India’s radio industry will convene once again in Mumbai under the aegis of the India Radio Forum (IRF) on May 26, 2011. This year, the Forum will focus on interactivity, both in the medium as well as the day’s sessions. The spotlight will be on Phase III, local growth, and the advent of digital media. Organised by Partners in Media Asia (PIM), the media-conference company based in Singapore, the India Radio Forum promises to be a relevant event for the industry.
The highlight of the event in the past has been the Excellence in Radio Award ceremony. This year, to keep up with the overwhelming response and changing trends, PIM has introduced 10 additional categories. “We can attribute the significant increase in the number of entries to how well the Awards are recognised by radio stations, advertising and media agencies, and clients. We pride ourselves in providing a credible, neutral platform for all stake holders,” said Rajika Mittra, Special Projects Director, Partners in Media.
Over and above the anticipated panel sessions and the awards ceremony, this year the IRF will unveil its inaugural ‘Radio Pitch’ challenge. Teams from media agencies will be invited to conduct a five-minute pitch in front of a panel of distinguished judges.
Each team must present 16 slides in four minutes, ending with a radio promo lasting not more than a minute. The winning team will be rewarded with a pair of Grandstand tickets worth $2070 to the 2011 Formula 1 Singtel Singapore Grand Prix (September 23-25). The winner will be announced at the Excellence in Radio Awards (ERA Awards) ceremony.
Sessions at this year’s India Radio Forum will focus on forward trends, the expansion of reach through new digital media and increasing revenues for radio. Nail-biting debates and fiery discussions will take place amongst the advertising, media planning, and client panels. The CEO panel will see some head honchos placed under the spotlight in a thrilling buzzer round. The line-up of panelists and speakers reflects the notion that “all players in the radio industry are in re-charge and re-energise mode as we gear up for stronger revenue growth this year,” said Mittra.
With a nod to the impending round of licensing in Phase III, the forum’s flagship panel moderated by LV Krishnan, CEO, TAM Media Research, will feature all the heavy hitters – Ashit Kukian, COO, Radio City; G Krishnan, Executive Director & CEO, Oye! FM; Harrish M Bhatia, CEO, My FM; Prashant Panday, Executive Director & CEO, Radio Mirchi; and Rahul Gupta, Director, Radio Mantra, as well as Rana Barua, Business Head, Red FM, and Big FM CEO Tarun Katial – in discussions about where radio stands today and the direction it is heading in.
Two panels will address the issues faced by planning, creative, as well as station teams. Anurag Batra, Chairman & Editor-In-Chief, exchange4Media, will be moderating the session on ‘Radio and the Media Mix’ with advertising’s big guns, while Shashi Sinha, CEO, Lodestar UM, will moderate the session on ‘Broadening the Reach: Planning for Radio’.
Addressing a hot button topic, Jon Simon of Cimarron Digital Hollywood will lead a talk on taming the digital wave and share insights on how radio stations can become digital media leaders. Jake Abdullah of Malaysia’s AMP Radio will head a session on content and programming; Suman Srivastava of Marketing Unplugged will speak on alternative revenue streams.
The event will culminate in the Radio Pitch session followed by the ERA Awards. “IRF is the foremost event of the industry and we are honoured to continue providing the best platform for radio professionals to come together each year, share valuable insights, and take radio to the next level,” said Mittra.