Mon. Aug 20th, 2018

The BSM Programming Summit Comes to Chicago

The plan was to take a much needed break on my birthday and mentally prepare for the next few days in Chicago, yet here I am cranking out a column because sometimes it’s difficult to shut off my brain and disconnect from work. Such is life. When the radio bug is in you, it’s not easy to get rid of.

For the past nine months I’ve been working on creating the inaugural Barrett Sports Media programming summit. It’s been a challenging, exciting, aggravating and fun process and it’s hard to believe that it’s less than 48 hours away.

I’ve paid close attention over the years to the way the sports format acknowledges and celebrates its existence. Aside from an honorable mention at conference or two and programmers crossing paths at company or client related functions, there isn’t a lot of opportunity for the best and brightest to come together for a few days and learn from each other. We may not change the world by swapping stories, sharing ideas and analyzing the future of the industry but conversations are a necessary part of progress and I hope the time spent this week will benefit all involved.

So often in the sports radio industry we talk about the importance of growth but we don’t always make time for it. The PD job is time consuming, intense and constantly changing and you can’t fully grow as a leader by staying trapped inside your own walls. Being surrounded by other programmers and experts in different fields allows you to gain knowledge to be better at your craft, and whether it’s the BSM Summit, NAB Show, Podcast Movement Conference or another event not radio industry related, all PD’s should make it part of their annual strategy to get out of the office for a few days to help their professional development. In fact, Market Managers should insist on it. If the PD walks away with one idea and it translates to success, it more than pays for itself.

While my mind has been consumed by my regular projects and the upcoming conference, the downside to being busy has been a slight decline of columns from yours truly. If you’ve been missing The Barrett Blog, I apologize for the lack of activity but do appreciate the loyalty and interest. If you’ve learned to live without the blog, then I guess I’ll have to work harder in the future to reel you back in! I’m all about converting P2’s to P1’s, haha.

As far as the next few days are concerned, I couldn’t be more thrilled about the way this event has come together. I’m looking forward to sharing my insights, strengthening relationships and picking up a few pearls of wisdom from many of our industry’s top sports radio minds. As of last check there were close to forty representatives from eleven different companies attending the two-day affair and that’s surpassed my original expectations.

I owe a huge thank you to Mitch Rosen, Jimmy DeCastro, Ryan Williams, Chad Feldman and the Entercom Chicago team for their hospitality and support. Although The Score is not a BSM client, they’ve been a great partner for this event and that will be further highlighted over the next few days.

For industry leaders and on-air staffs who aren’t in Chicago for the event, I do have some good news to pass along. We will be recording audio at the event for future episodes of the BSM Podcast. Yes it is returning, most likely in mid to late April.

We will also have an ongoing blog on the website Thursday and Friday providing the most important details from each session. Brandon Contes who writes for BSM is making the trip and will be locked in on the BSM website to help keep industry members informed. There will likely be other feedback shared on Twitter courtesy of conference attendees. The best way to follow along will be on Twitter with the hashatg #BSMChicago.

But wait, there’s more.

Thanks to the wonders of technology, we’ll be creating a few short videos and broadcasting one session each day on Periscope and Facebook Live. Stay tuned to my social media accounts for details on when we’ll be turning on the cameras.

Altogether, thirty five different speakers are participating in the event. Rather than running thru all of the names, I’ve included the schedule which you can see by clicking here.

It goes without saying but I am extremely grateful to everyone who’s making the trip and agreed to lend their time to participate. The next few days in Chicago will be fun, informative and beneficial to all in attendance, and I’m chomping at the bit to get started.

Until then, I’ve got some birthday cake to eat!

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