It was a summer day in 2017, in Sheboygan, at a beautiful resort on the water. I’d never been to this part of the state since moving to Wisconsin four years ago for my first job in television. This was a new experience. I was attending the WBA Summer Conference, one, to take part in a new group I had just joined, the Young Professionals group through WBA, and two, to attend a couple events for my station.
I had never been to a WBA Summer Conference before. Here’s what I knew about them: They were twice a year, general managers or news directors often went, and it was a couple days away for them to network and learn new skills. Other than that, I had no idea.
The first event I went to was a social hour for YPs. It was a small group, but it has big energy for the industry, which leads me to my partner in crime: Terry Stevenson, an ad sales manager from Seehafer Broadcasting.
We began to talk about YPs, the resources offered and how little YPs knew about what was available to them. There might be a lot of resources, but were they being broadcasted to the YPs? And how could we connect YP to YP, just like the general managers and news directors have their bond at the conferences each year? Many general managers and news directors from different markets all know each other, and so do a lot of YPs, but there’s nothing designated like a summer or winter conference to pull everyone together to do what we know all of us in broadcasting like to do: network.
Like both of us, YPs in today’s industry are hungry to grow, especially, with the reachable goal to get to a bigger market sooner. YPs want to grow professionally, socially, and skillfully. But more importantly, YPs want to connect, which could be through social media, in person, on the weekends, or through a new event: The Toolbox.
That’s when our idea formed into something bigger and sustainable for the future of broadcasting, starting from the YP, up.
The next step was to get general managers and news directors to send their staff and to get YPs to WANT to attend. So with some careful planning, Terry and I put together a day that will not only benefit teams across the state, but most importantly it will benefit the YP. There’s brunch, keynote speakers, mixed with two panels, and a day-ender social. It’s a perfect and easy resource for teams to help staff learn, lead, and grow stronger within the industry.
I’d encourage you to at least check it out on the WBA website. Registration is open, and pre-registration interest was encouraging to both Terry and I. We’re so proud to see this idea come to life to help teams across the state. Sign up your YPs for The Toolbox, we hope to see them there in June!