Sunday, May 04, 2008

Broadcast Asia - Radio Asia - Whats going on?

I really don't understand what is going on in Singapore with BroadcastAsia and the RadioAsia conferences. They used to be at the same place, albeit at opposite ends of the Singapore Expo. That meant a 5 minute bus ride, or a 15 minute walk.

Now, RadioAsia is at a different location downtown, so no swapping between the two conferences. Whilst it may be more convenient, I don't understand why the 2nd day of RadioAsia overlaps with Day 1 of the Broadcast Asia which is entitled Radio Renaissance. Are they competing? Looks like it. Can radio afford to do this? I don't think so. I see on the third and last day of RadioAsia, there are buses from the Suntec conference centre (near to City Hall MRT) out to Singapore expo, leaving at 3.45 pm. But BroadcastAsia closes at, so it is going to be a mighty short trip round the stands.

I would make Radio Asia into a one-day affair like the Radio Academy does in London with their excellent "Radio At the Edge" conference in November. I am disappointed that the subjects in RadioAsia over the last few years seem to have gone into a repetitive loop, with issues such as podcasting still on the agenda. This year's line up is another row of panel-sessions featuring mainly (company) presentations. What's missing is any form of controversy or debate! It is curious that a lot of the titles indicate that some sort of convergence is going on - but in the end the split between radio, TV and mobile could not be more pronounced.

I know where most of the trade and traffic will be this year - in yet another trade show at the Singapore Expo. It has the grand title of The International Interactive, Digital Media & Entertainment Exhibition & Conference (InteractiveDME) Confused? You will be. Any outsider can see this is eventually going to go wrong.

I am also amazed at how late the Broadcast Asia exhibition itself opens - 1030 AM. At least they have improved the shuttle bus system to bring people to the exhibition centre before the conference starts - that wasn't the case when I was there last. The Singapore exhibition centre is a long way out of the centre of the city (35 minutes in the bus during rush hour).

I am afraid that Singapore is in danger of losing business to China (who have their own broadcast trade shows like BIRT, later this year because of the Olympics) and the excellent SMPTE show in Sydney, the latter being better than many of the shows we see in Europe and North America. Why is that? They don't talk about convergence - they show it has already happened.

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