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Launched in 1999, SwissRadioDay is an annual conference that brings together the Swiss radio industry. This year’s meeting is scheduled for Aug. 26 in Zurich, with a live stream component for those who cannot attend in person.
SRD is a joint venture between the Swiss public broadcaster SRG, and the commercial radio associations Radios Régionales Romandes and Verband Schweizer Privatradios. Darryl von Däniken has been producing the event for SRG, RRR and VSP since 2014.
Entering the business of media and branding in the 1980s, von Däniken has since led a number of companies in their marketing and outreach strategies. Most recently, in addition to organizing SwissRadioDay, he is a managing partner for BrandAudio and founder/organizer for the International Radio Festival. He spoke to RedTech about SRD, how the event has evolved due to the global pandemic and his thoughts about radio.
RedTech: Considering COVID-19, how will you organize this year’s edition?
Darryl von Däniken: This year we are doing everything in our power to bring back the SRD as a live event, whilst learning that we are living in new times that also offer new opportunities. One of these is that such conferences can be re-formatted to better meet the demands of participants, namely the primary desire to meet each other and network, knowledge share and make new acquaintances. Therefore, this year, we will fit the SRD sessions, panels and talks into a longer morning, followed by an open-ended lunch, which will allow such networking to take place without the need to have to rush into an afternoon program.
Another learning we made from last year’s digital edition, is that by merging the usual two conference rooms into one room, all the subjects can be presented to the same audience, offering more material for further thought and discussions.
And of course, we will manage this year’s SRD according to the COVID guidelines given by both the authorities and the venue.
RedTech: In your opinion, what will be the most important moments of the day?
von Däniken: We produce the SRD program to broadly reflect everything that concerns and affects the Swiss radio industry. This year’s topics include App Innovations, Programming for Women, Webmediemonitor Results, Audio Podcasts for the Earphone Generation, Media Convergence, Next Generation Radio, the development of DAB+ and more. The full preview of the program is on the SRD website in German and French.
RedTech: What languages will the sessions be presented in?
von Däniken: The SRD’s main two languages are German and French. Some talks take place in English, usually if they are from overseas. All content is simultaneously translated into French.
RedTech: Will you receive guests from foreign countries?
von Däniken: The SRD is primarily focused for the Swiss radio industry, as much as financed by them together with the leading stakeholders in the business such as the SRG, VSP, RRR, and Swisscom, SwissMediaCast, SUISA, Swissperform, etc. However, that has never precluded welcoming visitors from overseas and being able to participate at a nominal fee. Such interested parties can always contact us so we can help them register via the right channel.
RedTech: What’ll be the new topics of focus for radio in Switzerland (podcasts, IP, mobile, video, live chat, automation)?
von Däniken: This edition of SRD touches on many of the topics you mention. One thing you can be sure of is that such topics will not only be discussed on the stage, but also among the participants during the open-ended lunch after the sessions close!
Listening requires very little effort with minimum screen and visual overload, freeing us up with plenty of time to do other “stuff” at the same time.
RedTech: How do you see radio’s status in other parts of Europe?
von Däniken: Radio started off as the world’s first truly global medium and represented the gateway to the development of media in general thereafter. Today, it sits comfortably in the media mix, playing its part as and when the user decides to listen. In the long run, I personally believe radio will end up being recognized as the leading quality medium that delivers the highest impact, and the increasing growth of audio podcast content further supports this. After all, we are creatures of comfort, and listening requires very little effort with minimum screen and visual overload, freeing us up with plenty of time to do other “stuff” at the same time; now what other media can offer that while engaging us?
RedTech: Among the topics of the day is a session on “Radio broadcast for women.” What will it precisely talk about?
von Däniken: Yes, the SRD always likes to present topics that at first may sound “leftfield.” All I can say is that this session presented by Ina Tenz will get producers thinking beyond the title of this particular session.
RedTech: For how many years have you personally organized that event? And among the past SwissRadioDays, which are your most important memories
von Däniken: I have been organizing SRD since 2014 and have enjoyed every year since. And no doubt, this year’s, and the past two editions, will remain most in my memory for a while to come. SRD 2019 represented the 20th edition, and in 2020, we had to quickly adapt to a whole new format that would meet the demands of online viewing only by producing a purely Digital edition. This year, we have packed the learnings of 2020 and the last 20 years into a format that fully recognizes and therefore focuses on the need for people to come together to do business within a professional environment.