When the Hollywood Professional Association (HPA® ) Tech Retreat rang its closing bell on February 19, it had once again provided a platform for what some consider the most important information and connection forum in the industry. The 2016 event surpassed attendance records, unveiled significant organizational changes, and announced a new event that creates a global presence for the HPA Tech Retreat.

Held annually near Palm Springs for more than two decades, this year's HPA Tech Retreat boasted the biggest turnout in its history, selling out in advance and surpassing last year's record setter. From its opening SuperSession , industry experts took audiences through topics as diverse as the challenges of gathering NASA imagery; updates from major broadcasters; the changing world of mobile production; a look behind the scenes of blockbuster production; Interoperable Master Format (IMF); digital distribution; and a look into virtual reality, among many others. From early morning Breakfast Roundtables covering a diverse topic landscape, to conference sessions, lunches and networking events, this year's Tech Retreat delivered on its promise for connection, curation, and community. The annual pre-conference events, Charles Poynton and ATSC seminars, also attracted their biggest audiences to date at the event. 

The HPA Tech Retreat was the setting for several important HPA announcements. Leon Silverman stepped down as president of the organization he helped found, making room for the next generation of leadership and a newly expanded Board of Directors. Seth Hallen, Sony DADC New Media Solutions SVP of Global Creative Services, has been elected by the board to succeed him. Hallen has been an HPA Board Member since 2007, working closely with Silverman and the Board on a number of key initiatives and management of the organization. Silverman will continue to serve on the Board of Directors in the newly created role of Past President. 

Hallen commented on his new role, "The HPA is a unique and important place where creative talent, technical talent, and companies join forces to learn and share as they expand their perspectives and shape our industry. It is a distinct honor to continue the important work that we have begun, and I am dedicated to making the next phase of HPA a great one. Enabling our industry to evolve by fueling our community with ideas, opportunity and recognition remains our goal as we boldly face the future."

The HPA Tech Retreat also announced plans for a regional version of the event to be held in the UK this July. The HPA Tech Retreat UK is the first example of an HPA global focus enabled by its affiliation with SMPTE. The 2016 HPA Tech Retreat UK will take place at Heythrop Park Resort in Oxfordshire, Wednesday and Thursday, July 13-14, 2016. The HPA Tech Retreat UK will share many characteristics of its progenitor, with a UK flare. The HPA Tech Retreat UK is co-chaired by Jerry Pierce, HPA Vice President, and Richard Welsh, past SMPTE Governor for EMEA, Central and South America Regions. Welsh said, "The mainstays of the US event will be part of the Tech Retreat UK. The main conference and 'Supersession,' the attention to the hot topics of the industry, the breakfast roundtables, the Innovation Zone, and, of course, the networking and camaraderie that mark this event - are all part of the plan. Getting out of your office and connecting with your colleagues, as in the US event, is the focus, and our venue lends itself quite nicely to that." Pierce stressed, "The Tech Retreat is unique, and the UK version will be uniquely British as well. We are taking the essential ingredients that have made the HPA Tech Retreat such a powerful combination of intense knowledge transfer and dynamic personal interaction, adapted for the UK." Registration for the HPA Tech Retreat UK is now open, and further information is available at hpatechretreatuk.org.

After a year-long transition, the HPA has formally and officially assumed its new moniker - the Hollywood Professional Association. Hallen and Silverman unveiled the new identity during the proceedings at the Retreat. HPA and SMPTE Executive Director Barbara Lange commented on the announcement, "As the work and responsibilities that our community is engaged in continues to change, we carefully explored how to best embrace these changes and their impact. It became clear that Professional more accurately and inclusively identifies the creative talent, content holders, global infrastructure of services as well as emerging processes and platforms. As an organization, we are dedicated to seeing beyond the horizon to the wider future, and bringing a wide array of individuals and companies into the organization. Our new name and identity make that statement."

Dates for the 2017 HPA Tech Retreat are February 20 - 24, 2017. The call for proposals, registration deadlines and Innovation Zone applications will be announced in the coming months.

For further information, visit hpaonline.com

About the Hollywood Professional Association®
Hollywood Professional Association (HPA) serves the professional community of businesses and individuals who provide creativity, expertise, support, tools and the global infrastructure for the creation and finishing of motion pictures, television, commercials, digital media and other dynamic media content. Through its partnership with the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers ® (SMPTE® ), the leader in the advancement of the art, science and craft of the image, sound, and metadata ecosystem, the HPA continues to extend its support of the community it represents. Information about the HPA is availableat hpaonline.com .