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RAB Heads to the Big Easy

Radio professionals love to network. Add in the lure of Bourbon Street and the Radio Advertising Bureau's 2003 convention becomes an attractive destination.

RAB exhibitorsNote: For an updated list of exhibitors, visit

American Media


Army National Guard

BRg MusicWorks

Click-N-Print Tickets

Integrated Radio Systems


Media Audit

Miller, Kaplan & Arase

Nassau Media Partners


Research Director

SCA Promotions


Smoke & Mirrors

Sun Media Systems

TOMA Research


Wicks Broadcast Solutions Radio professionals love to network. Add in the lure of Bourbon Street and the Radio Advertising Bureau’s 2003 convention becomes an attractive destination.

The event is scheduled for Jan. 30 to Feb. 3 at the Hyatt Regency in New Orleans. Exhibitors like Arbitron, SalesReady and VMS/Voice Trak will be on hand on the Hyatt. Approximately 20 exhibitors have planned booths to date.

Participants will find networking lounges inside the Exhibit Hall along with Internet kiosks to help attendees keep in touch with the office.

According to George Hyde, RAB executive vice president of training, the convention offers participants learning opportunities. “There are more panels than ever, more seminars than ever, close to 100 workshops and forums,” Hyde said.

Workshops run through the wee hours of Saturday, Feb. 1. They are led by Irwin Pollack of the Irwin Pollack Company, Frank Kulbertis of RadioActive Sales Development Services and others.

Keynote address

The keynote addresses are to be given by Rick Sirvaitis, president and COO of General Motors Mediaworks, Eileen McDargh and Dr. Gene Stanaland of GSE Inc.

“I am really excited about all of the presenters,” Hyde said. He said Sirvaitis should offer a unique perspective to participants.

“I think the opportunity for our people to hear from someone who is responsible for one of the biggest media budgets in the world is very exciting. He has a unique perspective from both sides of the streets.”

Sirvaitis has a 30-year media history, having worked for Fox Family, Turner Broadcasting Sales Inc., NBC Television Network Sales, Blair Television and Campbell-Ewald Advertising. He joined GM Mediaworks two years ago, leaving his place as president/COO of Phase2media.

Sirvaitis said he will touch on the basics of how he operates in the media business and “how I recommend that anybody operate.” He said he tries to apply everything he has learned in his career to the way he does business. Having worked both as a buyer and a seller, he is qualified to teach both sides of the industry.

“It is about hitting the same points from the reverse angle,” he said. Sirvaitis’ approach is what he calls “back to basics. There are steps that I remind people they need to return to.”

Sirvaitis is scheduled to speak at the Saturday breakfast.

Eileen McDargh will share her insights on the importance of resiliency in today’s ever-changing marketplace. McDargh, scheduled to speak at Friday’s luncheon, will help participants understand how to work with changing economic and competitive situations within the industry. She has been rated a Certified Speaking Professional by the National Speakers Association and has earned the Council of Peers Award for Excellence.

Dr. Gene Stanaland will keynote the Saturday luncheon. According to Hyde, Stanaland has a “unique ability to understand what is going on in the economy in general but to translate that into street English.

Stanaland taught economics at the Auburn University School of Business for 20 years, serving as the head of the economics department from 1972 to 1980. He left the university world to launch a consulting firm, GSE Inc., whose past clients include DuPont, GE, Nissan and Sony.

“Very few radio sales people or sales managers really understood the economic data that they were seeing,” Hyde said, “As a result, we as an industry, kind of got caught up in believing that the economic conditions were worse than they really were.

Hyde said Stanaland will help participants learn to recognize signs that they may have missed earlier, enabling them to do a better job in the future. “Stanaland has an amazing ability to do that,” Hyde said.

Registrations are up
Fact BoxWhat: RAB 2003

Where: Hyatt Regency New Orleans

When: Jan. 30-Feb. 2

Welcome Reception: Thursday 6-7:30 p.m.

Closing Reception: Saturday 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

How Much: Members $625, Others $925. A special promotion offers one free registration for each six paid.

To Register: Visit or call (800) 917-4269
Participants can expect to see compatriots at RAB 2003. Hyde said the bureau has seen a “tremendous upsurge in registrations this year,” running about 50 percent ahead of the average for this time over the last two years.

The RAB2002 convention in Orlando, Fla., saw 1,400 attendees. The 2001 conference in Dallas gathered 2,200 people and about 60 exhibitors. At the current rate of registration, RAB2003 may pull about 2,000 attendees.

“I think that it is been a better year and people are coming to grips with considerable high expectations for 2003, and they want to make sure they get there,” Hyde said.

In addition, he said, Susquehana Broadcasting, Journal Broadcast Group and Clear Channel are holding sales managers meetings in conjunction with RAB 2003.

A new feature is the establishment of a networking lounge within the Hyatt Regency. Hyde said the area will provide the participants with a chance to unwind and bounce ideas and experiences of others in the industry.

“A lot of what goes on here is the networking experience,” Hyde said, “A lot of the really significant idea exchange takes place after the seminars are over.”

“(RAB 2003) is a remarkable opportunity for somebody to be exposed to some of the best minds in the business,” Hyde said. “It is a lot of bang for the buck when you come right down to the educational experience.”

And then there is the location. New Orleans has a well-deserved reputation as a fun place to visit and participants will have the opportunity to take advantage of the fabled party town’s sights and scenes. Saturday night and Sunday day should offer participants enough time to explore and visit local attractions.

“It’s going to be very exciting,” Hyde said, “and it’s a fun place to go.”