Summer is ending, and with that comes the fall convention cycle. There are times it seems all I do is prepare for the next conference or convention while simultaneously wrapping up the one that just finished. But in reality that's really only one part of what Radio magazine is about.
With this issue we prepare to head to Chicago for the 2011 Radio Show. It's been quite some time since I attended an event in Chicago, so I look forward to returning. Chicago should be a good location for attendees. Like Philadelphia, Washington and New Orleans, Chicago is a very walkable city around the convention hotel area. There are also plenty of things to do outside the convention hours, and plenty of places to go during the convention. It's also easy to get around with the Loop, Chicago's light rail system.
So while the host city is a good choice, the real question is about the convention itself. The Radio Show has had its ups and downs over the past years. The glory days of the combined shows with the (then) RTNDA and SBE are behind us. The combined NAB/RAB show has provided some spark to the event again.
Comparing the 2010 show and the 2011 show, one big difference is the treatment of the exhibit area. Still called the Marketplace, the 2011 space has gone back to the traditional booth setup rather than the table-top layout like 2010. I welcome this change, or rather, return in approach to the layout.
The Marketplace will still have a session area within it, although it's off to the side. Looking at the floor plan, it should be close enough to attract attention when needed, but not so immersed in the exhibits that it's hard to do business on the exhibit floor. And the other session rooms are not too distant.
The sessions themselves have a good mix of topics. (We have a brief overview in this issue on page 52.) While we as engineers tend to stick to the technical track, I always look at the other conference tracks for potentially interesting topics. It's important for a station engineer to be involved in the management and programming sides to a certain degree, so it makes sense to look into their sessions as well. Our session grid includes some of these non-engineering topics for your reference.
The fall Radio Show has struggled some in recent years. The economy itself is easy to blame, but there have been convention decisions that I'm sure looked good on paper, but did not execute well in reality. It appears the NAB and RAB and learned some lessons and put them to good use in planning the 2011 show.
Is the convention still heavy on the sales and management feel? Yes, but the RAB is a coproducer. That's the RAB's audience. The NAB's main involvement is with owners and managers as well, so I expect the tradition of the fall convention to appeal to this side of the station. Programmers have a good share of sessions, too. But the engineering track looks solid with all aspects of station operations being covered.
With a good central location, relevant session topics, a tested exhibit hall arrangement and an interesting host city, the 2011 Radio Show has the potential to be one of the better years for this convention.
Something new is coming
Next month you'll see a new look for Radio magazine, and we're excited to bring it to you. We're updating the look and feel of the issue with a slightly larger size and an updated graphic look. We started gathering ideas for the new look a few months ago, and those ideas have been put into the all-new look for Radio magazine. We think you're going to like what you see.