If you have been around the system long enough, you can recall when annual meetings were only accessible in person, you realize now that iMA was not ahead of its time, and you understand the value from an industry conference is in the hallway peer to peer as well in the break-out sessions.
There may be no better example going than TechCon.
Look, everyone is wrestling with “digital” and we all know the questions… What is the right presence and digital presentation our system or for YOUR station? How much can I afford to invest? Where and How? And how do I measure my return? You would be amazed at how many answers are attending and walking around at TechCon. Station by station, these questions are being answered.
I have watched the conference grow the last couple of years, adding elements regarding station work flow, program production and audience development across platforms, and (dare I say it) Fundraising! But, in my opinion, the greatest personality trait of TechCon is the willingness of attendees from all station sizes and flavors to share their experiences. You will see it in the break out session titles and you will experience it in the casual hall-way conversions.
At South Dakota Public Broadcasting, we have been making a VERY concerted effort to grow our digital media presences and audience. But we are working with limited resources like you. Each of the last several TechCon meetings have provided idea starters for use to incorporate digital production into the workflow of radio and television producers, drive more and more people to the “donate button” even if they only know us from Facebook. And each of the last several TechCon meetings have provided me with useful interaction with station peers trying digital fundraising with varying levels of success with; with station peers sharing the value of their “digital-first” strategy and why it builds audience online and on-air; with station peers sharing their experience restructuring their production centers, master-controls, and audience outreach to include digital components.
If you are at “Where do I start” or “What can we do next” I would encourage you to consider representing your station at TechCon. It’s Vegas baby, but it’s a sure bet you will bring home valuable ideas and enthusiasm.
TechCon is a fixture on our professional development calendar; I would encourage you to put it on your calendar as well. Digital workflow, program distribution, tips and techniques for local stations in a digital world are NOT one size fits all. Neither is TechCon. When you see me there, ask me about live streaming, teaching old producers the value of new digital tricks, and the public broadcasting life in a REALLY red state.
Consider applying for the Digital Immersion Project; find details here!