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Why I Belong to the MPVA

From Allan Block - Chairman 2017 MPVA -

Minnesota Professional Videographers Association

An open letter to all video and film producers.

I think it is important to offer some insight into why the MPVA actually exists.

Not so much who we are , but why we have been meeting as a professional organization since 1989. Do the math. That’s 28 consecutive years. I know we are one of the oldest video oriented professional associations, if not the oldest, in the country.

Groups, clubs, organizations and associations start and fail on the strength and commitment of its members.

I believe “You are what you share”. The members of the MPVA share information, tips, tricks, equipment reviews, business techniques and experiences.

“Ok Allan, but I can get all the information I need from the internet. All I have to do is Google and I can get everything I need from the World Wide Web. Why do I need to join a group and commit to attending meetings in person. My time is valuable.”

That is a true statement – with a few important exceptions.

Why Join a User Group?

User groups offer many benefits — regardless of your skill level and interest level.

Make new friends.

Meet people who share your interests and passions. Make friends – face to face – with whom you can talk about all things video. Production, equipment, business practices, troubleshooting, problem solving and more, or just hang out. Go to a monthly meeting or to special events. On-line forums and chat rooms lack the personal interaction, the camaraderie, the help you may need in an emergency. Above all, you will learn that you are not alone, that others share the same success and failures that you do.

Get support and enhance your skills.

You’ve got questions. The MPVA has answers. Enhance your skills so you can take yourself to a new professional level, or create projects for your family or hobbies.

Learn, Teach, Mentor.

Maybe you’ve got some of the answers. A group like the MPVA is a rewarding way for you to share your expertise. Someone may have helped you learn about technology; now you can repay the favor while meeting new people and making new contacts. Learn and benefit from the experiences of our MPVA members.

Find local resources.

The Internet provides many answers and resources. However, nothing beats the personal connection of meeting with local video producers and exploring the resources that are available locally — from resellers to technical support to community activities.


Need a freelancer, an editor, a sound man, a voice over pro, a grip, a secretary – a date. Find a mentor. Find a business partner. There are so many networking opportunities.

Make business contacts.

Maybe you’re not looking for a date, but you could be looking for professional contacts and networks. Meet people who run and manage area businesses, law practices, and medical centers and discuss ways you can build relationships that are beneficial to all parties.

Volunteer in the community.

The MPVA can help you use your video skills to help community charitable and non-profit organizations. Help create awareness about important causes and help make a better world.

It’s just plain fun.

There’s something about the MPVA and user groups that makes members come back time after time. We love it. We love the people we meet and the opportunities that the MPVA creates. Being a member is just plain fun.

And on a final note,

I want to put something out there in the open.

There a many, many experts and “gurus” on the internet. They love to claim they are giving away a “free” training. I have watched many hours of training. Much of it has a valuable tip or lesson.

But, I want you to understand that there is no such thing as “free”.

You pay for it with your time and attention.

If you value your time as much as I value mine, then you can be sure that my membership in the MPVA over the last 28 years has been the most valuable time I have “invested” in my professional career. I never fail to learn something new at each meeting.

The members of the MPVA are committed to making sure you are rewarded with that much value just for showing up.

I encourage you to visit one of our meetings. Meet our members, learn something new, share your experiences with us, see if there is a fit for you and consider joining.

If you are one of our internet guests and don’t live in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul and Minnesota, I encourage you to look for video user groups in your area and benefit from the valuable friendships you will make.

I am Allan Block. Questions? contact me or 612.207.4199

For MPVA membership information -

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