2019 Engineering Excellence Award Winners Announced!

Overview

The HPA Tech Retreat is the pre-eminent gathering of industry-leading thinkers and innovation-focused companies engaged in the creation, management, and dissemination of content. Every year, for a week near Palm Springs, the HPA Tech Retreat brings together a world-class roster of well-known and emerging leaders in engineering, technology, creativity and business. At the HPA Tech Retreat, the most compelling topics facing the media and entertainment landscape today are presented, explored and debated.

HPA Tech Retreat

During the HPA Tech Retreat, attendees and speakers unplug from their day-to-day routine to engage with the brightest minds in the industry. From 7:30 AM breakfast roundtables to late-night fire pit conversations, there is nowhere else to experience the kind of unbiased, unvarnished, and authentic discussion, deliberation, and debate between experts that happens throughout the Tech Retreat.

Participants—who have included Oscar winners, program leads from NASA, and established and emerging tech mavens—take a forward-looking approach to trends and technologies of the content creation ecosystem while tackling issues of the present from fresh perspectives.

The HPA Tech Retreat is a limited attendance event, strictly capped at 700 guests, that consists of the main conference program, TR-X Tech Retreat Xtra, the Supersession, breakfast roundtables, and the curated innovation zone where companies present the absolute latest in technology.

Tech Retreat Features

TR-X

TR-X

Monday Seminar topic TBA.

Registration for TR-X is included in the All-Access HPA Tech Retreat Package, and can also be purchased independent of the Tech Retreat.

Supersession

Supersession

Tuesday seminar topic usually focused on workflows.

Main Program

HPA Tech Retreat Main Program

The HPA Tech Retreat Main Program features an array of high-powered conference sessions, more than 50 breakfast roundtables led by industry experts, and extensive networking opportunities. This is an incomparable opportunity to meet and engage with a world-class roster of well-known and emerging leaders in engineering, technology, creativity and business.

Innovation Zone

Innovation Zone

HPA invites individuals and companies to share new and innovative technology with the participants of the HPA Tech Retreat®. The Innovation Zone is where attendees can discover your company’s NEW technology in a space designed for learning and discovery. Bring your latest and greatest innovations that improve how the chain from acquisition to delivery is done.

Location

The HPA Tech Retreat will take place February 17-20 2020 at the The Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort & Spa in Rancho Mirage, CA (Palm Springs area).

Nestled on 360 acres in Rancho Mirage, The Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort is a desert oasis, moments from Palm Springs. Rugged mountains and panoramic views set an extraordinary backdrop for an unforgettable experience. Spacious guestrooms and suites feature signature Westin Heavenly Beds® and other personalized details. Several dining destinations beckon, showcasing flavorful California fare and 130,000 square feet of inspiring event space is at your disposal.

Attendees are responsible for making their own hotel reservations. Registration fees for the Tech Retreat do not include hotel accommodations.


Event Hotel

The Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort & Spa
71333 Dinah Shore Drive
Rancho Mirage, CA 92270
http://www.marriott.com
Main Telephone: 1-760-328-5955

The Westin Mission Hills Reservations

HPA will arrange a room block with details TBA.


Directions & Transportation

JW Marriott is located 7 miles from Palm Springs International Airport, 110 miles from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), 80 miles from Ontario Airport, 130 miles from Burbank Airport and 116 miles east of Los Angeles if driving. For driving directions, please click here. Or, For those of you who use GPS or Google Earth, the coordinates: 34.178783970864785 North, 118.33818636246046 West.

Shuttle Companies

Taxi Companies

  • Yellow Cab of the Desert
    760-340-8294
  • Uber
    Uber.com
  • American Cab
    760-300-000
  • Desert City Cab
    760-328-3000

There are also a large number of limo, town car and private shuttle options. The full listing of available ground transportation from the airport can be found here.


For More Local Area Information, Please Click Here.

FAQ

1. What is the HPA Tech Retreat?

The HPA Tech Retreat is the pre-eminent gathering of industry-leading thinkers and innovation-focused companies engaged in the creation, management, and dissemination of content. Every year, for a week near Palm Springs, the HPA Tech Retreat brings together a world-class roster of well-known and emerging leaders in engineering, technology, creativity and business. At the HPA Tech Retreat, the most compelling topics facing the media and entertainment landscape today are presented, explored and debated.

2. How did it start?

The International Teleproduction Society (ITS, later the Association of Imaging Technology and Sound) offered a Presidents Retreat to allow chief executives of its member companies to combine a vacation with some information exchange. In 1995, the idea was extended to engineers with a Technology Retreat, which rapidly became more information and less vacation. After ITS ceased operations in 2001, the HPA began sponsoring the Tech Retreat.

3. What does “all aspects” mean?

All aspects: academics, archivists, broadcasters, cable-TV system operators, cinematographers, computer and software makers, consultants, consumer-electronics manufacturers, digital rights managers, directors, display designers, editors, equipment-rental houses, forensic investigators, government officials, historians, Hollywood studios, intelligence analysts, interactive gamers, journalists, lawyers, lens manufacturers, licensing pools, the military, networks, producers, production facilities, professional-equipment manufacturers, post-production facilities, satellite-system operators, semiconductor manufacturers, sound mixers and editors, standards organizations, telephone companies, theater owners, venture capitalists, and vision scientists are among those who have been there or sent representatives.

There have been representatives of MPEG the Moving Picture Experts Group and MPEG the Motion Picture Editors Guild, NATO the National Association of Theater Owners and NATO the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. To add to the alphabet soup, AAF, AMPAS, ASC, ATSC, BBC, CEA, CEDIA, CPTWG, DCI, DoD, FCC, MPAA, NAB, NABA, NIMA, NSA, SMPTE, and USC have all been officially represented. So have ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, PBS, UPN, and the WB among broadcast networks; Sinclair and Tribune among other broadcast-station owners; Columbia/Tri-Star/Sony, Disney, Fox, Paramount, and Universal among Hollywood studios; Adobe, Apple, IBM, Intel, and Microsoft among others from the computer industry. People attending the retreat have also come from all over the world.

4. What does “top engineering and technical talent” mean?

SMPTE Fellows, Oscar nominees, Emmy-award winners and Ph.D.s. Creators of some of the basic technologies used daily in content creation.Many of the attendees have CTO, vp-engineering, or director of technology titles. Others work on blockbuster movies and top-rated streaming and broadcast. Thanks to the informal nature of the retreat, it’s not easy to tell, and everyone is welcome to attend.

The unofficial motto of the HPA Tech Retreat is “Someone Will Be There Who Knows the Answer.”

5. What does “informal” mean?

It’s not a typical technical conference. There are no droning introductions listing a presenter’s academic credentials. In fact, there are no introductions at all beyond name and affiliation.

6. What does “exchange information” mean?

The retreat is divided into several categories: pre-retreat seminars and events, the main program, breakfast roundtables, the demo area, the quizzes, and the softball challenge. There are also meals and breaks that are useful for networking.

7. What is the main program?

The main program is devoted to the most compelling issues of the time, with a focus to putting  the most knowledgeable experts together to explore and enliven a conversation around those issues.  Much of the main program is invited; the rest is drawn from submissions. The main program is run precisely by the clock. The slot for each presentation includes set-up and questions-&-answers, and speakers have sometimes been cut off in mid-sentence. Similarly, the program starts and returns from breaks at exactly the listed times.

8. How long are presentations in the main program?

They are probably a little shorter than they should be. Individual presentations typically last between 10 and 45 minutes. Panels typically run from 20 to 90 minutes. There is no fixed time period, but shorter presentations can more easily be squeezed in.

9. How does one get to present on the main program?

A Call for Proposals is issued every year around Labor Day. There are, year over year, more submissions than can be accommodated. The burning issues facing the ecosystem may help determine which submissions are accepted. Those wishing to make presentations should also consider breakfast roundtables and the demo area. Presentations in the main program, the breakfast roundtables, and the demo area are not mutually exclusive.

10. What are the breakfast roundtables?

Starting at 7:30 am on Tuesday Wednesday Thursday and Friday, the breakfast roundtables are one of the most popular aspects of the retreat. Each table has a number which corresponds to a posted list of topics and moderators. Moderators may choose any topic and run the roundtables as they see fit. They may present information, gather information from those at the table, or simply moderate arguments between others. Popular tables might end up surrounded by layers of attendees and others might have only a few. There are no restrictions on topics other than length (so they may be printed; long topic titles will be abridged). There are no restrictions on moderators other than being registered at the retreat. All requests to moderate tables are accepted; if another moderator has chosen the same or a similar topic, the moderators will be informed so they may consider combining their tables. A moderator may choose to have tables at either or all, and if more than one, on the same or different topics. A single company or organization is welcome to provide moderators for as many roundtables as it would like. Once a roundtable is confirmed, it must be moderated, even if someone else seems to have a more attractive topic. Topics and moderators, however, may be changed.

11. What is the Innovation Zone?

The Innovation Zone is not a trade show but rather a curated area where the latest, often unseen technologies or applications are demonstrated.  Participants for the Innovation Zone must apply, and the applications are reviewed by the Innovation Zone manager and HPA Tech Retreat Committee.  The Innovation Zone is focused on new technology or applications. The retreat will provide table(s), chair(s), power, and security. No “booths” are permitted. No corporate signage is permitted; the retreat will provide a simple paper sign with the name of each demonstrator’s company or organization. Information about the technology or application is accepted and appreciated. White papers are encouraged. Relevant product literature is fine. Demonstrators are encouraged to join forces to show systems. In the past competitors have helped set up each other’s demonstrations.Many popular products were first introduced at the HPA Tech Retreat, -Panasonic’s Varicam and Sony’s HDCAM SR- among them. Other innovations shown at the retreat have yet to make it to mass manufacture, including a 72-frame-per-second HDTV camera and a system for automatically converging and color balancing multiple projectors forming a single image. Some are one of a kind, like a tiny Lucas Digital (ILM) camera-attitude sensor used in Star Wars: Episode 3. A slot in the main program at the end of the first day is reserved for demo introductions. Each demonstrator is allowed a very brief period (about a minute) to introduce the demonstration. That is followed by the first scheduled demo session, which includes a cocktail reception for attendees and their registered guests. There is another scheduled demo session at the end of the last day. In between, attendees may schedule demos at mutually convenient times.

12. What are the quizzes?

A quiz relating to television technology is posted at the registration table at the beginning of each session. A bowl is also provided there for answers. The first quiz is relatively easy, and there are multiple winners. Quizzes get progressively harder.
One year, participants were asked to derive the NTSC color subcarrier from scratch. Another quiz asked for the next number in these series: 51, 25, 19, 13, 8, 6 and …21, 16, 11, 8, 6.

Those entering are welcome to consult others, reference books, or the Internet. Past prizes have included glow-in-the-dark statues of the patron saint of television and plush teddy-bear TV remote controls.

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