Learning Waves Skillnet held their AGM in The Gibson Hotel, Dublin, on April 6th this year. At the event we heard from members of the Learning Waves board, Chairperson Nessa McGann, Project Manager Teresa Hanratty and Treasurer Lena Murphy.
Nessa began by welcoming everyone to the event and thanking them and the Learning Waves team for their continuous support throughout the years and acknowledging all the hard work they put in. Nessa highlighted Learning Waves’ theme for this year’s meeting, ‘Securing Radio’s Future’ and how, as a leading training provider for the independent commercial radio sector, they can help to do just this.
Next up we heard from Project Manager Teresa Hanratty. In Teresa’s presentation, she gave a glimpse into Learning Waves in 2016 and all that they had achieved. Their biggest achievement was that of Radio Days Ireland, a conference they ran last October. We heard from key speakers of Radio Days such as Dennis Clarke, Cera Ward and many more as they spoke about the power of this much loved medium that we are all involved in. We learned of new and improved courses that were a success such as Fundamental Digital Skills for Radio and a three week Music Radio Presenter Bootcamp. While there were many new and exciting courses coming to the forefront we couldn’t forget about the old reliable yet essential courses such as Speech and Voice Training, Broadcast Laws and Occupational First Aid.
Upon reflecting on what a great year 2016 was for Learning Waves, we look to 2017 and what it has to offer. There are high hopes that Radio Days will run again this year along with many workshops such as a Sales Manager Forum and a Sports workshop. The sports workshop will feature sports journalist Paul Kimmage, Mike Bovill of talkSPORT and many more. It runs this April, 24th in the Clarion Hotel, Dublin, with places still available.
“Digital is the shiny new kid on the block but radio has much to teach it.”
Digital is in its infancy and growing up quickly alongside radio. Teresa emphasised the importance of constantly upskilling in the radio industry, particularly now on the digital spectrum. It is clear that there is no reason why both digital and radio cannot co-exist with one another. We can both learn and grow together, in doing so, we are helping to secure radio’s future. “Our only failure is not to try”.
Jackie Neill of BBC Belfast spoke briefly about their partnership with Learning Waves and the benefits it has shown thus far. On behalf of the BBC, she welcomed everyone in the room and in the independent commercial radio sector with open arms. She addressed how we as an industry need to focus more on digital content. To look at how we attract and interact with a younger audience and if we can successfully do this – “the future is promising”.
Chairman of the IMRO Radio Awards Committee, Sean Murtagh, told us of the NEW LOOK, NEW SPONSOR, NEW NAME, but same great night. Sean was delighted to announce IMRO as the new sponsor of the awards. He spoke of the sad departure of Mary Menton from the organisation and the low down on this year’s event. The IMRO Radio Awards 2017 will take place Friday October 6th in Kilkenny’s Lyrath Estate, we can’t wait!
Last but certainly not least, John Teeling of the Great Northern Distillery graced us with his presence. John is well-known as a serial entrepreneur so no better man to share with us what 3 key things he believes makes a great entrepreneur. Firstly, your idea and vision, this is absolutely critical. He said to always believe in the concept. If you have an idea and people question why, just answer ‘because’! Secondly, the ability to get resources and to handle uncertainty. “Uncertainty is not an easy thing to handle but because of it, life’s never boring”. He encouraged us to take risks, take the uncertainty, believe in the concept and don’t look back. And lastly, he emphasised the importance of persistence and resilience in anything that you do; “the project you start with is often not the one you finish with”.
For Learning Waves Skillnet, in 2016, risks were taken, persistence was key and the only way we will look back on it, is fondly. John Teeling mentioned that in every venture he has taken, he will always “rely on experience” and in 2017 Learning Waves hope that their members can rely on them to continue to bring new courses, new experiences and new beginnings.
Take a look back at some photos from our AGM, see video below.