digital Juice. I had a good conversation with them and look forward to partnering with them more in the future. I mention them from time to time in my blogs, but may start doing more reviews for them.

From there, I went down a few more rows, grabbed some more pens and came upon the Angelhouse Media booth, where I saw my friends there that so kindly send me their products to use and review. They hooked me up with a few new products that I’ll be reviewing on here soon and then I talked with their founder and owner, John Grooters, for about an hour. We talked about some cool, new ideas that I think you’ll be excited to hear about once they come out.

After talking with John, I rolled on, met some people from Russia and Israel, grabbed some more pens and then just as they announced the exhibit hall was closing, I made my way back to Brad and Matt from ProPresenter. The three of us and Orlando, from Apple, went to eat. I’m proud to say that Apple picked up the bill and Orlando was a great guy to talk to and represents their company well – that guy knows his stuff. I’m serious – he’s written manuals on programs and is a Master Trainer for Apple, that teaches people that want to become certified trainers for Apple. We had a great dinner (on Apple!) and then headed back to the hotel, where I had another meeting already scheduled.

After dinner I met with Bill Seaver, from White Post Media. I’ve mentioned Bill’s blog, MicroExplosion, several times. It’s always cool to meet someone you know via from blog world and email, in person. Bill and I got to chat for about 2 hours. He’s a cool guy with a great heart and a sharp mind. I’d highly recommend your church or ministry check him and White Post out if you are looking to improve your communications (print and web).

After meeting with Bill, I went back to my hotel and packed. Today, after my flight was delayed and I slept in the Orlando airport for 3 hours, I returned home. Tomorrow (Wednesday) I start my second week at my new church. For more thoughts on NRB and what I think can improve, check out my column on Monday Morning Insight.

Greg Atkinson

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