Last week I attended the Nextrad.io conference at the Magic Circle in London. As with most radio things I attend I have various hats on when listening to people talk. I have my BBC World Service hat on most of the time but I also have a Hospital Radio hat on having been involved in HR for over 20 years and I also have a podcasting hat and general radio loving hat on too. So I was greatly looking forward to this event.

It was designed for people who ‘do’ radio and I would say I ‘do’ it in various places. The talks were short, either 9 or 18 minutes long. This meant a packed programme. Here are some things I took from the event.

Nik Goodman spoke about the Top 5 things that work in radio across the world – Entertaining, Emotion, Creativity, Storytelling, Honesty are the things I got down. It was an enjoyable talk.

Francesca Panetta from the Guardian Audio team spoke about why podcasts are different from radio. I have podcast since October 2005 and although have been quiet with my podcasts recently is something I am interested in still. Her main points were

  • You don’t need to follow the old ‘cue – package – backanno’ style of radio presentation.
  • It can be brave
  • It’s in stereo – most of the time you are being played on headphones
  • Treasurable
  • A Space for Innovation

Steve Martin (who I have a bizarre relationship with, having done some work with him in the past and have spoken to on the phone but he doesn’t know what I look like in public yet we work in the same building) did a talk about Creative Perils which he has put on his website was enjoyable and made me think about promotions in radio.

The Prison Radio association spoke about their work in the UK and it was an interesting talk and one I could turn around to my work with Hospital Radio. They had some targets for their radio.

  • Make them think
  • Make them feel inspired
  • Make them feel emotional
  • Mark them feel good
  • Mark them reflect
  • Mark them dream

Paul Chantler (a man who employed me once but probably didn’t know he did) spoke about Libel and Slander which although not a sexy subject did make me think about the way many Hospital Radio stations probably break these rules all the time and that they need to be careful – perhaps I should ask him to attend an HBA conference?

Steve Ackerman from Somethin’ Else spoke about the company and some of the projects he has been involved in and it was refreshing to hear about audio being used outside of radio. As a technical sound person it also gave me a little view as to something else I could do with my audio/radio skills outside of the BBC. They have worked on a iphone app called Papa Sangria and did some work with Wrigleys on a game called Nightjar – both of which are audio based games.

The final session which made me write things down was from Dick Stone. All about prep and he has written this up on his blog here so again won’t recite it.

I must also mention Mark Channon who did a session all about remembering things. This was a breath of fresh air and acted as a good ‘wake up’ session during the afternoon.

Conclusion – it was an enjoyable day and I did learn some things I could take with me but I think mostly it showed me what else is going on around the industry. It is quite easy to remain enclosed within the BBC bubble but in these changing times it is important we all look out else we could find ourselves outside the school gates without any friends. Hopefully another one next year.