(By Cathy Csukas) As I sat down to write this, it dawned on me that this was the very first professional event I have attended since the shutdown. In the past, Forecast has always been an event I looked forward to, not only to connect with my industry peers but to hear valuable insights on the trends and forecasts for the following year.
But the last time I dressed up with the intention of networking, catching up with industry colleagues and being in the presence of other human beings (outside of my family and close friends) was almost two years ago. It was exciting and a little nerve wracking, but overall, a wonderfully rewarding experience. Truthfully, many of us picked up right where we left off in March of 2020, which was refreshing!
I was taken aback by how grateful I felt having the privilege of seeing so many familiar faces and hearing their personal journeys of how they navigated through this pandemic, not only personally but professionally. Each of us with our own unique experiences but echoing countless similarities, like feeling blindsided but then having to continue to lead our teams and companies as if we could predict what would happen next. “Business as usual” looks much different than when we last gathered. None of us are the same. We have all changed. Collectively, there’s a feeling that we’ve become more resilient, more aware, and better than we were before.
After speaking with so many colleagues at Forecast 2022, it seems we have a similar mindshift in common. We are more attentive to the important things, we’re focusing on the right priorities and frankly, we are ALL optimistic for the future.
It was invigorating to hear, feel, and see how resilient the industry has been and continues to remain. Despite the impacts of the pandemic, we are strong, positive and ready for what is to come. The energy from the local broadcasters who shared their stories of how they have been working to support their local communities spoke volumes to the true power and importance of local radio.
In addition to hope for the future, Forecast 2022 brought phenomenal speakers that provided powerful content. I particularly enjoyed hearing directly from the impressive Deborah Wahl, Global CMO of General Motors and FCC Commissioner Nathan Simington.
Thank you Deborah Parenti and Radio Ink for your hard work, planning and dedication to put on another remarkable and insightful Forecast event. Aside from the tremendously valuable information and takeaways, this first in-person event allowed me the opportunity to step away from the screen for a minute, reconnect in person with our industry leaders and innovators and most importantly, remind me why I/we love radio so much. Hint….it’s the people.
Cathy Csukas is the co-CEO and Founder of AdLarge and can be reached at [email protected]