by Steve Harvey.
San Francisco, CA (November 9, 2010)–Education is key for James Kaiser, president elect of the AES. Having joined the organization as a student in 1983 and, in his current role as an adjunct teacher at Nashville’s Belmont University, Kaiser has experienced the educational value of the AES firsthand.
Education is at the core of the AES, says Kaiser, whose day job is as director of technology at Nashville mastering facility MasterMix. “[The AES] is not a trade organization or a rights organization, it’s an educational organization.”
The organization offers each member a unique experience, he says. “There are lots of ways that the AES is something different to every person. There are 14,000-plus different versions of what the AES is.”
The conventions are much more than just the exhibits, of course. “You can come to a convention for 10 years in succession and miss 80 percent of what is actually going on without even realizing it.”
As for that other 80 percent, the papers and other presentations, he comments, “You can pick and choose—take this subject, this subject and this subject, or follow one track. And in four days you really have seen a broad or very specific view of what’s going on in the world, or another world.”
In recent years, the AES has embraced social media to interact with and attract its members. “But there is still this one-on-one, face-to-face communication that, at least until we have that mind-meld going, everyone will take advantage of when they have the opportunity,” comments Kaiser.
For those unable to attend every convention, social media does allow members to remain constantly engaged. “One of the things that I’m hoping to be able to help to accomplish is to continue that interactive side of it on the year-round basis that social media allows,” he says.
The economic downturn provided a reminder that everything does count, observes Kaiser. Thankfully, the organization was prepared, and has taken steps to become more cost-efficient. “The economic news for the group is that we’re not in the uncomfortable position that we might have been in if we hadn’t prepared for that. We’re starting to see good positive indications of the way things are going.”