What is the World ETF?

The World-ETF (World-Entertainment Technology Federation) is a non-profit, professional group that brings entertainment technology associations from around the globe together to discuss the industry’s future and to promote international cooperation. Its focus is debating and examining the role and standing of the entertainment technology industry in order to promote and defend its interests within a global marketplace.

The World-ETF was founded by PLASA, the Professional Lighting and Sound Association based in the UK; VPLT, the German Entertainment Technology Association; and ESTA, the Entertainment Services and Technology Association, based in the US. The formation of the World-ETF formalized an already close working relationship that existed between the three organizations and provided the framework for future joint projects, particularly in the area of technical standards.

The Entertainment Services and Technology Association is a non-profit trade association based in North America with members around the world. ESTA's members are responsible for creating some of the most important programs in our industry including the Technical Standards Program, Entertainment Technician Certification Program and Rental Guard. By joining ESTA you are investing in the future of the entertainment technology industry. Membership in ESTA supports: increasing safety through the development of standards and certifications; educating members and providing business resources to increase profitability; representing the interests of the industry to government, regulatory bodies, and related industries; and raising the bar for ethical and professional behaviour.

NAMM, the association for the international music products industry, established in 1901, is the not-for-profit association that strengthens the $17 billion global music, sound and event technology products industry. Our association and trade shows serve as the crossroads for professionals seeking the newest innovations in music, recording technology, sound and stage products. In addition to access to our trade shows, membership also includes the latest industry news and education, opportunities for music advocacy and cost-saving programs to help businesses thrive. All of these activities and programs are designed to promote music making for people of all ages, creating a more musical world.

Each January in sunny Southern California, The NAMM Show unites the music, sound and event technology communities, with more than 115,000 registrants from 130 countries and regions, commanding $11+ billion in buying power. Exhibitors utilize the show to showcase their brand on a global stage, introduce new products and innovations, connect with an international media base, and train their entire team through hundreds of free education sessions across several tracks. Summer NAMM, held annually in Nashville, Tennessee, helps to generate sales and power a successful second half of the year. Featuring the industry’s Top 100 Dealers, this intimate and influential show maintains the momentum generated at The NAMM Show.

NAMM’s unique Circle of Benefits business model reinvests the proceeds from membership and trade shows back into the industry, supporting music education, professional development and policy issues the world over.

PLASA is the lead international membership body for those who supply technologies and services to the event, entertainment and installation industries.

The Association works to ensure that each sector is fully represented and championed on issues of concern, and plays an active role in highlighting best practice and safe working conditions.

PLASA supports its members by providing advisory and support services across business, technical, safety and regulatory issues, as well as a range of membership benefits, events and training courses, including three industry-recognised certification and training programs for riggers and production technicians.

PLASA’s commercial divisions play a crucial role in supporting Association activities. Print and digital editions of magazines LSi and LSA lead the market and are read by professionals in over 120 countries, while PLASA Show in London and regional Focus events provide businesses with the opportunity to showcase their technology and services.

The Association plays an active role in the advancement of the industry and through its work enables businesses and individuals to follow an upward trajectory, lead by example, and set the bar higher than ever before.
VPLT: The German Entertainment Technology Association, is a trade association that represents companies and individuals from the entertainment technology sector in German-speaking Europe. These members generate a sales volume near 3,5 billion Euros while employing close to 10.000 people and providing about 700 apprenticeship training positions. A conceptual partner of the Prolight + Sound, the world’s largest trade fair brand for entertainment technology, the VPLT supports the Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH with the shows in Frankfurt, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Dubai, and Moscow.

On a national level, the VPLT represents our members in Germany within the IGVW – a community of interests for the event industry including the DTHG – the German Technical Theatre Technicians Association, the EVVC – the European Association of Event Centres, and FAMAB – Integrated Brand Experiences Association, and is also associated with the APWPT – Association of Professional Wireless Production Technologies.

The VPLT is actively involved in all the relevant industry standards and norms processes at DIN – the German Institute for Standardisation, and is represented in the European CEN/TC 433; Entertainment Technology. The association speaks for and is an agent of its members in regarding government authorities and institutions. It is officially registered in the German Government Lobby Organization Directory. The VPLT is also involved in EU policy decisions and is listed in the European Transparency Register.

The VPLT is dedicated to the following goals and objectives:
• Education and further training in the field of entertainment technology,
• Image building for our industry through public relations,
• Compilation of technical guidelines for the industry,
• Informing our members about technical innovations,
• Interest group representation at trade shows and in the media,
• Liaison relations with as well as lobbying government institutions, and
• Representation and point of contact for our members.

The World-ETF meets regularly in conjunction with major industry trade shows such as PLASA, NAMM and Prolight+ Sound. The associations are generally represented at these meetings by their key personnel and by the elected executives.

Associations that form the World-ETF represent thousands of companies and hundreds of thousands of employees who provide products, equipment, expertise and highly developed services for cultural and live events worldwide. As a major part of the creative industries, entertainment technology has invariably been an international business.

The World-ETF has always supported free and fair trade as a fundamental principle. Measures to increase trade barriers by raising customs duties, inhibiting the freedom of movement and employment for workers and artists, or implementing import bans would certainly have a negative impact on our sector.

What does it do?The Federation works to promote the Associations and their collective memberships at international trade shows and conferences and in their publications. Each Association agrees to promote the Federation by distributing literature on their behalf at trade shows and including news in their publications.

The Associations within the World-ETF share the following characteristics:
They are not-for-profit trade organisations.are mutually owned by their members, of which the majority of the voting members are commercial entities.have a formal constitution or by-laws.have an elected Board of Directors or Committee overseeing their activities.share a common ambition to ensure the quality of standards within the industry.are active and representative of the industry in the countries concerned.have a screening procedure for new members with an established membership criteria.promote equal and fair-trading conditions and lobby their respective governments to that end.

As part of this collaboration, the associations:
Agree to a mutual sharing of information, as appropriate.Provide assistance to each other on an equal basis.Support the promotion of each other at trade events where they are exhibiting.

World-ETF Code of Ethics (Link)This is the code of ethics and professional standards to be observed by participants in the World–ETF. Participants shall sustain and advance the integrity and reputation of the World-ETF and the industry by adherence to these standards:

We as associations within the World-ETF shall:
Assert the primary importance of the health and safety ofSupport, adhere to, and promote the development of industry standards and safePromote and support (and where appropriate, commit to) the adoption of Skills and Education.Share knowledge, expertise and skills to advance theAvoid actions which are likely to discredit the World-ETF, the industry, or deceive the public.Avoid actions which misrepresent our level of expertise, or authority in relation to the World-ETF.Act in the interests of our industry.Abide by applicable regulations and codes ofAvoid anti-competitive discussions at meetings.Respect all intellectual property Not discriminate with regard to religion, ethnicity, gender, age, national origin, disability, or sexual orientation.Maintain confidentiality in relation to the World-ETF.

Joining the World-ETFJoining the World-ETF is available to any organization which meets the criteria set forth.The organization must:
Be a not-for-profit trade association.Be mutually owned by its members, of which the majority of the voting members are commercial entitiesHave a formal constitution or by-laws.Have an elected Board of Directors or Committee overseeing its activities.Share a common ambition to ensure the quality of standards within the industry.Agree to a mutual sharing of information to other World-ETF associations, as appropriate.Provide assistance to other World-ETF associations on an equal basis.Support the promotion of other World-ETF Associations at trade events where they are exhibiting.Promote equal and fair-trading conditions and lobby their respective governments to that end.Be active and representative of the industry in the countries concerned.Have a screening procedure for new members with an established membership criteria.Be prepared to agree to take on administrative duties as required to support the World-ETF in fulfilling its objectives.

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Link to Governance of the World-ETF

See document on Articles and Agreements