5 things Cambridge taught me

Like the best of TV, RTS Cambridge had everything: comedy, drama, breaking news, current affairs, media celebrities, factual, entertainment, glamour and excitement. There was something for everyone.

Here are five things that have stuck in my mind:

There is always room for more jargon
Media is awash with impenetrable jargon, but Peter Bazalgette’s invitation to the audience to invent new TV acronyms and short-hand phrases shows that there is room for more, such as a “Dyke”, a soldier who refuses to accept that the war is over, or to do a “Thommo”, to create a rumour that a much loved niche channel is set to close purely in order to save it to great public acclaim. Allied to this theme of creative phrasing was Sir Martin Sorrell’s advice to “eat your own children before someone else does”.

David Mitchell should do more industry events
I’m sure he’d rather not, but his session on connected TV was wonderful and one of the best and most user-friendly expositions I’ve heard.

Sir Martin Sorrell may have run out of shapes
No bathtubs, nothing. However, Sir Martin did point out that TV advertising is where clients turn in difficult financial times. He also challenged the TV industry to move more quickly. A not wholly unreasonable point, although it is worth bearing in mind that great TV takes time because it is all about collaboration.

Content is emperor
It is probably time we moved beyond king anyway; TV is an empire now really, rather than a kingdom, colonising every room in the home, lots of places outside the home, and every corner of the internet. What came through strongly at the conference was that although TV technology is changing fast, great content on the channels they trust and depend on are what viewers really care about.

Where was the advertising industry?
This was my first time at RTS Cambridge, but I can guarantee I will be a regular from now on. It is the best three day seminar you could ever attend on TV, AND it’s small enough to mingle with and talk to the brilliant people on the stage and the audience.  My only two regrets are that I wish it was every year (rather than every two years), and what a shame it is that more advertising people don’t go.

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