With coffee in hand, our New York City arrival came quickly and our excitement grew as we stepped into Hotel Pennsylvania. The IBS awards conference brought high schools and colleges from all over to compete for the coveted golden microphone trophy.
After a trip to NBC Studios and lunch, we sat in on a few informational sessions. These lectures are designed to make broadcasting students even better at what they love to do. The first session was entitled "Blurred Lines: Issues in Music and Rights." Although it was a little hard to follow, I did pick up a few things. The instructor spoke about how copyright infringement is not only words; it can be anything from chord progressions to bass lines. He referenced the "Led Zeppelin case." In this case, a band called "Spirit" was accused of changing the bass notes, but keeping the same chords as "Stairway to Heaven." He also explained the difference between satire and parody in the music field. Parody is taking a song and criticizing or commenting on it. While satire is having fun with a song, but creating a different version. Throughout this session, the instructor played many examples of how different styles of music can sound similar without copyright issues.
The second session we listened in on was a session about making a popular podcast. The instructor talked about what makes a good podcast and included items such as content and marketing techniques. He shared effective ways to distribute your podcast to an audience via social media and how to incorporate a shorter website link for quicker identification. He also explained that the more places you can put your podcast, the more successful it will be. Along with uploading your podcast to sites like Overcast and Stitcher, places such as iTunes and Google Play allow you to submit your work for free. The instructor gave his audience keys to making your podcast the best it can be. He encouraged the talent to follow four simple areas to maintain a heavy audience flow. The first was "have a mission and a purpose" in other words don't go on the air and "wing it." The second area to focus on is to always "be yourself." He gave us the example of choosing topics; don't try to talk about learning to speak Chinese if you don't know how to speak Chinese. The third and fourth area go together "be consistent in your time and purpose" and have "good equipment." The instructor gave us a final synopsis on how to go from 10 views to 100,000 views on our podcast. They were simple, but extremely important and effective. The four rules to a successful podcast: stick to a schedule, produce like a radio show (prep your show), make a high quality product, and promote, promote, promote.
After the sessions, the moment we had been waiting for was finally here. Or so we thought. This year they began announcing the winners for the high school categories first. A let down to the college students who were now waiting an extra hour in a room with way too many people and way to high of a temperature for anyone's comfort. Who knew there were so many high schools with such amazing broadcasting talent?! However, when college awards were finally being presented the best promo series category was quickly met with three screaming LCCC ladies and applause as they announced WSFX was the winner. That was the highlight of our night as we quickly learned we were only a finalist for best community outreach event. However, coming home with more trophies to showcase was an accomplishment in itself.
This was my second time going to the IBS Awards and it is always an exciting experience. The sessions are always interesting and it's fun being with people who are interested in the same field you are. Another successful year in the books and on behalf of Ron Reino and the senior staff of WSFX, "Great job everyone! All of our hard work paid off again."
By: Cami Kyttle
Audio Visual Communications '17