2020 Sessions

NASA, Facebook and the Infinite Monkey Cage - Radio TechCon 2020 has it all.
Side view of Stephanie Hirst on stage in front of the Radio TechCon 2019 audience

Credit: Vincent Lo

This is an archive page – for details of this year’s event, please go to radiotechcon.com

Audience at Radio TechCon 2018

Credit: Vincent Lo

Radio TechCon 2020 – full programme

David Lloyd presenting Radio TechCon 2017

Credit: Rupert Brun

Welcome To Radio TechCon 2020

Our host, David Lloyd, welcomes you and explains how to make the most of our virtual platform.

The Future of Engineering

The IET is celebrating its 150th anniversary. In this keynote speech, IET President Danielle George will reflect on the innovations of the past and give her predictions on the technology of the future.

Watt now? Watt if? The Hidden Power of Radio

There are various studies investigating the environmental impact of digital technology and services, but limited research dedicated to radio broadcast and listening. With changes to the radio industry on the horizon, such as a potential digital switchover or greater uptake of internet-connected devices, it’s important we understand how both industry and consumer decisions could impact the environment.

In this session, Chloe Fletcher from BBC R&D will explore how much energy is currently needed to prepare, distribute and consume BBC radio services, and how this may change over the next 20 years.

Audio DNA – Next generation tools for Next Generation Audio

Next Generation Audio (NGA) is like the DNA of audio, as it helps you make the best use of your station’s metadata. But how do you get different Next Generation Audio systems to work together? The EBU has an answer for that…

Times Radio: Plandemic B

Launching a new speech radio station on a tight deadline is tough. Where are the studios going to be? How will the staff be trained? Are there enough supplies of tea and gaffer tape? Times Radio had to cope with all of these challenges – and then along came Covid-19.

Find out how the team managed to get on air whilst staying 2m apart.

The Internet Monkey Cage

The pandemic has affected all of our workflows, as staying at home became the new going out. But how does that work when you normally have lots of guests in a studio …or need to record an audience laughing in real time? The BBC tells the story behind its Pre Rec and Virtual Audience systems, with a special guest contribution from Robin Ince from the Infinite Monkey Cage.

Freelance Your Future

The last couple of years have seen huge changes in our industry. Many people have been made redundant, and others have found new ways of working due to the pandemic.

Whether you are freelance, employed or thinking about making the leap, discover what you need to help you make sound financial foundations today and to deliver on your goals tomorrow.

In this session, we’ll look at the practical, legal and financial things you need to consider if you become self-employed – and what you need to know if you are hiring freelance talent. This session could change your financial life!

LUFFing Your Workflow

You may know the theory of LUFS and EBU R 128, but how do you incorporate Loudness in your production processes and working practices?

How do you get your studio output to conform with EBU R 128 and what’s the advantage?

Wolfgang Rein shares the lessons he learned from SWR in Germany.

VIP Voice Control

The RNIB has developed all kinds of innovative technologies to allow Visually Impaired audiences to access content on smart speakers. Visually Impaired users are experts at voice control – so what can smart speaker skill designers learn to make their apps more navigable?


The ability to display station names, programme types and dynamic text is very much part of the appeal of DAB and DRM as a modern digital radio technology, but if they are going to become truly global and ubiquitous, then they will need to be fluent in more than Latin script.

Abdallah al-Salmi explains the complexities of Arabic script display and how the ETSI standards of DAB and DRM have been updated in order to support the growing requirements of broadcasters across the world.

Hey Beeb!

The story behind the BBC’s ‘Beeb’ voice assistant, how it works, why it’s not competing with Google and Amazon… and why it can speak in different accents.

Don’t Mux It Up

Are you a bit hazy on SId Codes? Not sure how to troubleshoot a weird character appearing on your station’s DLS display? In this session, Ash Elford will give you a whistle-stop tour of the basics every engineer needs to know about making their radio station look good on DAB.

BBC Cymru Wales headquarters building

Credit: BBC

Pencadlys BBC Cymru Wales

Building a new broadcasting centre from scratch is a huge project which can span years. So how do engineers, project managers and production users work together on complex projects, and what lessons can be learned for the future?

In this session, you’ll go behind-the-scenes of the BBC’s new Cardiff HQ, and learn how to get the most out of your project team (and vice-versa).

If you have considered a shift to a career in major projects engineering, this is for you!


The Multitrack Audio Fellowship helps people from under-represented backgrounds find paid internships within the radio industry. In this session, you’ll have a brief introduction to the scheme and learn how technology teams can help.

A Face(book) for Radio: VR sound and audio innovation

Broaden your (Facebook) Horizons – VR has been the ‘almost there’ technology for years, but under the bonnet, audio is the key to its success. In this session, Caleb Epps from Facebook Horizon’s Sound design team, explains how VR audio works, and how the technology can be used in the wider audio world – including at your radio station.

It Is Rocket Science – How NASA Does Sound

NASA broadcasts thousands of hours of televised and internet-streamed content from space. But what is happening behind-the-scenes? How does the world get to hear the instructions for ground control, and who teaches the astronauts how to use a microphone? Alexandria Perryman will reveal all. You will go home feeling VERY jealous of her job…

Stephanie Hirst presenting the quiz

Credit: Vincent Lo

There’ll be a Quiz at the end

Fun, Prizes and Beer.

After a busy day, there’s a fun challenge to be had as we look back on what we learned and head for the evening networking session.

What else can I see and do?

As well as giving you access to all our sessions, your ticket includes:

  • Access to the virtual breakout rooms, where you can meet friends old and new – just like you would at an in-person TechCon!
  • The chance to meet our Sponsors in their virtual rooms – representatives will be available so you can watch the latest product demonstrations, ask questions and have a private meeting if necessary.
  • Most of our Speakers will be spending the day with us, so you can find out more from them during the breakouts.
  • Continuing Professional Development (CPD) certification, accredited by the Institute of Engineering and Technology (the IET).
  • A goody box – and cake! UK-based delegates who register before midday on the 20th November will be sent a goody box as well as our traditional engineers’ tea.
  • CPD accreditation from the IET.
  • Virtual bar – we’ll extend the networking into the evening so you can relax with engineering buddies and enjoy your favourite drink (or two).

We look forward to welcoming you on Monday, 30th November 2020!

Two men enjoying a cup of tea at Radio TechCon 2017

Credit: Vincent Lo

Radio TechCon reserves the right to amend the programme if necessary.