Introduction to AT&T Shape Event Wows in L. A. California
I happened upon the AT&T Shape event as I was browsing the internet a few weeks ago. I begin my browsing by checking on the then upcoming E3 Video Game Expo, and somehow I found myself reading about the AT&T Shape Event. Go Figure.
Caution! The name “ AT&T Shape” can be misleading. Even though “Shape” is literally in the name, this event is not focused on getting in shape -- which -- by the way is always a good thing. Instead AT&T Shape can be described as a Tech - Film - Networking - Gaming event and because of its location also included a tour of the Warner Brothers Studios.
Here are some of my highlights and suggestions from the AT&T Shape Event I attended June 22-23, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.
Get Your Ticket(s) Early
First of all, you need a ticket to get in. In return you will gain entry to the event and get a wristband which is good for one or two days depending on your ticket. My advice is to get your ticket early because this event sells out quickly. Not knowing this at first, I simply got my ticket early because I wanted to make sure I didn’t forget about it. Now I’m glad I did secure my ticket when I did. About a week before the event, I casually checked the website and found a big “Sold Out” notice on the front page of the website. Whew! I guess the saying is true that it's "good not to put off until tomorrow what you can do today."
AT&T Shape Event Cost of Admittance
It would be nice if the AT&T Shape event was free -- but there is a cost involved. The cost starts at $100.00 for two days. I did not see an option to attend as media. The event is held on a Saturday and Sunday, so for two days of news, entertainment, fun experiences, etc. -- you are essentially paying $50.00 a day which depending on your budget can be rather affordable.
Once you enter AT&T Shape, there is not a central eating area, so you may find yourself ordering food from food trucks, etc. which can be expensive. As for me, I did not eat any food from these trucks, but partook of the free water stations the event had to make sure I stayed hydrated. As expected, the event occurred on a beautiful, California weekend.
AT&T Shape Event in a Nutshell
The AT&T Shape Event is mostly a festival - trade show - film happening with some gaming thrown in. As you pass the entrance which is a wall covered with greenery and the word “Shape” prominently displayed, you may immediately feel like you are at an outdoor concert. There were lots of people walking around as well as areas set aside for bands - singers, exhibits etc. Along the way, there are various buildings where companies displayed and tooted their wares.
If you are not clear on directions once inside the event -- there is an information desk personnel available for assistance. The schedule of events, including guest speakers (usually celebrities) are posted on the website as well as a the map. Unfortunately, there are no directions on paper for you to walk around with, except for those that were kept at the information desk. But don’t fret. As you walk around, there are large signs showing where you are with locations of various destinations.
Guest Speakers at the AT&T Shape Event
At this year’s AT&T Shape event, there were various well-known actors and entertainment personalities who graced the building at stage 26. Stage 26 is a large auditorium that holds up to 1,000 people. Celebrity appearances included Tyra Banks, Geena Davis, Laverne Cox, Elizabeth Banks and others.
I liked that the presentations were not very long and lasted no more than 45 minutes before another guest was scheduled to appear. You can pretty much sit in any available seat even though there were ushers directing you where to sit. If you are directed to a seat that you are not quite satisfied with, just politely ask if another seat is available, until you find a spot you would like to sit. Better still -- get there early and pick a seat of your choice.
There are no photo op sessions. However, I liked that Laverne Cox took the time to go to the edge of the stage after she finished interviewing Elizabeth Banks to greet people. Usually, after their appearance, the celebrities did not greet the audience but just walked off stage. Of course you can take pictures with your cell phone etc. during the discussions.
Networking at the AT&T Shape Event
Prior to the event, a company via a website helps you meet people who may have similar interests, goals, etc. as you. The networking area is physically set up with numbers on poles. You simply find the number that matches the number you were provided from the website, and hopefully you can network. The time frame allotted for networking is 15 minutes, so it will not take up too much of your time.
My minor complaint is there is no online mechanism to cancel prior appointments you may have set up. So unfortunately, if you set up an appointment and must cancel -- there is no way you can do so.
Warner Brothers' Studios Tour
I took the Warner Brothers Studios Tour while at the AT&T Shape event on Saturday. Yes --as expected -- the lines were long on Saturday. This was an exciting tour, but my complaint here is the guide seemed to rush through the various locations and did not go into detail as much as I would have liked in explaining the sets, stages, exhibits, etc.
When I returned to AT&T Shape on Sunday, i noticed the guides were walking around trying to get people to take the tour. In fact, there was no one in line for the Warner Brothers Studio tour. However, I’m happy I took the tour on Saturday with more people present -- instead of Sunday when I spent a shorter time at the event. Sometimes, the more people -- the merrier.
My Thoughts and Lessons from the AT&T Shape Event
If I were to grade this event, I would give the AT&T Shape a solid A -- not an A+ or an A-. If you go to the AT&T Shape Event, go with enthusiasm and anticipation to have a fun time and you will.
I especially enjoyed the various tech meetings including AmDocs and the VR presentations.I also liked the segment where Tyra Banks talked about her career as well as other projects.
I gleaned advice from the appearance of Elizabeth Banks, who is an actress and producer. The take away I received from Elizabeth Banks who was interviewed by Laverne Cox, was that if you say that you are in a particular field -- you must “Just do it.”
The example she gave was even though her husband thought of himself as a producer -- early on, he did not have anything of substance to show that he was a producer. His lesson learned was that if he said that he is a producer -- he must produce. So he started producing shows, movies which was of great benefit to him.
For example, if you think of yourself as a writer -- You must write. If you consider yourself a painter, you must paint, etc. However, it is not enough to just do these things -- you must do them exceptionally well -- because as you know, there is always competition and other constraints waiting to challenge you. It goes without saying that sometimes while pursuing your passion, you must also have a way to pay the bills. At the time of her transition to being a Producer, Elizabeth Banks mentioned she had an office job.
Since then, Elizabeth Banks -- has experienced success in TV and movies as well. In fact, among other thnigs, she discussed the upcoming Charlie's Angels movie that involves her and will be in movie theaters soon.
Wrap-Up of the AT&T Shape Event
Regardless of which event you may choose to attend -- it really helps if the people in attendance are friendly. I can attest to the fact that I only met positive, friendly people at the AT&T Shape Event. In addition to friendly people, there were big name companies there that were pushing their wares, including Google, Samsung, Netgear and others. In reference to the film and entertainment industries, there were celebrities present that are well known and I would consider A-listers.
Bottom line -- If you go to the AT&T Shape Event, be ready to have a fun - entertaining - enjoyable time -- like I did. If AT&T Shape is scheduled next year, I’m anxious to see what they have in store. My DM or direct message to the AT&T Shape Event people is -- “Keep up the good work!”