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Podcast Movement 2017 – A Brit in the US

When we talked about going to Podcast movement we weighed up the pros and cons. And there were a lot of cons… Given that it was so far away and we really had no idea what to expect.

Nearly 9,000 miles. That’s how far I travelled for Podcast movement 2017. And I wasn’t the only one to embark on a long journey. Podcasters came from All over America, central and south, Canada, Italy, New Zealand, Australia, China and the UK – and that is just the people that I met!

I also met the people who are the closest podcasting has to rockstars: from John Lee Dumas of Entrepreneur on Fire… Dan Taberski of Missing Richard Simmons fame… Aaron Mahnke who’s podcast Lore is about to hit Amazon screens… Dave Jackson from the School of Podcasting, and the UK’s very own Helen Zaltzman.

One of the reasons I came was to figure out what the Americans do different to the UK in terms of engagement with their audience… and I’ll cover that in another blog. But one thing that was very obvious is that there are far fewer hobbyists when it comes to Podcasting in the USA. So many people I met didn’t have a podcast that was already out there. Yet they had paid a couple of hundred dollars to be at this event… To learn, to network, to grow. And those that had already launched their shows were further down the line to monetising, than almost every show I know of in the UK.  And the subject of monetising your show was a recurring theme of the conference.

Again this is something I’ll tackle in another blog, but for me there is an opportunity for us to make money through podcasting in a way that is as different to traditional methods, as podcasts are to traditional radio programmes.

Ideas, names and business cards were swapped. Drinks were drunk. And over the course of the event over 40 talks were given… Including the excellent PMX conference on the Tuesday. I got to meet the brains behind some incredible podcasting tools and get one on one lessons on getting the best out of them… Got to play with some incredible pieces of kit, find out about services I never even thought existed and get a bunch of free t-shirts and cool little gadgets. Outside of the trade area and the sessions, I spent many hours talking in depth with fellow podcasters who literally bumped into me. Some of these were amongst my highlights.

Chuck in a fancy awards do and a couple of parties and very little sleep and you kind of have an idea of what it was like. In fact there was so much to take in my brain is still stuck in that little buffering type wheel that shows up when your device is still downloading what you’re trying to stream.

So, as I sit here at the airport on the way home, adding up how much I spent, was it worth it?

Yes. Undoubtedly.

It invigorated me. To be in one place full of like minded individuals was bound to do that.  But it inspired me beyond that. Quite simply I met some incredible people who I may not ever have met otherwise. I was half offered a very exciting job, almost put my foot in it with the bigwigs at apple and ended up sharing my room with a complete stranger who is now going to be doing some work for us. I also met one total idiot, but even he bought me a drink before demonstrating how much of an idiot he was.

Personally, I achieved every goal I set myself going into the event. I may have lost my voice in the process but I got myself invited on as a guest to a couple of shows, I managed to help some other podcasters overcome the challenges they were having, and I met some people that think about the future of podcasting like I do.

The first podcast movement was 4 years ago.  This was my first. And it won’t be my last.

Next year I’ll be in Philadelphia, and I won’t just be a delegate. I’ll be up on that stage.

Come and cheer me on.

 

Are you an aspiring podcaster? Here are some more awesome blogs:

Thinking of podcasting? Check out our podcast all about podcasting, it’s a bit like inception but makes starting a podcast simple and doesn’t have Leonardo Di-Caprio in it. Listen in Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or Soundcloud.