Nick Martin, general manager of Big River Broadcasting Corp. offers his thoughts on the value of the Radio Show and why it is critical for small and medium market radio stations to attend.
What drove your decision to attend the 2021 Radio Show?
I get more done at the Radio Show than most anything else I do all year – from the networking and contacts you make, to the educational opportunities, to the exhibitors you meet – and now you have the added benefit of the NAB Show conferences and show floor.
Why do you think it’s important for small and medium market radio stations to attend the Radio Show?
I’ve attended the Radio Show and NAB Show for over 35 years throughout my career. I did a deal just last week that was based on a contact I made over 30 years ago at the show, so it’s been an invaluable contact. And the person I did that deal with referenced how that business relationship has evolved over all these years. That’s an example of the kind of important business relationship you’ll make and keep throughout your career. So, the Radio Show is perfect for small market broadcasters like us and that’s why I consider it such a critical investment in my business. You can spend a couple of days with just people in the radio industry and get things done and get specific education for your team. Being able to also experience the NAB Show in its full splendor and network with a broader universe of colleagues is added value. I think it’s going to be an amazing event.
Looking ahead to 2022, how do you feel being at the Radio Show will help you plan for next year?
Sending our people to the Radio Show will give us a firm foundation to see what the rest of the industry is doing and how they’re dealing with the pandemic and coming through it, in addition to learning more about how they’ve been operating remotely.
Our goal is to provide our team opportunities to prepare for the future so that we come out of this stronger than we were when we went into it. So, I think it’s important to send our team there to learn how others are handling the challenges we’re facing today and how they’re continuing to evolve and grow and come through this. I want our people to embrace this opportunity to learn everything they can and talk to people who are not in their core area – to talk to equipment manufacturers and learn how others are doing business and use that information to help us be better at what we do every day.
This industry changes on a daily basis. We’re all wearing so many different hats and you have to be versatile and understand how your colleagues are dealing with what they’re doing in their respective departments and how it all works together. And the more well-rounded a broadcast professional you are, the better off we’re all going to be.
What are some of the key benefits of bringing members of your team to the Radio Show?
We’ve been sending members of our team to the Radio Show now for the last 10-12 years. It’s that important to us to be able to provide this opportunity for growth to our team. Anytime we can provide our employees with the opportunity to improve themselves through professional education and networking opportunities, we strongly encourage that, and we support it any way we can. And we try to send the members of our team who want to go. That’s just part of keeping people happy within your organization. You’ve got to invest in your product, and you’ve got to invest in your people.
We want to best utilize the opportunity since we’ll have people on the ground at the show who can bring back information to share with our broader team. From an educational standpoint, an equipment standpoint and a technology standpoint, we know information is critical to the future of this industry and the future of our employees to be able to grow and for us to be able to grow as a business and be ahead of the game. We’re a small market, so sending members of our team to the Radio Show is very important to help us grow and plan for the future.
You see the Radio Show as an important investment in your team. How do they feel about this opportunity to attend the conference?
The people we’re sending to the Radio Show were elated when we told them they’d be able to attend. A couple of them have been to the Radio Show before, but they’ve never been to the NAB Show, so they’re excited to be able to see both events. In fact, a couple of them are even bringing their spouses. Our production director’s husband is an IT professional who will be attending NAB Show on an exhibits pass and he’s ecstatic that he’s going to be able to come out and see the show floor.
If you miss an opportunity to better yourself or for your team to better themselves, that’s an opportunity that might not come around again. You’ve got to take every shot you can get. It gives your team the opportunity to feel better about themselves and be better equipped to do their job and to help us. There are a lot of reasons to be investing in your people right now. I can’t think of a better way to help them be a better employee and a better teammate and be able to help us go into 2022.