(By Georgia Beasley) It’s that time of year again! The Radio Show is here and while this is an opportunity for many in the industry to see familiar faces, each year a new batch of fresh faces arrive with a lot of nerves and a lack of preparation. Obviously, the show can be very overwhelming for a first-time attendee. I remember my first Radio Show. My stomach was in knots and, to make matters worse, I didn’t plan properly so I couldn’t figure out where the sessions were and spent a few hours roaming, pretending to look like I knew where I was going. In honor of this year’s Radio Show in Austin, I wanted to create a Radio Show “cheat sheet” for any first-time attendees.
Download the App. (Search Radio Show 2017 in the app store) The key to a great Radio Show is preparation. I highly suggest downloading the app and going online to plan out which sessions you’re most interested in and want to attend. If the location of your session changes last minute, you’ll get a notification from the app, so make sure to download it so you have the most up-to-date show information. Also, once the app is downloaded, make a profile so you can create an exchange using hashtags and be recognized throughout the show.
Network. Don’t be afraid to read someone’s name tag and introduce yourself. In fact, introduce yourself to as many people as you can over the duration of the show. Attend the social events such as the Kick Off and when you have down time, DON’T just go to your room or a coffee shop to answer emails. Instead, introduce yourself, go walk around and look at the exhibitor’s booths. You can answer you emails at night or wake up early to get them done. This show is only a few days, use every minute to network and it will pay off for you. OH… And don’t forget your business cards at home!
Go to ALL the Super Sessions. This is where you will see and meet the most successful people in the industry. Plan out which big players will be at which sessions before arriving to the show. Once you’re there, take notes and when it ends, GO SAY HI. Here’s the key, follow this up with an email next week, reintroducing yourself and allude to a specific point or multiple points they made that resonated with you during the session. That’s how you network like a pro at the Radio Show!
Get Familiar With the Venue. As I mentioned, I roamed for a few hours at my first show because I was too embarrassed to ask for help and I ended up missing out on the session I was most excited to attend. Here’s the reality, everyone is nervous at their first show and everyone else is just happy you came so if you get lost, ASK FOR HELP! Even if that person doesn’t know the answer, they’ll point you in the right direction and you’ll have a new connection for the rest of your radio career.
Maximize Your Experience. You only get one first Radio Show so work with your manager this week to develop a plan that will maximize your experience and hopefully get you back next year. I suggest using this as an opportunity to help the rest of your team that won’t be able to attend, and also help you emerge as a leader in your station. Ask your manager which five sessions s/he would find most useful for the team to get more information on and make a suggestion that you could cover a different session over the next five sales meetings. By taking the initiative and volunteering to attend those sessions you’ll be securing your position as an emerging leader on the team.
For example, maybe you’re interested in learning about advancements in voice control audio, so attend the session and then report back to your GM with the expertise from the best in the business… it’s a win-win!
HAVE FUN… SMILE… BE BOLD… Introduce yourself to as many people as you can. Take this opportunity to build relationships with various people in different companies. Our industry is smaller than you think. When you introduce yourself to someone you may think they’ll never remember your name, trust me, they probably will, so make a great first impression. OH… And don’t forget your business cards to bring plenty of business cards!
Regardless of whether you take the advice above, one thing is for sure… You WILL leave the Radio Show having a new-found respect for the radio industry, and conviction for the passion that lives inside of the outstanding people that continue to help it grow. That is a feeling that never goes away, and it comes alive again each year you return.
Georgia Beasley is the director of TopicPulse strategic initiatives at Futuri Media and can be reached at [email protected]