There's been a lot of talk of late on the Radio Peeps Facebook page about organizing a Radio Peeps gathering. Up until now, it's been just that, well intentioned talk. I'm going to suggest that we actually do something here and attach ourselves to the most affordable existing gathering in our industry. A gathering that is geared to the sharing and learning nature of this this group. It’s the 41st Annual Conclave Learning Conference.
The Conclave has spent its 40 year existence trying to educate broadcasters and advance our medium. Much like the membership of our Radio Peeps Group, the attendees range from jocks and production directors to interns and students to CEOs and SVPs of programming. It’s intimate, encouraging and energizing, but certainly not free. But neither will be trying to get a bunch of DJs to fly to a city to hang out in bar. Face it, if you're going to spend money and make an effort, there should be a larger purpose and a bigger payoff.
How’d you like to like to learn how to prep a better show or engage more effectively with your audience via social? How’d you like to get some ideas for great podcast topics or a web video series? Maybe spend a few minutes being mentored by the likes of Joel Denver of All Access, Jim Ryan of CBS or Emily Boldon of Cumulus? Have Paige Nienaber set his wallet on fire in front of you? For $249 bucks, you can! This is the lowest priced convention of all radio gatherings and you will definitely learn something. It may be something you already know, but you’ll be reassured that you’re on the right track.
Below is an account of my first few Conclaves. These are some of the things I gained by making a personal investment of time and money in myself.
“It's been over a month since I got back from the Conclave Learning conference in Minneapolis. This was my fifth Conclave; and, probably the best one I've ever attended. The agenda was full of forward-thinking topics and speakers, the most inspiring being someone from another industry, a former executive of American Express. Over the last 30 days or so, I've been digesting what I've learned from this annual trek to Minnesota and how much I've gained from the investments I've made in myself.
I started attending this gathering of like-minded radio pros in 2009. I was approached to be on a panel discussing creativity in producing rock station imaging. Up front I was told that, as a non-profit, there wasn't any money to fund my travel or hotel. As someone who's been getting the fuzzy-end of the lollipop his entire career, I didn't think twice about paying my own way. I don't remember the days of stations or companies paying for employees to do anything! So I put up the airfare, hotel, and even paid for my "tuition" myself. And I must say, it was the best $1,000 I ever spent on my career.
While at my first Conclave, I made so many new contacts. People who have since inspired and motivated me long after the last session concluded. So I made plans to make that same $1,000 investment again in 2010. That year, I had a colleague from CBS Radio on a production panel, so I went to heckle…er, ah, show some support. Terry & I had been friends via phone and internet since I took over imaging duties at WDSY six years earlier but never met in person until that July. Two years later, during Conclave 37, I crossed paths with Nate Zeitz from CESD Talent. Needless to say, if I hadn't attending that Conclave, I would not be represented by Nate for voice-over today.
This business is what you make of it. In 2009, I wasn't happy in my job. But the conditions of the industry, the economy, and my personal life wouldn't allow me to just jump ship and try something else. However, I found a place where like-minded people go every summer and share what they know and how they feel about our medium. For the past 7 years I continue to be re-energized to carry on thru the next trip around the sun. I made dozens of industry contacts, learned about social media, branding, audience behaviors, and forged some great relationships that, thanks to the aforementioned social media, I maintain to this day outside of radio.
I made the choice to invest in myself and it's paid off, big time! I've left my radio day job on my own terms and am a working voice-actor and freelance producer. The one consistency was The Conclave Summer Learning Conference. If you're passionate about radio and want to take it and yourself to the next level, I encourage you to invest in yourself. Set aside some money & some time and go to the Conclave next summer. Who knows, maybe our paths will cross and spark the next big radio revolution. Or, at the very least, I'll buy ya beer!”
So there you go. This is the Radio Peeps gathering everyone has been asking for. Now it’s not a flashy location like Vegas or LA, but then again, those places are pretty pricey. It’s also not a stuffy, corporate affair. Conclave is about sharing and learning and everyone who attends gets it. If we can get a few Radio Peeps on board, I can even try to arrange a Radio Peeps dinner of some kind. That way we can have the best of both worlds. Here’s more info on Conclave 41. I hope you’ll consider attending!