An all too fleeting visit to “Unconvention Belfast” and http://twitter.com/unconvention yesterday. Was hoping to stay longer, but a minor domestic crisis drew me home earlier than I would have liked. The main reason I was there was to do a workshop on Podcasting. I was unexpectedly (and gratefully) joined by Stephen O’Regan of balconytv.com. Stephen does things differently from me – first balconytv is video and I don’t really do video, the second is that he uses a different podcasting system. So he was able to bring a different perspective. But thankfully we agreed tended to agree especially taking a professional attitude to the production of podcasts.
Unconvention (read all about it) is a truly excellent event which runs on adrenaline and volunteerism. It is a real public service which endeavours to bring professionalism to the music industry of Northern Ireland.
It is time for the rest of Northern Ireland’s business community and media to realise that individuals and small businesses that support and arrange events like Unconvention are as much part of the economic revival of our city and all of Northern Ireland as is any other industry. The music, entertainment, creative industry have an enormous economic benefit which can been seen on the Profit and Loss account. But it has a more subtle impact on our ecomony by raising expectations and morale. And as any business person will tell you morale has a direct impact on the bottom line.
So where were you BBC, UTV, Belfast Telegraph and others? Yes our desperate "traditional" media – desperate for stories and for younger audiences. You are required by your audiences (and in some cases by Charter and law) to provide a fair and balanced coverage including Economy. This is not a “good news story” with everybody smiling and saying “Awww, shucks.” at the end. This is a real business story even if it is by its own title and admission “Unconventional.” This is not kids messing about in front of the mirror playing tennis rackets; this is business.
Next time send someone. No, send two – one to cover the entertainment and send your Business Cor. also.