Reading through my Bloglines feeds this morning a lot of talk about Podcamp Boston was alive. I gathered it was a great time once again. Lots of learning and conversations going on. They have a passionite community which is having some growing pains. Basically, Podcamp is a free community based event that costs nothing to attend and anyone can speak. They have been held all over the world. The farthest away being Podcamp Perth. The topics are usually about Podcasting but have evolved to Media. They went really big this year in the home of the original podcamp: Boston, Massachusetts having 1,357 people register. I was one of the initial registrants when I heard all the buzz but emailed to say I could not make it. Just not possible to leave work. I did contribute by sending my digital recorder to help record sessions. It is all about the community.
Only 650 of the 1,357 registrants showed up. Still a great crowd for a community based event. Amazing in fact. I think since people saw it was free they initially registered without the normal care and commitment to going to a conference.
I am attending Blogworld next week and after paying my money to go. I am defiantly going.
The podcamp organizers are not the only one who go through this conundrum. In the Dotcom days I was involved in a Ariba B2B world tour. The bottom was dropping out of the dot com craze and we had traveled to Australia and rented the huge Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre. (just looked up the event website which is still there) The event was a free one for customers.
They evidently didn’t have any customers down under. The effect was an audience of 100 people in a gi-normous room. Had a giant Rock and Roll stage and a crazy, expensive opening video which showed the CEO and COO in a Rolling stones themed backstage venue acting like rockstars as they walked out from backstage as the reveal for the entrance to the opening keynote. (cool effect earlier in the year) Problem is by the time they got to Australia the COO & President had quit so only one executive walked out. We had also produced this video of sprinter Michael Johnson who came out and did a speech about beating the competition. It was very sad. Our crew was larger than the audience. But we were paid to put it on as best we could. We attempt to use rope and stantions to keep the audience in one area to at least give it a better look for the presenters. (i.e. the people paying us) That did not work.
Think of the last time you had a party at your house was there a little tiny bit of doubt lurking in the back of your brain nobody would show up?. Podcamp has something special, these types of problems wont go away, it is just part of producing events. Its always changing and evolving. You just have to keep working.
Podcamp founders Chris Penn, Chris Brogan
Photo credit CC_Chapman