Maybe it wasn’t the summer school you remember back in the day, but at the 35th annual Conclave in Minneapolis last week, a large crowd gathered in the Twin Cities for some great sessions and good times. Dare I say that at times, it indeed felt like the good old days.
And I’m not talking about broadcasters whining about the way things are compared to the way things (allegedly) were.
No, I’m talking about hundreds of broadcasters from all sized markets, formats, and backgrounds, gathering to compare notes, learn from one another, and continue to adjust to the changes that we face every day at our stations and in our companies.
As regular readers of this blog know, we committed to producing the Jacobs Media “Summer School” – 12 info-packed mini-sessions in four hours that kicked off Conclave. It had strong attendance all day long. But more than great numbers, it was a quality crowd comprised of small market broadcasters, newcomers to radio, as well as industry veterans like John Gehron, Bob Lawrence, Warren Kurtzman, Gary Krantz, and Kipper McGee.
Tom Kay must be a happy guy because this year’s conference accomplished the organization’s main goal:
“Through education, the Conclave’s mission is to improve the quality of broadcasting and related industries so they may better serve the public interest.”
We were thrilled to be a part of it. My crew – Paul Jacobs (pictured below), Keith Cunningham, Ralph Cipolla, and Bill Jacobs – all put together outstanding sessions that inspired lots of note-taking all morning long.
And our “guest lecturers” rocked, too.
We had representatives from Arbitron – Gary Marince and Dr. Ed Cohen – filling in the blanks about the diary and PPM. Gary’s session featured RCS’ Phillippe Generali (pictured right) who provided strong evidence to support PPM’s ability to tell broadcasters a great deal about features, and how they can be better evaluated. While many 'Clavers may be working in smaller markets that will always be measured by the diary, the fundamental lessons from PPM and how they can be applied to any situation were of great value.
Steve Goldstein (pictured left) provided an abbreviated but fast-moving version of his “Brilliant at the Basics” presentation that kept the room thinking about how they could take his lessons back to their stations this week. Nobody does a better job of making the case that the devils are indeed in the details than Steve, and we appreciate him being there.
Along the way, Ralph made the case for a more “Zen-like” approach to music scheduling, Keith demonstrated the need for radio to commit to video, Bill provided a road map for DJs to create better brands for themselves, and Paul reminded everyone that “You’re in sales” – whether you work in a cubicle and carry a rate card – or you’re a PD or a jock.
Thanks to my staff, our guests, and the Conclave Board for their support – from Tom to David Martin to Mark Bolke – and their team. Besides Summer School, there were scores of great sessions, including RAIN, and other meaty panels.
And to all of you made the trek to Minneapolis in July to learn from one another, thanks for coming.