Our Affiliate Relations rep Kimberly Sawyer attended The Conclave Conference – a yearly conference for the radio industry with the mission to improve the quality of broadcasting to better serve the public interest. Here’s Kim’s wrap-up:
I had an amazing time at the Conclave (#Conclave41) in Minneapolis, and my biggest takeaway is that the things that made it great are the same things that are great about radio and radio folk in general.
A Conclave of Accessibility & Intimacy
They tell us that this year’s Conclave boasted the largest numbers attendees of the past decade – but no one got lost in the crowd. Everyone was open, friendly and approachable. I met and chatted with all kinds of staffers: from new jocks at their first ever Conclave, to Ops Directors and Owners. For an industry conference, there was a real “class reunion” vibe. I was there to talk about our public affairs programming, but ended up swapping lots of radio biz stories with folks from all over the country. This vibe continued at the airport Friday night when some of us were stranded by a canceled Chicago flight. This is a great group to be stuck with.
A Conclave of Professional Expertise & Camaraderie
The amount of talent and experience represented on the Conclave’s panels was quite impressive: Brian Thomas, Peter Bowen, Tony Coles, Ginny Morris, Jon Zellner, Dan Mason, Kevin LeGrett, Susan Larkin, Fred Jacobs. So many great insights, perspectives and real world wisdom. During the question and answer sessions, I was struck by how many of us feel challenged or inspired by the same trends in our industry. We seem to complain and cheer collectively, like we all live in the same neighborhood.
A Conclave of Energy & Optimism
One of the intangible aspects of any professional gathering is the buzz. It’s that underlying feeling that is hard to assign to any one thing, but which is somehow present the whole time. Believe me, I’ve been to groups where the buzz was low, and that kind of negativity brings the entire event down. In contrast, Conclave41 was buzzing with passionate, committed people eager to share and learn and make each other laugh. One of my favorite moments was the award ceremony honoring Duke Wright, CEO of Midwest Communications, who reminded us that the end of radio was predicted in the fifties when television came on the scene, and guess what – we’re all still here.
…Although some of us might still be waiting for a flight home. Hope to see everyone at Conclave 42.