The HBA offers bursaries to first time delegates at many of its events. For the HBA Conference 2017, two bursary winners offer their review of the proceedings and encourage members to attend a future Conference event. The words below are from Hospital Radio Lynn member, Philip Medcalf, who was awarded with the HBA Conference & Awards Bursary.
In the weeks and months leading up to the HBA Conference weekend, and hearing Wayne Fysh talk about last year’s event I wanted to see for myself where all his good vibes and ideas had come from, I had also had my bursary application accepted and I was going to make the most of this weekend in every way possible. This year’s event had a extra edge as I had been nominated for the best newcomer award (reaction to that later).
So Friday comes and we make the 4-hour journey by car to the Holiday Inn where the weekend is being held. Upon arrival, we get ourselves checked into our room and we are down in the foyer chatting to June Snowden and already I had got the feeling that this weekend was going to be special. We had outlined which seminars were going to be the most beneficial to attend for ourselves but most importantly the ones which were going to give us, the most inspiration to take back to Our station. The first seminar was a talking shop with Richard Smith. This seminar covered fundraising and with only a few in attendance it gave me so many ideas the smarties tube Idea came up again which we had tried over the last year but it made me think about, different ways of approaching this fundraising idea. Also, hearing how other stations not all just Hospital Radio stations but community stations as well. In the early evening, we attended the Developing Digital Communications seminar with Ian Pinnell and Sam Smette. This seminar to me was one I had to attend as I had said to my station I wanted more of a digital role, within the station. From this I picked up how to maximise Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites to our advantage, and how E Magazines and newsletters could also be beneficial to our station. These ideas I am going to pass on to our Media Manager at Hospital Radio Lynn.
Friday Evening, we were treated to a evening with Stephanie Hirst and all I can say about that is wow wow wow, it proved to me listening to Stephanie that whatever life throws at you and if you want something so bad that with hard work and dedication anything can be achieved.
Saturday morning, we woke up and was ready for a long day starting off with the Promoting Engagement Seminar with Bella Starling. This seminar I struggled to get my head round at times, but what it did do was encourage me to tell my station to keep up a good relationship with our hospital trust, and that we could also help with research via the powers of radio. Next up for myself was a visit to Roch Valley Radio Station, I chose this radio station because they use the same running system as we do and, it would give me a chance to see if they use the system different to our station. Upon arrival, we were shown round the studio complex and was able to be in the studio while they were broadcasting live. While in the studio I picked up on the way they were using their system, was completely different to us and I will encourage Hospital Radio Lynn to run the shows how Roch Valley were as it was easier more professional and sounded great.
After lunch on Saturday it was time for the HBA AGM and a afternoon with Alan Dedicoat which was full of laughs and stories and situations he ended up in during his broadcasting at Hospital Radio level, all the way up to BBC level and doing TV. This was also a great chance to put a face to the 'Voice Of The Balls'.
Into the evening and the bit, I had been looking forward to the Gala Dinner and award ceremony now being used to wearing boots and overalls all day long being a car mechanic, a dinner suit is slightly different to normal but it made me feel really good the food was amazing and the company we shared on our table, the Hospital Radio Durham group were really nice to meet and people we will definitely stay in touch with. Awards roll around and it comes to Best Newcomer and unfortunately, I didn’t make the top 5, I was gutted but felt I had done well just to get nominated and that the weekend wasn’t all about me but more the information I could get to take back to my Radio Station. With a long drive home Sunday, we called it a night after the awards ceremony plus losing a hour on the clocks didn’t help.
Sunday morning arrived and we were up and facing a 4-hour drive home so we didn’t do any seminars or trips on the Sunday morning so said our goodbyes and headed home. To sum up this weekend in one word would be PHENOMINAL! The information and different ways of doing things that I have learned from different radio stations has opened my eyes massively and all this information I will pass on to my own Radio Station. As well as this it has made me realise what a big family all Radio Stations and the HBA are when we all get together. I will be attending next year’s conference in 2018 whether I am nominated, for an award or not and also will be encouraging more Members from Hospital Radio Lynn to attend this truly eye opening weekend all put on by the fantastic people at the HBA.Hopefully I will be able to update people on what we have implemented at the station from the knowledge, I received at this weekend.