Accessibility of Information and how it can Improve IDEA
Originally – I just wanted to help people. I created the job board to be the tool that I wish existed when I was entering the industry and looking for my first job. I was doing a lot of leg work to look for my own role and I figured it would be useful for others! What I actually uncovered was a lack of accessibility to work in the industry through the lack of public or publicized information.
We can all agree that there is a large set of “unwritten rules” and “lessons passed down” from person to person in this industry that are not public knowledge, not google-able, not easily found by someone looking to get into this industry. Information has been traditionally passed along by word of mouth from industry professionals at panels, over coffee, or in small snippets on LinkedIn. The helpful folks in the industry that love talking to students and teaching them the ways into the industry end up acting unintentionally as the gatekeepers, requiring an invitation to speak or meet for the industry-wide knowledge to be shared. This information is vital and these lessons invaluable. I cannot applaud the amazing people of this industry who do this work enough. But, there is an easier way!
I believe that the lack of accessibility to that information hurts our industry. Let me explain –
When we think of IDEA – Inclusivity, Diversity, Equitability, and Accessibility – we can very clearly see how each of those things is tied together. We often talk about the accessibility of the work place or the attractions we design through the lens of creating spaces that work for people with all different physical abilities or body types. We don’t frequently talk about the accessibility of this insider information or work in the industry.
Publishing the insider knowledge in a public, free, accessible, and shareable way, means that more people who live in other locations, in different time zones, or people who are in different socio-economic conditions can access the information. They don’t need to learn the lesson the hard way or network with 20 different people before the answer comes to them in a happenstance way. The more accessible the information, the more accessible the industry jobs become. This will lead to a more diverse and talented pool of applicants from different places with different skills and will ultimately increase the quality and innovation of the products we create and the impact we can have on the world.
When you have an industry that is limited in its ability to market jobs because of strict NDAs and trade secrets, its challenging to reach a wide or diverse audience. So Themed Entertainment Jobs has set a goal to increase Diversity and Inclusivity in our industry through increasing the accessibility to information about how work is obtained in this industry.
The IAAPA Guide:
IAAPA has a very high cost of entry to begin with. It is expensive for a person trying to enter our industry to buy a ticket, transportation, hotel room, and requires a lot of time that they may need to take off of work or school to attend. If people are willing to make that kind of investment, the last thing I want to happen is for them to walk into the show floor, become immediately overwhelmed and end up leaving the week feeling like they wasted their time and money and are no closer to achieving their goal of entering the industry. In comes the IAAPA Guide – we designed it with the intention to equip new people with all of the information they need to understand what IAAPA is, how they can safely and effectively interact with it in order to achieve their goals, and ultimately walk away from the week feeling much more accomplished and satisfied with their investment.
So here is my request – If you believe in the mission of the job board and want to help me make the industry a more inclusive, diverse, creative place – please share the website with anyone looking for a role, share the guide with anyone considering going to IAAPA this year or in the future, and help me build more resources like the guide in the future!