BCAB changes format and timing of annual conference

The British Columbia Association of Broadcasters (BCAB) has announced that it’s moving its annual conference from mid-May to October and trying on a new streamlined format.

The 72nd Annual BCAB Conference will now take place Oct. 2-3, 2019, with the revamped event condensed from three days to one and a half. The host location will be Victoria’s The Inn at Laurel Point.

Rob Bye, president of BCAB, said the changes are in response to feedback from delegates and the broadcast ownership groups.

“Some of the feedback was the sense that some of these conferences are a little too close together,” Bye told Broadcast Dialogue. “We were quite close to Western Association of Broadcasters (WAB), and very close to Canadian Music Week (CMW). We certainly heard those concerns and that was part of the reasoning in terms of moving our conference and hosting something new and innovative.”

The new format forgoes the annual golf tournament that previously kicked off the conference. It will now open with a Wednesday evening welcome reception, followed by a full day of sessions, and conclude with an awards gala that evening.

“It makes our format a little more like Ontario Association of Broadcasters (OAB) and WAB, in that we’ll be all in one day with our sessions. We feel it’s just a little better use of everybody’s time. We’re pretty excited to be looking at new dates and the folks we can bring in as presenters.”

Bell Media withdraws support for regional conferences

Bye said the last two years, the event has drawn about 120 delegates from around the province.

Funded by the ongoing membership of broadcast ownership groups like Corus Entertainment, Vista Radio, Rogers Media and Jim Pattison Broadcast Group, in addition to a host of smaller companies, Bye said Bell Media officially pulled its support over the summer.

“That was Bell’s decision in the summer and I think there’s still opportunity to bring them back in the fold,” said Bye. “There’s certainly some discussion about the future of regional conferences. I think all companies are always taking a look year to year as to what’s going on fiscally. What’s the budget like? What can we support? Where are our markets? Where can we send people? Those are all important questions. Right now, in terms of the BCAB’s bottom line, we’re in a healthy position. We’re just fine.”

BCAB will be in touch with its membership as plans for the conference move forward and presenters are confirmed.

Bell Media spokesperson Rob Duffy confirmed that the company is no longer supporting regional conferences and associations.

“After much review, as a national broadcaster with 109 stations across the country, we have centralized our participation at the national level under the CAB [Canadian Association of Broadcasters] Radio Council umbrella,” Duffy said in an emailed statement.

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