101 sessions, an award-winning Keynote Speaker, the River Walk and the Alamo. It’s CBI San Antonio 2017!

John Morris, CBI President

We are just weeks away from CBI San Antonio and the National Student Electronic Media Convention! I am very excited to get there for all that this offers, including great sessions, networking, an awesome location and, as always, great restaurants to visit.

Starting with the sessions, which is usually the first reason why most of us make the annual pilgrimage to the NSEMC. There is a great list of topics that will keep you learning all day each day. If you haven’t looked at the sessions, head to the convention site and check out the listings.  It doesn’t matter what area of student electronic media you are in, there are numerous topics that you will find interesting. If your specialty is video, a quick sampling will show you topics that cover sports video, approaches to make profession videos and how to get your video accepted in film festivals.

If audio and radio is your thing, there are sessions every hour that will help you and your media outlet improve. These topics include on-air tips, music scheduling, remotes and formatting. Regardless of your station’s genre, you will learn about new ideas from professionals, college instructors and your own peers. It’s amazing how often you can learn from students talking about different approaches that they take at their own outlets.

The NSEMC is much more than radio and TV. Beyond the hard skills that you can learn, there are also soft skills that will help you move up the management ladder, be it before or after graduation. Then, there are also the sessions covering social media, working with your school’s administration, and the growing popularity and necessity of podcasts. If you don’t return to your school with a notebook full of ideas to share with your station, well, you just weren’t paying attention.

As I mention a notebook, I strongly encourage you to take one with you, or whatever digital device on which you like to take notes. As you are learning, write down what was said, the approaches suggested, and the tips to help make changes. When you return to your student electronic media outlet, share those ideas with the rest of the staff. This way, learning will carry on to the next set of leaders. Even though I have been attending these conferences for over 10 years, it never ceases to amaze me that my staff and I learn something new every time.

We’ve worked to make the schedule flow so that you can attend a full morning of sessions, take an hour lunch, during which no sessions are happening, then back for an afternoon of learning. That’s for Thursday and Friday. Make sure that you stay for Saturday as well. We open the morning with more topics that will add to the knowledge you will have already gained. Then after a lunch break, we cap the NSEMC off with the keynote speaker and then the National Student Production Awards. Our keynote speaker, award-winning videographer Roger Lindley, will help you learn the tricks to making quality videos on a limited budget. This is something everyone will be able to use, even if you are in radio, social media, news, sports or any related field.

After the sessions, be sure to take in everything San Antonio offers, including conventions sites that have offer so much more. There’s the famous River Walk out the back door of the hotel, the Alamo a block outside the front door, incredible restaurants in all directions, and the general beauty and hospitality of the people of San Antonio. After you get to the hotel, you will find that everything you want or need is easily within walking distance, or perhaps a short and enjoyable boat ride.