Get Your Brain Started: Get to a Regional Meeting!

Last Updated by Sara Kewin | Marketing Assistant | KVIE on
Sara Kewin is the marketing assistant at KVIE Public Television in Sacramento, CA, and recently attended the Fresno Regional Meeting. PBS Digital is preparing to head to Jacksonville, FL for the next Regional Meeting of 2016. We hope to see many east coast stations attend and be able to walk away with similar experiences.

pbsregmtg.jpgPhoto by Kellie RainesI made reservations for my first PBS regional meeting on my second day at KVIE Public Television. I was told to go, absorb, and learn what I could – I had no idea what I was in for. Call it good meeting planning: I leapt at the chance to go to a second one!

In my very short time as the marketing assistant at KVIE in Sacramento, I've been fortunate enough to attend two regional meetings, one in Portland, OR, and one in Fresno, CA. Both have been opportunities to connect, learn, regroup, problem-solve, put faces to names, and even kvetch with members of the PBS family, both in the national office and at nearby (or near-ish) member stations.

Let’s make this easy: Here are three great reasons to go to a regional meeting.

Regional meetings are designed by the attendees. 
This means everyone going has a chance to call a session on whatever topic they’d like to talk about, and you design your own conference experience based on which sessions sound most interesting to you. This also means you don't have to wait to talk about what you want to talk about – people are already in your session, sharing solutions and discussing opportunities.

I attended sessions on PBS Super 7 programs, social media, digital roadmaps, one simply called the “marketing meet-up,” and more. Colleagues attended sessions on programming, education, underwriting, events, technology, and more – all related to their jobs, or helping them to expand their knowledge of PBS.

Regional meetings introduce you to PBS staff. 
I've attended a dozen webinars in my five months at a member station. They're helpful, they give you necessary information, and they make time for questions, but it’s much easier to know which questions to ask when you know who you're talking to. At the Portland regional meeting I got face time with the PBS staff members I’d been emailing. Knowing there’s a person who cares about PBS as much as you do makes it that much easier to reach out.

Regional meetings unite you with other stations. 
It can, at times, seem isolating to stay within the confines of a station, and regional meetings can be a breath of fresh air. Every station has amazing people doing amazing things, and at a regional meeting you get to engage with those people, whether they're down the road from you (hello to KIXE, Valley PBS, and KQED!) or a few states away. Take inspiration from other stations – and let them take inspiration from you. Find the help you need to work through a problem. The KVIE team came home from both regional meetings with new ideas to implement, and the passion get them started.

If you have the opportunity to attend a regional meeting, take it. The worst that can happen is you'll meet colleagues and learn what’s coming in the next year. At best you will leave inspired, ready to take on new challenges with the support of your peers at other stations.

The next PBS Regional Meeting is set for February 24-25 in Jacksonville, FL. Learn more about attending this and future regionals by visiting PBS Conferences website

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