A conference worth every penny! – how often do you hear that? A review of UK Podcasters first conference.
I go to a good few conferences for radio, education and media and whilst they are all good in their own way they have nothing on the gathering on Saturday 16th August ’14 with the good people from UK Podcasters group at Hotel La Tour in Birmingham.
The positivity was incredible; the sharing of knowledge and ideas between delegates is something that other media conferences should take note. What’s more the people were simply nice. I’m not saying they’re not at other conferences, but there was an air of positivity throughout.
“The Positivity was incredible: people were simply nice.”
Often you’ll see people vying for pecking order and cliques formed from almost institutionalised order at these types of events. This was different and had the feeling of freshness with a drive of enthusiasm that swept you along with it.
Mike and Izabela Russell (www.musicradiocreative.com) are two of the nicest people you’ll meet, although I would hazard that they don’t suffer fools and they don’t surround themselves with idiots either. They are driven and understand their business goals.
They organised UK Podcasters first conference with an ambition to push Podcasting in the UK and Europe forward to new a direction.
“Ambition to push Podcasting in the UK forward”
It is true that others have been there before them, and I cannot say if those forbearer’s events were as good, but I’m sure they didn’t have these two positive people behind them.
Actually it’s not just Mike and Izabela and their support team of volunteers, the speakers were terrific too. “I really felt like I had learned something new” said one delegate who has year’s of podcasting experience behind him.
Little touches are really important at an event like this, the goody bag had a useful pseudo-moleskin book. A simple enough idea but everyone used it and it really helped with my note taking. Actually there were neat touches throughout the day – a balloon and pin on your seat to get you going, free ice-lollies during the break, plenty of choice for teas of coffees, a superb mid-day lunch, free drinks from Spreaker.com. I shouldn’t forget that one lucky visitor was rewarded with their conference fee back and two others won Adobe Creative Cloud passes for a year – only if I’d looked under a seat before choosing where to sit.
We can’t forget that a good venue adds much to a conference and Hotel La Tour – apart from a smideging of scaffolding and my advertised in room bluetooth connectivity acutely not connecting – was brilliant. The staff was so good, attentive and like the service the facilities and rooms are polished. I would be happy to stay at this hotel for the event if we do it again next year, although a point for the management at the hotel – provide UK Podcasters with a better discount next time and you’ll have even more of the 80 or so guests staying.
“Little touches are really important at an event like this… I love networking… enough space to dig a little deeper.”
I also liked the opportunity to talk with other delegates, I almost got round to everyone, which is some going considering the amount that were present. At other events you have to speed chat your way through the short tea breaks. UKPodcasters.com conference gave enough space for you to dig a little deeper into conversations.
I love networking, isn’t that what a conference is all about?
The space helped me to develop my plans for Radio Skills for Podcasters, I had time to listen, share and move forward with ideas for @radio_skills. You need to know your target audience’s pain when creating a podcast and solutions based business. The feedback from fellow delegates, speakers and podcasters was invaluable and has moved forward my thinking to a new level.
One suggestion for Mike and Izabela for next time is perhaps a couple of break out sessions, adobe audition tricks session, or a marketing session or perhaps a Radio Skills for Podcasters session – although I accept, this may add to the ticket price.
I really enjoyed this event, probably the best conference I’ve been to in a long time. I met some people that I hope to can stay in contact with and good friendships may grow. I’m still taken aback at meeting some really nice people who were willing to share and not be precious about their ideas. Truly by sharing we learn. Well done to all involved!
If you didn’t attend the podcaster meet up check out ukpodcasters.com or on twitter follow @uk_podcasters. To see the conversations and pictures from the event simply search #ukpod14 on Twitter to find out what you missed.
Here’s hoping they do it all again next year, I’m up for it! How about you?