Two Brisbane radio identities have joined forces in a new venture aimed squarely at the city’s busy conference and business event market.
Pop Up Radio is an Australian first which could completely change the dynamic of your next meeting or conference.
Between them, Ian Skippen and Anthony Frangi have worked for all the major radio networks on both sides of the dial.
Both were most recently at the Fairfax radio network, which made headlines earlier in the year when a merger with Macquarie Radio saw more than a dozen jobs lost, including several high-profile presenters.
Founder and Director of Pop Up Radio, Frangi spoke to Brisbane Marketing about this exciting innovation in the conference and event space.
We last saw both yourself and Ian at 4BC. How has it been working on this new business venture together, with your considerable combined experience?
It’s been a phenomenal journey for both of us. Ian is incredibly well-known as a radio presenter and for his work in the corporate and community sector. His contribution alone on B105 as part of the legendary B105 Morning Crew remains one of the great success stories of Australian radio. Ian’s skill-set, combined with my background in broadcasting, senior management, programming, journalism and communication, has shown to be a powerful combination in setting up Pop Up Radio Australia. We’ve had quite a few laughs along the way.
- Where did the idea come from?
I describe the birth of Pop Up Radio as taking the best of the broadcast and conference industry, married with modern technology to create a unique product for the event market in a progressive and dynamic city like Brisbane. Podcasting and streaming is very much a way of life today and we wanted to build a business that not only captures a permanent record of the extraordinary people who present at events, but also to celebrate the highly successful conference market we have in Queensland. Streaming and podcasting is nothing new in my line of work. In 2009 I set up an online student radio station for The University of Queensland called JAC Radio. I’m proud to say that after six years it’s still going strong, delivering a platform for students to drive innovation in programming through new distinctive approaches to traditional formats. You could say it helped me understand where radio is heading and what it’s truly capable of.
I’ve also been facilitating conferences for more than 25 years and understand how important they are to an organisation or industry body, both in marketing terms and future growth. Brisbane has its fair share of national and international conferences but, because of time and distance, not everyone can attend. I wanted to design a way to bring the conference to people, wherever they live.
Conferences are also rich in content and I wanted to find a way that we could channel the audio and share it with like-minded people leaving a lasting impression. But it had to be delivered in an entertaining and informative format that reflects the energy, professionalism and creativity of a great conference. That’s where the idea of a radio station came about.
Imagine having your own radio station at a conference with on-air branding, specially produced imaging, sponsorship opportunities and dynamic interviews. That’s what we’ve created.
My next step was to find the right people who had years of broadcast experience, a thorough understanding of the conference market and a solid reputation in the corporate, academic and community sector. As Founder and Director, it was important to get the right mix of people and I’m proud of the team we’ve built.
- What do you see as the opportunities for the business and how do you think it could transform the convention offering in Brisbane?
Conferences and conventions are a growing industry in Queensland and we see Pop Up Radio adding an exciting and engaging element and value adding on profitability. Regardless of the size of a conference or event, Pop Up Radio is designed to provide live internet streaming to conference participants at the venue, regional locations, or to people on the other side of the world. Secondly, our on-site or “pop up” studio can be watched by event attendees as interviews occur, adding another layer of entertainment to an event. We also produce high-quality podcasts uploaded to the web at the end of each day for delegates and other interested stakeholders to access. Podcasts can also be packaged up into continuing professional development content. A major advantage of on-demand listening means that you’re no longer limited by time and event schedules; you can listen to podcast content when and where it suits you.
Our suite of services at Pop Up Radio also includes pre-event interviews with keynote speakers, sponsors and conference organisers to promote and “tease” to sell an event.
We also provide audio packages and grabs for media to access. Pop Up Radio produces audio newsletters made available to conference delegates at the start of each day as a quick and efficient way of staying up to date.
At most conferences, delegates cannot attend every session, so Pop Up Radio provides the opportunity to be able to revisit what they may have missed via podcasts.
We also offer sponsors and exhibitors the opportunity to promote their products and/or service before, during and after an event.
- You’ve really taken advantage of the incredible changes in technology in recent years to offer an impressive service to conventions. Was it a challenge getting all the technical stuff right?
The technology applied to Pop Up Radio took time to develop. We wanted to get it right. In fact we’re still developing innovative ways to deliver it. Our set-up uses only broadcast-quality equipment and professional presenters and technicians who are highly skilled in media production. Jason Hagen heads our production team and works closely with conference organisers, IT and AV teams to devise the best strategy. At the touch of a button, people can listen in live to interviews and presentations or download podcasts.
- What makes radio such an engaging medium, in your opinion?
The best thing about radio is that you can listen while doing something else. At our last event we had listeners “tuning in” while working from their desk, walking to their next appointment and in board rooms listening as a group. Our podcasts are downloaded for people to enjoy while driving, jogging or even when walking the dog. The power of streaming and podcasting gains much of its communicative strength from being a spoken medium, so it captures not only information but the nuance of delivery. Streaming and podcasting has tremendous power to bring together very specific groups of people on the basis of some interest they share in common. Our live streaming of conferences and events invites listeners to put more into the listening relationship because of the genuine connection they have to its content and the ability to interact with the presenters via social media throughout the conference.
- How does the service you offer change the dynamics of a convention? Aren’t all conventions the same?
Conferences are always looking for the next best thing to attract bigger audiences and create a buzz in the marketplace. Pop Up Radio Australia is about adding value to a conference or event. We are literally able to “pop up” a radio studio in a high visibility location at a conference venue for everyone to see.
Conference delegates also enjoy the idea of being streamed live, as well as the opportunity to use our podcasts to raise their profile, research and work. Pop Up Radio can also be used as a strong selling point in attracting first-class speakers, exhibitors and presenters with our ability to conduct pre-event interviews to help promote and sell an event. It also adds value by creating a whole new audience, which means the benefits remain long after the event ends.