Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Conference Call

James Cridland recently blogged about his experience of the Zurich Radio Festival and observed:

"All the radio conferences I go to are very much aimed at suits: and there seems little aimed at people that spend time behind microphones, or who produce radio or web. 

Radio conferences for three or four hundred pounds are still excellent value for a company: if they’ll pay. But there doesn’t appear to be a radio conference that presenters and producers could afford to pay for out of their own pocket, or take a day off work to attend...

...But what about a conference for “people that do”? 

The answer is that they're usually too busy "doing" to be able to take time off. but I quite agree with the comment.

The Radio Academy's annual Radio Festival is an excellent event which brings together people from all areas of radio; this year's returns to The Lowry at Salford Quays from 31st October to 2nd September.  It's always been well-attended but I wonder how many Radio Festival attendees would still go if they had to pay out of their own pocket and not because a generous employer is picking up the tab.

As I'm self-employed I don't have that luxury and, even though I'm obviously able to claim the cost as an allowable business expense for tax purposes, I still have to fork out the full amount in the first place.

Several years ago the Radio Academy used to organise an annual one-day 'Music Radio Conference' which, for many years, provided a good meeting-ground for those from both the radio and music industries (with some good stuff in the delegates' bags). A similar Speech Radio event was also organised for a couple of years before the two were merged under the 'Production 200x' banner. These events were more affordable and were also quite well-attended.

In the past few years the economic climate has meant the Radio Academy has had to bring elements from their former one-day conferences (including 'Radio At The Edge') into the main Festival. That's understandable, but the the cost of attending can be outside the budget of many radio people who would otherwise want to attend; especially "the people who do".

Which is why I'm pleased to learn of a new radio conference taking place in Central London (near Euston station) on Thursday 15th September which is aimed directly at them.

At last – a radio conference for radio people.

It’s not designed for the suits. It’s not something that will just appeal to you if you work in a particular part of the radio industry. It’s designed for people who like radio, who want to be inspired by new ideas, who recognise that technology will help it to change and adapt and for those who want to meet like minded people. 

The cost? An affordable £99.

Full details can be found at http://nextrad.io/ 

Unfortunately a prior committment prevents me from being there myself but if my endorsement counts for anything then I'm happy to give it to this event.  There are some great speakers lined-up so I can promise you it won't be like the picture above!

If this does interest you then you'll need to act quickly as there are only 120 tickets available a few tickets left.