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Now and Next: Awards and conference tomorrow

Each year the community radio sector hosts a national conference, inviting over 250 radio stations from across the UK to hear how the industry should and can develop. Stations are also encouraged to enter the annual Community Radio Awards.

This year, for the first time, both events are in the same location on the same day; both on Barry Island, South Wales tomorrow (October 26th 2019).

Andover Radio’s Alex Krupa has been nominated as presenter of the ‘Specialist Music Programme’ award while station founder David Harber will be a keynote speaker at the daytime conference for the second year in a row.

The events are courtesy of the Local Radio Alliance, Bro Radio and a series of industry sponsors. They are expected to entertain over 200 people from the UK radio industry

The ‘Now and Next 2019’ conference at the Memo Arts Centre will be opened by Danny Lawrence BEM, chair of the Community Media Association.

There will also be a special welcome speech from Welsh Assembly Deputy Minister Jane Hutt AM.

“Small scale radio faces a unique opportunity as traditional local radio stations are merged into larger, London-based groups” says Andover Radio’s David Harber, “This is the time for community radio to step up and shout about its success, learn to work together and warmly embrace the exciting future we have before us.”

Radio stations like Spire FM and The Breeze FM have recently been acquired by publishing giant Bauer Media and, subject to satisfactory agreement from the Competitions and Markets Authority (CMA), they are expected to merge into one, UK-wide service with minimal local content.

Event organisers say, “These are exciting but challenging times. This event explores and highlights who is doing what to help meet the challenge we face and build on the successes achieved”.

En route to tomorrow’s ‘Now and Next 2019’ conference, delegates are encouraged to listen to a special podcast created by event co-organiser Dom Chambers from the Local Radio Alliance. The podcast explains how quality local radio is being delivered in South Wales.

The main event will focus on sector governance, revenue generation and planning for the future. ‘Community Radio Now and Next’ is sponsored by PlayoutOne, a radio automation specialist and technology provider to radio stations across the world.

Following a presentation on sponsorship opportunities from Swindon 105.5‘s Shirley Ludford, Andover Radio’s founder will host a presentation called, ‘Brand the Brand’. He will ask delegates to explore ways that their radio stations should use brand power to efficiently encourage business and listener support.

“I’m looking forward to sharing some easily deployed ideas at tomorrow’s event,” says David. “Also, I’ll try and get stations to thing big about the opportunities that await them.

“We all really should like challenges and I’d love to see our sector working together more to make the acquisition of success more efficient.”

“Moreover, I am very excited about the prospect of the exceptionally talented Alex Krupa walking away with a much deserved award.”

Alex Krupa’s Country Show is every Wednesday evening (8:00pm) on 95.9FM Andover Radio. There are almost 300 government-licensed community radio stations across the UK, each with a special remit to serve communities of need.