Going All In with PBS TechCon 2017
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Every April, amidst glow and glimmer of the City of Lights, there is a special gathering unlike any other in public media. A special group of professionals—time-tested and supremely-dedicated—come together for a learning event beyond compare in our industry.

For those who have attended in the past, it has become a permanent fixture in their calendars. And each year, the individuals planning the experience try to outdo themselves, adding more engagement and wisdom at every turn. You’ve heard the tales, and read the stories! (herehere, and here)

If you haven’t already guessed (or read the headline of this article), PBS TechCon is the event, and the 2017 conference is right around the corner.

This year, PBS TechCon is expected to offer even more learning, networking, and growth opportunities for attendees. The amount of sessions being offered for each discipline—T&O, Digital, Traffic—has increased, with sessions focused on digital fundraising and production being added to the mix.

Here is a look at what you can expect at this year’s PBS TechCon:

  • 80+ tactical and strategic breakout sessions focused on broadcast infrastructure, content & engagement, fundraising, future tech, media management, digital products, traffic, and more. (Check out the session agenda - http://bit.ly/2mcu2AN)
  • Over 10 peer-to-peer networking opportunities across two and a half days
  • Four general sessions with PBS leadership and industry experts
  • Two exhibit areas featuring industry-related vendors and core PBS services for stations
  • An integrated Digital Immersion track focused on building an effective multiplatform strategy

Add in multiple off-agenda evening events, and each day is filled, from start to finish, with a chance to grow as a professional and engage with system colleagues.


From the very first concurrents on Wednesday afternoon to last breakouts on Friday, each session provides a chance to hone existing skills and absorb new knowledge. The sessions are a mix of PBS and system-crafted topics designed to present success stories and learning from across our industry. You will not want to miss a minute. Peppered throughout the conference are sessions dealing with interconnection, public safety, organizational structure, and too many other topics to list.

Next week, we will go more in-depth with a look at session highlights from the Digital track. Be sure to check back in.


Beyond the sessions, there will be an exhibit hall filled with industry-related vendors, and another area dedicated to PBS services for stations. At the PBS Digital booth you can receive demos, meet PBS Digital staff, and members of the Digital Media Advisory Council. In addition you can learn more about the Source 2.0, get hands-on technical support for PBS Digital products and services, or set up time to meet with colleagues while you charge your devices.

One of the goals of PBS TechCon is to foster collaboration and connections, so take advantage of the spaces and times set aside for networking.


This year, there are three different scholarships available for those seeking assistance to attend TechCon.

  • The Tracy Carter Traffic Scholarship (February 28th deadline) awards two station traffic staffers with registration for TechCon. 
  • The YoProWo Scholarships (March 10th deadline) offers two young professionals, relatively new to PBS stations, a chance to attend, covering registration, hotel, and airfare. 
  • The Digital Immersion Project (February 28th deadline) will be rewarding 25 PBS member station staff who work on digital initiatives with a professional development opportunity that includes a TechCon scholarship for registration, hotel, and airfare.

Early Bird registration ends March 17, so there is still time to apply and receive notice before each scholarship deadline.

If you haven’t thought about attending TechCon, it is definitely worth considering. Public media is quickly becoming a cross-skill industry, and adding new proficiencies will help you and your station adapt to the constant changes. If you’re looking for some talking points to help justify your trip, visit this link: http://www.pbstechconference.org/agenda/justify-your-trip/

Here are some additional info to plan your trip:

We hope you can join us at PBS TechCon 2017. We are excited to meet you and hear about what your station is doing. See you in Vegas!