By Robin Hildebrand, 2016-17 WAB President, Golden West Broadcasting
The Western Association of Broadcasters hosts their 83rd Annual Conference at the world-class Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel in beautiful Banff, Alberta, June 7-8.
We will kick start the conference with our Golf Classic on June 7th at the prestigious Fairmont Banff Springs Golf Course. Our annual golf tournament has proven time and time again to be a fun networking event in the picturesque Canadian Rockies.
Turning to our conference program, the WAB board is in the midst of planning an action-packed agenda focusing on timely, relevant topics. There will be industry reports from ThinkTV, Radio Connects, Numeris, Canadian Broadcast Standards Council and the Canadian Association of Broadcasters.
We are pleased to have keynote speaker and award-winning journalist Amanda Lang from Bloomberg TV Canada speak on the importance of innovation and how we as broadcasters can manage change in a complex world.
There’s no question digital media has forged a new landscape for local radio and television. Ad dollars are spent differently than they were a decade ago and more change is likely. Media research analyst Gordon Borrell will offer a lively and entertaining look at what the future is likely to hold and what role Canadian broadcasters might play.
Anything is possible in Radio! Erica Farber, CEO of the Radio Marketing Bureau, talks about the many unique and positive strengths of radio. Audio is becoming more important, not less; we must strive to localize the listener experience. No other medium, on any platform, excels at local storytelling more than radio; people ARE still listening.
Veteran media researcher Tom Webster with Edison Research has a unique perspective on what the “truths” are regarding both digital and analog media. WAB attendees will leave Banff learning how they can position themselves in their local markets to better compete with what seems like an ever-growing list of digital competitors.
Over the past six years, the CRTC Meet & Greet has become a WAB tradition and we are honoured to once again host this invaluable opportunity for our small market radio and television stations in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba to meet face-to-face with key CRTC Commissioners and staff in a relaxed and informal setting. Our timely CRTC Report will be given this year by Steve Simpson, Commissioner for British Columbia and the Yukon.
As you can see, we’re gearing up for another high level conference in 2017 with an amazing lineup of top tier speakers and programming content. The age of disruption and the ever-evolving challenges facing our private radio and television broadcasters is the underlying theme of the conference. The insights provided by our speakers will help us navigate the ever-evolving broadcasting landscape.
Registration is now open and we encourage you to register soon. If you have not attended a WAB Conference in the past, make this the year to attend as we have an excellent conference planned.
The conference highlight each year is the President’s Dinner & Gold Medal Awards Gala. We will recognize our long serving broadcasters for their 25 and 50 years of service to the industry with the Broadcast Order of Achievement. Our radio and television broadcasters will honoured with the WAB Gold Medal Awards for their significant community service.
The Leader of Tomorrow award will also be handed out to someone under the age of 30 who has made a mark in their early career. We’ll close the event with our distinguished Hall of Fame Induction.
With the support of FACTOR and Canada’s private radio broadcasters, we are excited to bring some soul to Banff. Canadian rising star Nuela Charles will perform exclusively for our delegates and guests. We look forward to having her perform at the President’s Dinner & Awards Gala.
Please visit wab.ca to register today and reserve hotel accommodations. More information about becoming a valued member of the Western Association of Broadcasters is also available on the website.