Just got back from WFX.  This years conference was good and had many good points, but at the same time, over the past few years, they may have lost the plot a little.

Here are a few of my complaints from this year, along with suggested improvements:

1.  WFX 2011 was all about Video and Sound and Lights.  As a full time Church Tech, THERE IS MUCH MORE to church tech than Sound, Video, and Lights.  There is check-in / event registration software, software, computers, networking, security cameras, etc.   Where were those companies?  They used to attend.  The church “security pavillion” had ONE company there, and it was to get the church member to pay for its own background check.  That is not a “Security” section.  WFX needs to go after those companies, and invite them back.  We are not getting the full aspect of Church Tech, just the Audio and Video and Sound stuff which seems to be their new focus.

 

2.  Banks / Finance Companies.  As a church tech, I could care less about whats available for church financing.  I don’t need or want to be chased down the aisle by the banks asking me questions I don’t know how to answer.

 

3.  Vendors / Sales people.  What can I say about them other than I go to the expo to browse, and if I have a question, I’ll ask.  High pressure sales is a real turn off, and the opposite of going to a booth and getting ignored is also not good.   There needs to be balance, and heres a thought, maybe the vendors could be techs too?

 

4.  Expo Organization.   There is no rhyme or reason to the expo floor.  It seems that sound companies would be together, and lights, and security, and computer, and software, etc.  That way I could visit the sections I am interested in / or need info on without having to go though a bunch of stuff I don’t need or want to see.

 

5.  Hands-On Classes that had no Hands-On.  I signed up for 4 Hands on classes this year. Only one was actually hands on.  The computer graphics and Video editing classes didnt even have computers in the rooms.  It was a lecture class instead, and while i can still learn that way, its not what I signed up for.  Also, Computer graphics for worship class was a “how to use propresenter” class, and people who dont use propresenter were completely duped.

 

6.  Class selection / availability.  There also was a lack of different types of classes.  Again, LOTs of video and Audio classes.  But nothing different, or fresh.  Same stuff.  And it was really slim pickings if you didn’t preregister.  I saw lots of guys who had to wait and come late since there weren’t any other good classes except the supposed Hands On ones.

 

7.  Facility / Food / Parking.   The Atlanta Cobb facility blows Dallas away.  Atlanta has free parking, not $10 per day.  Also, its close.  The food selection, well frankly, it sucked.  You could buy a $6 hot dog, or hamburger, and a $3.75 bottle of pop.  At Atlanta, there is many choices and varieties in ALL PRICE RANGES.  Atlanta facility is also, MUCH easier to access from outside the attached hotel.

 

What I liked (a Lot):

 

1. Keynote speakers, especially Jud Wilhite.  The info we get in the keynote is way above the info from some of the classes.  Getting a ministry perspective on it, good job!

 

2.  Worship concert.  Drew Bodine was really good, and unlike years past, sung songs that a majority of churches actually know and can sing along too.  Good Job!

 

3.  EMails / Communications.  I felt that WFX did a spectacular job communicating with us.  My phone got emails every day discussing what was happening.  There were QR codes that would give schedules and class reviews, etc.  Communications were great!  Good Job!

 

A couple more random thoughts:

 

1. One of the things I like to do is network with other techs, and hear how things are going for them.  I would like to see an emphasis on that some too.  And a way to hang and chat with others in my position.  Maybe some open forum stuff.

2. Another thing is that its not about the Gear!  WFX kinda forgets that in some aspects, and it should be emphasized to a smaller, poorer church that they can do a great job for God with what they already have, they just have to get creative!  I like to say, its not about perfection its about Good enough.

 

In closing, not a bad week, and we’ll see if the addition of Unite will change anything for the better at WFX next year.  See ya there!