(Photo: Christian Post/Scott Liu)
Thousands of Christian media and ministry professionals are expected to attend the National Religious Broadcasters' International Christian Media Convention held at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville, Tenn., beginning Saturday.
Considered the world's largest annual gathering of Christian communicators, NRB convention organizers say the four-day event includes participants gaining new media insights, connections, resources and opportunities. Up to about 4,000 people related to the communications industry are expected to attend, Communications Director Kenneth Chan told The Christian Post recently.
"The NRB Convention is a 'must attend' on the calendar of many Christian media and ministry professionals," explained NRB President & CEO Jerry A. Johnson. "In the course of just a few days, you can make more strategic connections and gain more knowledge and resources than you might in the course of a year. It's a one-stop venue for what many need to more effectively reach people for Christ."
NRB's International Christian Media Convention draws a wide range of participants, including radio and TV station owners and operators, pastors, church media professionals, radio and TV program producers, college educators, students, film producers, web and mobile developers, social media managers, marketing representatives, and ministry staff members.
The annual gathering includes an Exposition area that officials say is the largest marketplace dedicated to Christian media professionals "seeking to harness the power of electronic media to spread the Gospel."
Nearly 200 companies, ministries, and organizations will showcase their products and services on 135,000 square feet of exhibit space, including broadcasters, nonprofits, educational institutions, publishers, media agencies, and broadcast equipment and software companies.
Those attending the convention will have a chance to meet and speak directly with representatives of leading Christian organizations, including the Baker Publishing Group, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Campus Crusade for Christ, Charisma Media, Family Research Council, Focus on the Family, Gospel for Asia, HOPE TV, LifeWay Christian Resources, SAT-7, The Salvation Army, The Voice of the Martyrs, Tyndale House Publishers, and more.
As in previous years, the NRB Convention will offer approximately 40 educational sessions led by professionals at the top of their field. These sessions offer participants topics such as fundraising, marketing, video production, social media, technology, and leadership.
Speakers planned for the event include ministry leaders such as Chris Larson (Ligonier Ministries), Jack Hayford (The King's University), Lauren Libby (TWR), and Wayne Pederson (Reach Beyond); media experts such as DeVon Franklin (Columbia Tristar Pictures), Katie Harbath (Facebook), and Michael Harrison (TALKERS Magazine); as well as cultural commentators such as Ben Carson (American Business Collaborative), Ed Stetzer (LifeWay Research), Eric Metaxas (Breakpoint), Russell Moore (Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission), and Todd Starnes (FOX Radio and Television). Musical guests this year include Michael W. Smith, Tommy Walker, Ginny Owens, and GLAD.
On Friday, a day prior to its main program opening, a NRB Digital Media Summit, an all-day educational event covering best practices for an effective social media presence using today's digital media tools is scheduled. Leading digital marketers from some of America's most innovative ministries, including Adam Singer (Google), Justin Blaney (Innovate 4 Jesus), and Justin Wise (WISE Group), are scheduled to speak.
Also new to the convention is the addition of film screenings ("Son of God," "Moms' Night Out" and "God's Not Dead"), a pitch-a-thon, a silent auction, and more, say organizers.
On Saturday, there will be an installation ceremony for NRB President & CEO Dr. Jerry A. Johnson, who was unanimously elected by the NRB Board of Directors on Oct. 1, 2013. Speaking at the ceremony will be R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
The convention is being held as NRB celebrates its 70th year as an association. While the convention itself will kick off Saturday, Feb. 22, the exposition will officially open its doors Sunday afternoon. The event concludes Tuesday, Feb. 25, with the presentation of the 2014 NRB Media Awards.
On the Web: http://nrbconvention.org/.