10 Reasons Why You Need to Attend the OAB Conference

OAB 100pixSince the in-fighting between the big players in television effectively killed the CAB in Canada, the regional broadcasting organisations have stepped up to fill the void. Remember how we would all make the trip to Ottawa for the annual CAB conference to learn what was new, hear from the regulator, and, of course, network? In Ontario the Ontario Association of Broadcasters (OAB) has been organising an annual conference for the past few years and each year it seems to grow and get better. This year’s event is called “Connection 2015” and it happens in Toronto on Tuesday,  November 10th. Here are 10 reasons why you need to be there.

  1. It’s a one day event. This is a fast-paced, action packed event with some world class speakers and great sessions, designed to give you actionable ideas you can take back to your radio station. The OAB conducts a survey each year to find out what broadcasters want to learn more about. Then the OAB program committee, of which I am a member, develops sessions around the most requested topics.
  2. The conference is held in a convenient location. It’s at the Toronto Airport Marriott Hotel which means you don’t have to deal with downtown traffic jams, pay crazy money to park, and if you fly in, it’s a short cab ride from the airport. You can do it all in one day, or come in the night before and stay in the hotel.
  3. In one day you will get as good, and in some cases better, content than you would by going to other broadcast conferences that last 3 days or longer. There is no need to fly to the Las Vegas, Los Angeles or London to attend a broadcast conference, as we bring the great content to you.
  4. The day starts with a keynote speech by James Cridland, the well-known and respected radio futurologist. Cridland will be exploring great radio ideas from across the world and what it means for all media companies. He’s going to talk about the station that doubled its listening hours by focusing on its digital brand; the radio station that’s also a TV channel; the country that’s turning off FM in two years; and the place where the most popular way to tune in to radio is via FM chips inside phones.
  5. Next is “Radio’s Roadmap to the Future”, moderated by Alan Cross with a panel that will discuss today’s challenges and what radio’s future business model needs to look like. Contributing to this session will be Geoff Poulton from Vista Radio, Jeff Detweiler from Ibiquity (HD Radio), Jeff Smulyan from Emmis Broadcasting (the FM chip/NextRadio), and Jeff Vidler who will present an exclusive audience study conducted by Audience Insights featuring new insights on consumer adoption and the growth of emerging audio technologies in Canada.
  6. Other a.m. sessions dig down into the nuts and bolts of how to make great radio. “We all know how important talent is to our industry and The OAB is very pleased to have John Derringer, the host of the highly successful Q-107 morning show, join us for an in-depth one-on-one conversation about how he got to where he is today and what he does to stay there,” Davies relates. Derringer will be part of the Diving Deep into the Talent Poolsession hosted by Dave Farough who will be joined by Mike Monaghan from Vista Radio North Bay, Paul Kaye from Newcap, and Blair Bartrem from Corus Radio Toronto.
  7. Afternoon sessions continue, including two panels that are critical to radio’s success and growth. “Why Digital & Social Matters to Radio” is a follow up on last year’s popular digital panel that has Chris Byrnes hosting a group of smart digital radio broadcasters discussing apps, engagement, content and strategies for success in a bits and bytes world. You’ll hear from Ricki Lee for Aiir who provide websites and apps to radio stations all over the world. He will talk about how social tools help smaller radio stations compete with larger stations with more resources. Chris “Dunner” Duncombe, the Director of New Media for Corus, will tell you how to make Digital an integrated part of your strategies for success. Jamie Moffatt from StreamOn will talk about how to capitalize on the immediacy of radio, and what radio can learn from the demise of other mediums. Matt Mise is the Digital guru for Larche Communications and he will give you actionable ideas to build revenue for small and medium market stations using social, mobile, web and stream. Next up is “The $’s and Sense of Sales & Programming,” with Rogers Content VP Rob Farina moderating a panel with programmers and managers sharing usable and actionable ideas that can be put into play.
  8. The day’s schedule concludes with the annual Executive Town Hall. Chris Pandoff gets to play judge and jury on a panel that has Julie Adams – Rogers, Mario Cecchini – Corus, Paul Larche – Larche Communications, Jeff Smulyan – Emmis Radio, Raj Shoan – CRTC, and Rob Steele – President and CEO of Newcap Radio all sounding off.
  9. Closing off events is the Awards Gala dinner where the OAB recognizes great accomplishments made by Ontario’s broadcasters over the past year. Dinner guests will be there to cheer a slate of award winners, and welcome Canadian Broadcast Sales president Patrick Grierson into the OAB Hall of Fame, after which it’s more drinks, and a few more still in the suites upstairs.
  10. Stations should bring their sales staff to the OAB this year for a separate Sales training session which will be run by Sean Luce who brings his “Ignite the Fire” sales training program to Toronto. Sean has been delivering this seminar full of useful in the trenches ideas and concepts to broadcasters all over the USA, Canada and beyond on a non stop 6 month road trip. Sean will tell your sales staff how to overcome “budget cutbacks/cancellations” and the 7 steps to closing more business. The reps attend the lunch, hear the keynote speaker and then spend an hour with two creative experts, Jeff Headquest and Ray Ellis, who promise a spirited presentation with two international radio creative experts. It’ll be a fast-paced, two-part seminar offering tips on how to create more effective radio commercials every time.   Sales staff from OAB member stations will pay just $149 and non members pay $199.”We wanted to look at what we need to do today and where we need to be looking tomorrow to ensure the radio business remains a strong and formidable player in the audio universe,” says board member and Numeris director Ross Davies. “Our goal is to provide some real grass roots sessions that focus on making our member stations better, and at the same time, giving them some 50,000 foot level input into the big picture of our industry and where we’re heading.”

Make sure to clear this day in your calendar if you want to be ‘in the loop’ and to gather up a bandwidth of great insight and knowledge focusing about the biz. Register for the OAB conference here