This year’s Radioshow in Las Vegas will be like a family reunion: Erica Farber

Erica Farber is the CEO and President of the Radio Advertising Bureau, who will host the Radioshow as part of the NAB Show in Las Vegas in April this year.

Erica had her own battle with cancer last year, but she is well and truly on the road to recovery, and even has a new hair style.

Last year she was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame, and true to character, Erica invited a table full of college students who are interested in radio, to join her at her table, in the hope that they would be inspired to take up a career.

Radioinfo’s Wayne Stamm caught up with Erica in Las Vegas, and asked her about the upcoming show and why it is combining with the NAB Show instead of running on its own later in the year.

 radioinfo: Congratulations on your induction into the Radio Hall of Fame last year. Are they going to do something for you at this years show?

Erica: Well, it actually was live this year in Chicago, and I made the trip and was very impressed with the amount of people that came.

It was the first trip I had made in quite a while, but it was an amazing it’s all a blur to me, what happened that night, but it was very, very special and something I will treasure the rest of my life.

What I did do that I think was really fun I,s in addition to having friends and family join me on that trip, I also brought a table of college students from the Chicago area that are interested in radio as a career.

And I thought, what a great way to give back to the industry and what a great way to motivate these young people to hear the stories of this year’s inductees.

And as I said in my remarks, I said, I’m not ready to retire yet. My goal is to one day hope that someone sitting at that table will be on the stage being inducted into the Hall of Fame. So that was my little gift back to the museum. It was great.

 radioinfo: So the radio show this year, how terrific that we’re all back together again, though interestingly, you’ve combined it with the NAB show. So what was the reasoning behind that?

 Erica: Well first, you know, the hard concept is going to be there really is no radio show anymore. Conferences are very expensive to put together and you know, the lines are getting blurry. Yes, we’re in the radio broadcasting business, but we’re also in the digital business, we’re also in social media, we’re also in digital. And as those lines are getting fuzzier and fuzzier.

 The NAB sort of stepped back and started to think about what their conferences are, and then we (the RAB) met together and our executive committees from both organizations met. And it was really a decision to say, because the needs of the business are changing so dramatically that it’s probably the right time to merge that into this bigger show.

 So for those that will be attending the show this year, yes, there is, you know, a large footprint from an exhibit hall standpoint, but as for the education and content, there will be a lot more of it, if you will, because before there were always some sessions at the spring conference, but most people didn’t attend that conference primarily for content.  

 But now there is tremendous content.

 Sunday is a full day of sessions, so we’re encouraging people to come in Saturday because Sunday morning we’re going to start right away and it’s an important session that we’re doing.

And the title is What Business Are You In? And I’ve got four really great broadcasters that from their perspective, they’re going to delve into what their business looks like today. And then we will all grouped together and have a conversation about what should we be focused on today to ensure our future tomorrow?

radioinfo: I think one of the important things about these conferences is the exchange of ideas that you get from the larger to the smaller stations.

Erica: We’re running one. It’s, you know, it’s an exchange with medium and small markets. So that’s always a cornerstone. And we would never think of not including that because, as you said, it’s such a robust conversation.

And at the same time, you literally walk away with thoughts, ideas, specifics that you can integrate immediately into your operations.

What’s going to be a little bit different and is there is a brand new exhibit hall which many people haven’t seen.

But for those that have attended the show in the past that used Uber or Lyft, that used to be a giant parking lot, and they’ve actually built a whole new part of the convention center.

So a lot of the content will be in the brand new part of the convention center.

So that should be great too.

radioinfo: What do you think the highlights of the conference will be.

Erica: This is the first time in over two years that the entire ecosystem will be in one place, live, and that’s huge.  As much as we’ve gotten used to working remotely and doing virtual conversations like this and virtual education opportunities, having that one on one personal content, I think, is so critical.

We just had our board meeting last week, And again, that was the first time in two years that our board has been together. It’s a professional Relationship, and yet I can’t tell you how many hugs occurred at that board meeting, and I think a lot of people are looking forward to just physically seeing someone talking to them, asking them a question.

So I think the energy is going to be very, very high.

It’s almost like a family reunion of sorts.

The Radioshow and NAB Show will be held April 23 – 27, 2022 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

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