After a year of not knowing what’s around the corner, it’s certainly comforting to see the gradual return of routines. We hear from so many in broadcasting about the importance of being nimble and open to new ideas. Well, if you survived the last 14 months, you can most definitely call yourself nimble!
Your WBA prides itself on a nimble response to our members’ needs, but there’s no doubt that a return to holding our time-tested events is a comfort. Like you, we hope to take the lessons of the last year and apply them to our many (many) years of experience serving you, our valued members. And….that starts with everything your WBA currently has on deck.
WBA Summer Conference
At the beginning of the year, we didn’t know if we’d even have a Summer Conference in 2021, but after cancelling the 2020 conference, we were certainly hopeful. We have so much to celebrate! A new class of Hall of Famers and Local Broadcast Legends, our Distinguished Service Award honoree, Dick Zaragoza (who now plans to join us in person to receive his Award – yay ), and our first Young Professional of the Year, Terry Stevenson. All these celebrations were put on hold in 2020.
Your Conference Committee met early in the year to plan for a potential 2021 Summer Conference and the committee asked about moving our June dates at the Blue Harbor Resort in Sheboygan to August. We asked, and it worked! The new dates, Aug. 25-26, gave the vaccine rollout more time to take hold and gave your WBA and the Conference Committee more certainty about being able to plan the event.
I’m thrilled to say that the change paid off.
We initially expected modest attendance, given trepidation over the pandemic, but have recently found that the prediction given by some of our members was indeed correct. That is…our members cannot wait to celebrate this Summer Conference.
The Blue Harbor Resort, by the time you read this, has probably sold out of hotel rooms (an unprecedented event in itself – not to mention TWO MONTHS ahead of the conference)!! Along the lines of being nimble, we immediately added blocks of rooms at other hotels in Sheboygan that you read about on the Summer Conference page on the WBA website. We will keep that page updated with the latest information. We certainly would love to have everyone under the same roof, but we’re excited to see so much excitement for the Summer Conference. Please know that your WBA Team will do our best to make everyone’s experience as seamless as possible.
And of course, another cause for celebration: It is the 70th Anniversary of Your WBA! We plan to recognize the milestone at the Summer Conference with a fun trip down memory lane.
Broadcasters Clinic also changed this year due to the circumstances of the pandemic. This (wonderful) gathering of broadcast engineers from throughout the country typically happens on a Tuesday through Thursday in mid-October, but because the NAB Show was cancelled in the spring and rescheduled for mid-October, the (nimble….do we see a pattern here :)??) Broadcasters Clinic Committee worked with the Madison Marriott West to find alternative dates for the 2021 Clinic.
That said, Clinic will be held Wednesday, Sept. 8 through Friday, Sept. 10. We’ll still be at the Madison Marriott West and we have heard from many excited vendors who are greatly looking forward to reconnecting with broadcast engineers.
The Broadcasters Clinic Committee did its work (virtually, this year) to come up with an outstanding agenda which you can find here. Registration is open now and early bird pricing is in effect until July 15.
While these two events will have speakers, meals, celebrations, and the other things you would expect at a WBA event, this year they will also feel like a family reunion.
You have no idea how much your WBA team is looking forward to celebrating with YOU, our WBA Family (in person)!