Re: [podcasters] Podcasting Trade Shows
- Even those who put in the work usually don't make a whole lot of $$$ from their hobby either after Uncle Sam gets his "Share" :(
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From: Michael Sitarzewski <msitarzewski@...>
Sent: Friday, December 2, 2011 12:49 PM
Subject: Re: [podcasters] Podcasting Trade Shows
It's a fine line, isn't it? Is it fun, or is it business?
You're right, most podcasters have the dream of making a six figure income from their hobby. Nothing's to say it's impossible, it just takes a lot of work. Work and hobby for most aren't the same thing yet. :)
I never had the pleasure of attending the earlier events, I was just thinking about what I'd like to see.
On Dec 2, 2011, at 11:41 AM, Stephen Eley wrote:
> On Dec 1, 2011, at 12:39 PM, Michael Sitarzewski wrote:
> > Here's a pitch:
> > A nice dinner on opening night (Friday)
> > Half way through the dinner, a speaker welcomes everyone, and intros the weekend.
> > After dinner, we have a keynote from an industry player (podcaster, advertiser, service provider, whatever).
> > Then there's a day and a half of podcasting/audio/video publishing sessions! (Saturday & 1/2 Sunday)
> > How to sessions, live podcasts, ad reps, equipment reps, etc.
> > The closing party Sunday afternoon culminates with the podcast awards, stage, tinsel, and all. :)
> > It's a two night event - and maybe we hold it in the middle of the country (right here in Denver!).
> That's more or less what the Podcast Expo used to be.
> Then it became the Podcast and New Media Expo. Then it became the New Media Expo. Then it merged with Blogworld.
> The catch is this: the vast majority of podcasters are doing it for fun and can't call it a business. They have no real revenue from it, and no business rationale to justify their cost for going to a "trade show." Actual trade shows in actual profit-making industries tend to be priced for people who are expensing it to their companies. (Hundreds of dollars to attend, sometimes over a thousand, plus travel.) Sponsors can only justify sponsoring it if the marketing exposure would hit enough new customers with enough purchasing power that they have a chance of making back the cost.
> Tim Bourquin took exactly this approach for the Expo. To be fair, he did it well. The best part of _any_ convention is the socializing, and podcasters know how to party. I went in 2006 and 2007 and had a lot of fun. (Especially in 2007 when I was mostly there to get laid. *cough*) The energy of the podcast community in those first few years was very strong.
> But if you're calling it a "business" event, and you succeed, then over time what you're going to get is more and more people who think of it as a business. You stop attracting the fun creative types who are doing what they do because they love it; and you get more and more "business" attendees:
> Well-intentioned but naïve souls who think that their Buffy/Battlestar Galactica crossover fanfiction podcast could make $100,000 a year if only they could learn the right magic formula to "monetize" it, or if they "network" a little more. (Most of the presentations in later years seemed to be oriented toward this crowd.)
> Corporate marketing flacks who got some mandate that "new media" is part of their job now and they need to find out what podcasting is. They don't give a crap about community, they just want to know which vendor in the exhibit hall is likeliest to sell them the magic button that will keep them from having to learn anything technical.
> "New media" consultants and other "experts" who are there in principle to schmooze and sell things to groups #1 and #2, but from what I can tell spend most of their time schmoozing to each other and congratulating themselves on their brilliance.
> None of these people are very fun. ...Well. The #1 people are, sometimes, if you can talk to them about that Spike/Baltar scene before they forget what their podcast was about and start thinking it's about the money. The Expo died (or got eaten) because there wasn't enough money on the business side of podcasting to keep people talking about the business year after year, and in the meantime they stopped trying to appeal to the people who were doing it for fun.
> If you want to avoid this? Don't call it a trade show. Call it a con or a party or a shindig. Take a cue from the science fiction conventions, perhaps. Have your educational panels, have some vendors, but make it clear this is an event for people to enjoy themselves and to meet people who are doing similar things and enjoying themselves too. And price getting in at less than $100, and make sure travel and lodgings are reasonably cheap. Cover your costs, but don't try to make a business off of it.
> Is there enough energy left in podcasting to make a popular and fun event out of that? Dunno. I'm no longer the right person to ask. The first Podcastercon (organized by Mur and a few others in Raleigh, NC) was fun like this. The Podcamps have been fun. I don't know what's still going on. But if it can be done, I believe that would be the way to do it.
> Have Fun,
> Steve Eley
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