| 30 Jan 2023
'Radio Fair Exhibition', an initiative to increase listenership on Radio

MUMBAI: 13 February World Radio Day is about celebrating radio, why we love it and why we need it today more than ever. India has taken a step to celebrate this day on a grand scale since 2015. Outreach International Radio Fair (OIRF), an initiative by Outreach organization in Bhubhaneshwar, India, is the biggest event organised on World Radio Day and it also happens to be the only Radio Fair of India.

Outreach owner Subrat Kumar Pati is a man who initiated the Radio Fair. Talking about the same Pati said, “Radio Fair was my idea. I have dedicated all my life to radio. Since childhood, I have been listening to radio. I entered the radio industry in 2007 with Radio Choklate. Gradually I understood that radio was doing just fine, but the essence was missing.”

Pati has not only worked with Radio Choklate but has also reported for BBC, been a casual announcer for AIR, trainer for community radio stations, taught radio to Journalism students in different colleges and is also one of the co-founders of Odia Radio – first internet radio channel in Orissa.

After having observed the industry for a long time, Pati came to a conclusion that the listenership of private FM is increasing due to its entertainment aspects. Whereas unfortunately the government FM’s are lagging despite offering some good content.

However, instead of trying to support one of the radio sides Pati decide to do something special for radio – The Radio Fair Exhibition. “I first conducted a seminar in 2012 on World Radio Day and discussed with various people about issues in the radio industry and where we lack. After understanding the problem I came to a conclusion that all one needs to do is create awareness about how big the industry is and its value. Thus I initiated Radio Fair Exhibition.”

The objectives of Radio fair Exhibitions are:

1. Celebrating radio

2. Increase in listenership

3. Remind the broadcasters about their responsibility and to work towards development.

The exhibition is on run since 2015. Audience across the globe visit the fair and the response has been increasing year after year. Radio stations from every corner of the globe are invited to the exhibition where they get to promote their radio station and its content.

The program has been divided into three sections.

1. There are speakers who talk and discuss the radio industry and how well one must work towards development.

2. Rich Cultural programs to reflect the Indian culture and essence are organized. Popular radio dramas are performed. Celebrity radio artists are invited and present radio content in a visual form.

3. In the Exhibition, radio sets and transmitters are sold. Also, the radio stations presenters play their content live. Studios are set up to show how broadcasting actually takes place.

Not only Radio stations are a part of the exhibition, technical manufacturers who make radio sets and transmitters to participate.

The exhibition has always been sponsored and funded by the MNC’s, but in 2017, due to demonetization and elections in Orissa, the ministry could not help them and thus the outreach company had to fund the entire exhibition independently.