Click here for an overview of the full Conference schedule!


Already registered? The next step is to connect with other Conference attendees on Switchboard. Use Switchboard to find roommates, get tips on travel, share ideas for UnConferencing sessions, and more!

Gotta figure out a way to attend? For the first time this year, registrations are not refundable, but they are transferable. Keep an eye out on Switchboard for people needing to transfer their registrations. If you've already found someone and are ready to transfer your registration to someone else, click here.

Conference Dates and Registration

Join us and 800 of your fellow radio/podcast makers for the 2017 Third Coast Conference November 9-11 (Thurs - Sat) at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place, 2233 S. King Drive, Chicago.

Keep up with the latest Conference updates by signing up for our newsletter.

Volunteer applications for the 2017 Third Coast Conference are now closed.


  • Earlybird: $435: SOLD OUT
  • Main: $495: SOLD OUT


Special Third Coast group rates for the Hyatt Regency at McCormick Place:

  • Single or Double: $164
  • Triple: $175
  • Quad: $185
    (Add 17.39% tax to the rates above)

Share your room with another Third Coast attendee!


  • Click here for full overview of the Conference Schedule!
  • Note! We'll keep you (very) busy most of the weekend, but you'll have time to squeeze in reunions, meals w/ friends & other festivities on Thursday (late night), Friday (late afternoon), Saturday (early evening) and - if you're still around - Sunday morning.


  • Your registration fee includes all of your day-time meals (breakfasts, lunches, afternoon snacks), dinner is not included.
  • New : Introducing The Fest curated by Third Coast, two weeks of podcasts live on-stage, in venues across Chicago November 1-12. Come to Chicago early... or stay an extra day to see: Reveal , Why Oh Why , Re:sound LIVE!, Code Switch , Longform and Love & Radio .
  • New : Your registration is not refundable but it IS transferable, up through Friday, October 27 at midnight. Contact us at to get instructions on transferring your registration. Offer your registration through the Third Coast Switchboard site.
  • There is no waiting list, sorry!

The Third Coast Conference convenes in the Chicago area for three days each fall. Radio producers, podcasters, journalists, documentarians, audio artists, and students come together, listen to each other’s work, share ideas and expertise, and make priceless connections with future colleagues and new friends. Sessions and discussions cover the art and craft of audio storytelling, and all include plenty of listening.

The weekend culminates with an awards ceremony honoring the winners of the 2017 Third Coast / Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Competition.

All sessions will be recorded and available in our Audio Library and on the Third Coast Pocket Conference podcast, the start of your next great story!

The line-up of 2017 Conference sessions (below) will continue to grow over the coming weeks!

Click on the session titles to read the full descriptions.

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Conference Sessions

The Tyranny of Good Talkers

Often, the first question a show or editor will ask you when you pitch them an amazing story is whether your subject is "a good talker." But what if they're not?

Mudslide Part 2: After the Avalanche

In the era of Donald Trump, we’ve had to adapt as storytellers. The president’s choice to use news media as a political foil obviously complicates our work, making the facts themselves a point of debate. But the challenges are far deeper.

Bringing Together Narrative and News

The Daily podcast has brought rich sound production and narrative storytelling together with daily news and New York Times journalism.

The Past Isn't Past

We're living through a profoundly unsettled time, both politically and culturally, and a lot of journalists are asking, "how exactly did we get... here?"

No One’s Source

“When someone that’s not you tries to tell your story...they’re gonna screw it up.” This session starts with Aziz Ansari’s provocation to explore how not to screw up stories, by collaborating with would-be sources as authors of their own narratives...

2017 Audio Doctors

Audio Doctor sessions are 25 minute private focused sessions with one of a roster of superstar producer/editors who will meet with patients to aid in the cure their audio ills...

Shop Talks (Thursday afternoon small sessions!)

Between 2pm - 4:30pm on Thursday afternoon, producers can take their first dip into the Third Coast Conference with Shop Talks. Shop Talks are a chance for producers to take part in small sessions in business, education and more.

Seven Things I’ve Learned

This American Life host Ira Glass talks about seven things he’s learned over the past 4 decades in radio...

2017 Provocations

A series of short talks from producers who hope to dare and ignite.

Complicated Characters

Dov Charney, the founder and ex-CEO of American Apparel, built the company through his charisma and force of will...

The argument of “objectivity”

Is traditional “objectivity” in journalism on its way out...

What Happened When I Stopped Making Radio... and Started Listening

Last year, after 15 years of making Radiolab , and more recently More Perfect , Jad Abumrad took a break...

How to become an investigative reporter with one simple trick: Ask a good question

Madeleine Baran and Samara Freemark of In the Dark, love the intimacy of radio and the power it has to transport us into other people’s lives...

The Confessional: When is a Personal Story Worth Sharing?

You'd like to turn the mic on yourself to share your most personal story, but how do you ensure others will want to listen...

AIR's Bitchin' Pitch Panel

A bonafide Third Coast tradition, this session pulls back the curtain on one of the most difficult and important skills every producer needs to master: how to pitch...

Beyond the Green: Radical Encounters in Interviewing

What can radio journalism learn from performance art? A LOT...

Playing with Reality & Pushing the Boundaries

Imagine opening your work to the possibilities of drama and fiction that can bring a rich, more expansive story to life.

The Fact-checker

There’s an old journalism adage that says “if your mother says she loves you, check it out.” This American Life’s Christopher Swetala is the fact-checker who calls her to ask, and then let’s you know if it’s true… or not.