I’m going to Podfest even though I haven’t posted a podcast episode since last year.
Yes, I podfaded – I stopped podcasting without wrapping up my podcast. I’ve never posted a “thanks for following me” episode. I just… quit. My most recent show was based on a huge topic pivot, but I used the same feed for the show, Toastmasters 101.
People podfade for many reasons: interests wane, developing content becomes a drag, circumstances change, your boss decides it doesn’t have enough listeners. Some podcasters put a pin in their podcast and wrap it up with a final goodbye. I haven’t done so and, after eight years, I hope someone at the Toastmasters organization will pick it up instead.
Podcasting is an emotional medium and I still love my topic, but I am ready for something new. Which brings me to why I will still be attending Podfest in 2022.
Going to Podfest Anyway
Yes, I’m going to Podfest anyway for three reasons.
First, I’ve been to a few podcasting events. I won’t say anything negative about the others, but I will say this: Podfest is the most friendly and newbie-supporting podcast conference that you can attend. The amount of attention that the conference hosts – Chris Krimitsos and Andrew Weiss – put into making a Getting Started track for new podcasters is staggering. Every year, we see leading podcasting teachers speak to minimize the lead time to get a podcast launched. That commitment to new podcasters is unmatched.
I want to start a new podcast. I may know the tech, but I don’t know the techniques of this new podcast field. Podfest has an entire track dedicated to my new interest with smart and talented speakers who will help me get going.
I love my Podfest family. Podfest is my family reunion. I’ve met people who have become good friends. I volunteer at Podfest to help with registration because I know that I’ll meet up with those people as soon as they arrive. And the new people who I help during registration will get to know me. I become a reference person who helps them get started not just at registration, but for the rest of the conference.
Podfest may not be the biggest podcasting conference, yet it’s been building every year. But just like big doesn’t mean successful for the attendees, small doesn’t always mean intimate and personal. Podfest works to make every person’s attendance exceptional. You’ll find people who want to find you and hear your story and your voice. Seriously, you may think it’s so 20th century to have actual paper business cards, but you’ll want to bring them to Podfest. (We also like stickers. Just saying.)
If you’re just getting started, let me warn you: There are “experts” out there who will want you to spend $1,000 or more for your equipment. Don’t believe it. You can get started far cheaper and still produce quality sound and content for far less. How do you know what you really need? By going to Podfest, you can attend one of the Get Started sessions and then take a stroll through the vendors hall. You can experiment with the equipment that interests you there.
Experienced and Experience
If you use basic equipment, you’re going to love the vendors hall. Every year, I’ve tried out new equipment that I’d otherwise continue to wish for but never would attain. If you use an ATR 2100 microphone, you’ll know what I mean when I talk about how low it sounds in recording. But when I spent an hour in the vendors hall, I got to try out different microphones, pre-amps, and gadgets that I never would have known. Because I was there and able to try out equipment, I made smart purchases that upped my podcasting game within my budget.
It’s not just about equipment. If you’re looking to join a network, those networks who are looking for you are there. Can’t decide which host to pick? Of course, after almost a decade, I’m going to tell you that Blubrry is the best choice, but in the vendor’s hall, you can meet several and make your own choice. (And say hi to Mike Dell at the Blubrry booth.) Check out Todd and Mike speaking there: 17 Years of Podcasting Success & Strategies to Succeed Today and Podcast Rebranding 101.
Podfaded at Podfest? Yes!
This year, I may be in-between podcasts. But I’m going because I podfaded.
I want to try something. I’m in that “new circumstances” point in my life. I don’t want to spend my time flailing, trying to find out what works in this new space that I want to explore. In years past, I’ve spent most of my time learning about marketing. This year, I want to find out about audio drama. I plan to attend as many of the audio drama sessions that I can to speed up my trek.
Just because one part of my podcasting journey is ending, that doesn’t mean there isn’t more to come. And that’s why I’ll be attending Podfest on May 26 – 29 in Orlando (And I’m bringing friends!).
If you come to Podfest, look for me. I’ll be the one in the hat, welcoming people at the registration desk. You may not be in my part of the alphabet, but make sure you say hello.
Kim Krajci, host of Toastmasters 101 podcast, has been podcasting for 7 years and writing since the creation of the stylus and clay tablets. She also teaches speech and debate and works as a social media manager.