Regional events like the “ASB 4-State Conference” last weekend give broadcast and video production students the chance to attend some breakout sessions, and then compete against their peers in some creative contests.
There were about 350 in attendance this year, and my students, all 20 of them, had a great time. They also got smoked in a few contests, while taking home a few honors as well. Events like this really help prepare students for larger gatherings such as STN and JEA/NSPA.
Here are some highlights/cool things from the event I wanted to share in case you are thinking about doing a regional conference some day in your area.
*All the teams had a home base in one big hall. It was great. It was nice to be around the energy of the other schools and students as editing took place.
*Variety in the contests allowed kids to find something they actually wanted to participate in. Everything from “Edit the Scene” and “5-Second Film” to “Spot Feature” and “Sports Roundtable,” plus many more.
*The opening ceremony was fast, fun, and did not feature a parade of boring speeches. Best thing—it left everyone time to leave and get a good dinner before breakouts.
*A smart schedule….breakouts on one night, followed by a full day of just contests.
*Students could enter two on-sites that each took half a day, or they could sign up for a full-day contest. Pick your poison.
*Allowing teachers to remain with their students during contests gives us a chance to teach and advise. We could not touch equipment—that makes sense—but it totally deflates all the tension over “cheating” because a kid was talking to an adviser during an event. So what? The kid had to do all the work, under the pressure of a real deadline.
* The awards ceremony was over in an hour.
*It was affordable. Only 50 bucks to register, and that included a tee-shirt.
Biggest gripe: The hotel needs to empty the trash more frequently. There are a lot of wrappers and boxes when 350 teens and teachers populate a room and snack the day away.
See you next year.