Radio Nerds 2009


Hey there,

From March 31-April 4 I attended the NFCB (National Federation for Community Broadcasters) annual conference in Portland, OR. What struck me immediately when I arrived at the Hilton was:

1. I was one of the youngest, if not the youngest, person at this conference
2. The radio station I represent was the most illegitimate, pirate, DIY station out of any other station being represented
3. I thought I was nerdy but I barely was at all compared to these people

All the different sessions were separated into the following tracks: All, Producers, Development/Underwriting, Fundraising, Management, Youth, Community Engagement, Technology. Naturally, I chose sessions under the producers and development tracks for the most part because that is what I focus on developing in my work at ZUMIX Radio. I dabbled in a bit of everything to get a comprehensive learning experience at this conference.

The following are the sessions I attended: Interview Techniques, Strategic Planning, Marketing, Setting Up a Membership Program, Producers Shaping the Sound of Tomorrow, How Do I get more Latinos to Listen to My Station?

Generally, I found the conference to be an excellent learning experience. I was disappointed by a few of the sessions that I was counting on to be helpful, namely the marketing and getting more Latinos to listen sessions. I couldn't have expected every session to be amazing! I wished there was a session specifically geared towards getting underwriting going for a community station. Underwriting is something I have been working towards achieving for ZUMIX Radio since I began my year of service but sadly hasn't gotten much of anywhere. Bummer.

There was a field trip for conference attendees to KBOO which is a community radio station in Portland. I enjoyed this part of the conference immensely because KBOO is full of some of the most eccentric people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting, including this dude with this insanely tricked out bike:

Here is a snippet of the inside of KBOO:
My jealousy festers over their insane music library, and its color-coded organization!!!


I was invited to participate in a late night show after schmoozing with some staff people there! Sadly, none of the contacts I made followed up with any of my e-mails, the same goes for the people I met at the actual conference. Shrug. People are busy I suppose. All in all it was a great experience and a pretty cool city. I think I brought back some useful knowledge to ZUMIX and I would recommend this conference to anyone working for a community radio station. I would like to attend next year!

Comment from Nickey Robare on May 11, 2009 - 4:45pm

Ha, I totally know that guy! He's big on the bike scene. He's pretty wacky, alright.
You should've emailed me, I woulda shown you around...

Comment from Megan Donovan on May 11, 2009 - 5:16pm

is your e-mail if so, then i totally did e-mail you on march 30th