Humor, Honesty and Hope - What #Conclave41 Was All About
July 19, 2016
Radio colleagues that did not attend the 41st anniversary of The Conclave last week have been asking how it went. While inspirational, informative, and interesting are among the sentiments that apply, it's not easy to capture the spirit of what it's like to truly be there.
Running into old friends or meeting colleagues you've "known of" for years, face to face is uplifting.
So I'll do my best to pull you into an event filled with great names, voices and thoughts in a way that only "Merge" could do it - using the socially savvy attendees who (unknowingly) became my "citizen journalists" to tell you a bit of the story.
It all started with the highly entertaining keynote event, "Ask Me 'Almost' Anything."
This is where key leaders in our industry from various positions talk about the fundamental changes within radio and the positive momentum from the local level.
(L to R: RAB/Pres., Erica Farber; iHeart EVP/Prog., Tony Coles; iHeart EVP/Prog., Jon Zellner; Cumulus Chicago VP/MM, Peter Bowen & Hubbard CEO, Ginny Morris)
And there were plenty of "tweetable" moments from it. Like this one:
Hubbard CEO, Ginny Morris reinforcing radio's emotional connection:
As well as Ginny answering a question from the audience, "Who is your favorite female personality?"
We all loved Cumulus Chicago VP/Market Manager, Peter Bowen's comment at the end:
And there were other moments during the keynote that resonated with attendees, too:
The keynote event was so moving it truly set the tone for the rest of the event with insight and laughter. Here are just a few of those moments:
If there were one phrase that encapsulates #Conclave41- my guess is that it was "Disc Jockey blood," coined by Dan Mason during his speech that ended with a rousing standing ovation:
But it wasn't just about "disc jockey blood," Dan had other great quotes:
Another speech that received a loud standing ovation at the end came from President/CEO Midwest Communications, Duke Wright.
The Conclave honored Duke this year with the Rockwell Award.
The Rockwell Award is presented to broadcasters that make a difference with their contributions to the industry and their communities:
(L to R; Duke Wright, Jeff McCarthy, SVP/Programming Midwest Communications)
And the 2nd annual "Speed Mentoring Breakfast" was once again a huge hit.
This is where some of radio's decision makers offer rare access to mentees - giving valuable career building advice.
(By the way, this isn't just about up-and-coming talent having access to great radio minds. Colleagues already well established in the business take advantage of the speed mentoring, too.)
Among the mentors that gave their time, CBS Radio's SVP/Programming, Jim Ryan:
Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB)/President, Erica Farber:
Cumulus Vice President Programming Operations, John Dimick:
And of course AllAccess.com Pres./Publisher, Joel Denver:
Captured socially - this is a small fraction of the takeaways and camaraderie experienced.
It's important for our industry to hold this event. It's equally important for the industry to support it.
We get to talk with each other, learn and grow as a business. Many times you find it's the smallest things that resonate with you to take away and apply to your brand(s) and reputation (and maybe even yourself) to refine and reset.
There's also nothing better than reconnecting with the friends who have cared along the way.
Perhaps this Twitter exchange between an up-and-coming radio talent and an Executive VP/Programming sums up #Conclave41 perfectly:
It's truly a gathering not to miss. Hope to see you at #Conclave42.
Reach out to me anytime on Twitter @lorilewis.
Please enjoy MERGE archives here.