I posted this for my Patrons a while ago but never cross posted this here. Since it came up on a podcasting panel I did recently, I was reminded to post it publicly. Enjoy!
So I attended Podcast Movement in Chicago last week and it was … a thing. I only went because they had a payment plan for registration and it was in my city. I can tell you that I wouldn’t travel for this convention and I definitely would not pay what they ask for registration costs.
It wasn’t that the session titles were bad, but for the money (I got the early bird rate but it was still over $300) there weren’t a lot of vendors, some of the panels/talks were not so hot. There was one that was a thinly veiled pitch for the speakers services, but it wasn’t anything I didn’t know.
I mean, maybe some people need common sense before they need lessons on how to be a good podcast guest, but the ‘advice’ she was giving was very 101, like promote the episode when it airs, talk up the show you’re going to be on, come prepared to record, make sure you give the hosts your full attention!
Who doesn’t know such basic stuff? The thing that baffled me the most by her talk was the advice of go write a book to be a podcast guest. I repeat, her advice was go write a book to be on a podcast. That just kind of made me want to walk out. Yes, let’s spend time writing books to be on a podcast.
Let’s be honest, getting to guest on a podcast is not like being on a network tv show or likely something that will make or break your career. Yeah it’s cool, it’s fun but let’s be real here. There are very few shows with enough reach to make you better known.
The other thing that bugged me was that a lot of the ‘experts’ on these panels or giving talks were folks who have corporate backing or had money to spare and acted as if they had such a damn hard time getting where they are. There was no practical advice for small podcasters really.
Just mostly white dudes and white women talking about their corporate sponsored shows that struggled oh-so-much. There was only one diversity panel, and it was almost derailed by the first audience question, or I should say rant. One of the panelists made the very salient point that ok, we’re having this panel and what then?
It was refreshing to hear that from someone on a diversity panel, but the audience member who came back to that point for his ‘question’ went on a whole other level with his ranting about how it means nothing in the end. So that happened 😐
Bad panels, talks and lack of representation aside there were some cool things about going. I got to meet Godfrey of Gamertag Radio, see Cicero H of Spawn on Me again and meet a lot of other cool podcasters. There was good networking to be had and that has some value but not $300+ worth IMHO.
So yeah, if I could ever get a speaker gig (HAHAHAHA) for this and it comes back to Chicago, I may return to it once it’s grown into itself more. For a three year old convention it was slick and pretty but very, very shallow at the end of two and a half days.
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