Yes, it snowed. And snowed. But the participants were not deterred. 1600 broadcasters from 50 countries came to Vienna for the annual meeting of the minds. This conference attracts some of the best and brightest broadcasters from around the world. They come for fellowship, learning and a bit of fun.
This is my 8th Radiodays conference. I attend to learn the latest challenges affecting broadcasters. I attend to meet people and to network with current and future clients. I am always reminded of what a small world radio is. I met people who know people I know.
The theme of this year's meeting was "The World is Listening". And, so it is. On many different kinds of devices. We saw proof that radio remains the most trusted medium in Europe. We heard from a brain researcher who talked about controlled attention and automatic attention and how to elicit responses to our information and commercials. We learned about using smart speakers to our advantage.
One disturbing set of facts from the UK showed that radio has 16% of the public's media day and garners only 4% of advertising revenue. Sounds very similar to the numbers in the U.S., Canada and Australia.
We also heard from ad agencies that do not like radio. Why? Most of their reasons centered on the creative: we need to show pictures. KFC was one of the clients represented. Radio was up to the challenge! We took one of their TV commercials and turned it into a radio commercial. Same theme: even more creative! The agency had to agree. I think this proves the point that we need to constantly educate agencies on the power of radio.
Another survey found that 80% of their respondents said that digital ad formats were the most hated ad formats. Hummm.....
We also heard from 10 stations across Europe who use their platforms to help their communities. This is one of the places radio shines: our ability to find needs and address them within our broadcast areas.
In addition to learning, we also had fun. A highlight was an evening reception at the Vienna City Hall. It was the perfect venue to sample Austrian cuisine and talk with friends.
Next year, we will be in Lausanne, Switzerland. I intend to be there. Will you?