We wanted to talk to all of those who attended #ukpod14 or are part of our existing community because your opinion matters a great deal to Mike and I. You have been involved with the community for a good part of the year now and it is amazing to see how the small idea has grown into this thriving and engaged community we see today!
The reason for our chat today is the future of UK Podcasters and specifically the UK Podcasters 2014 conference.
It was amazing to get all the feedback after the event and to see that that one day inspired so many of you to take positive action! This is what gave us the “fuel” to actually make sure that 2015 is bigger and better in every single possible way!
What was amazing is the fact that actually #ukpod14 attracted people from all over Europe: Greece, Germany, Sweden, Ireland, France… awesome!
As a full disclosure we have started up a new company – called UK Podcasters Limited – and we are here to stay!
Hence this chat with you about the future of UK Podcasters.
How to Make UK Podcasters Bigger and Better
We started to think of the ways in which the conference can be bigger and better next year.
Some ideas we have already taken action on include:
We Need More Than One Day!
We certainly need more than 1 day – not only to allow for more networking opportunities but also to allow for more sessions. In 2015 we will have 2 day conference with 2 tracks running at the same time – that is 4 – yes four times bigger than 2014.
UK Podcasters Awards
One thing that we do know podcasters would love is the Podcast Awards – we are thrilled to tell you that it is going to happen in 2015 too!
We had plenty of informative sessions last year – but thought that it would be great to actually get your hands dirty on the day – we will make sure to have technical workshops and sessions in 2015!
Goodies and Exhibitors
It would be great to perhaps be able to get some awesome goodies from the sponsors or relevant companies on the day. We will have a space for exhibitors to share their awesome (and most of all relevant) products with you on the day!
Hotel Accommodation Affordability
One of the comments we had last year was the fact that the hotel room was not very affordable to all – this year I am pleased to tell you that we chose the venue that has a budget option available across the street – you literally need to cross the street to get there. So if the budget on the accommodation was tight this year the fear no more for 2015!
How Can UK Podcasters Grow?
As we will have 4 times as many sessions as we did last year we also thought of the possible topics of the sessions and this is where this leads me to the exciting points we have to share with you.
In order for the conference to grow and succeed we want to make sure it also allows you to grow as a podcaster. So this is where our trail of thought comes in:
As a podcaster you need a presence online – knowing how to do it effectively is a key for you to create your own tribe – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ – they all have very different approaches and there are niche specialists out there who can help you with that. This is where the whole seperate Social Media element will have its prominence during the 2015 event.
You make sure that you optimise your website with relevant keywords – what is the best way to do that – we looked at Pat Flynn, Chris Ducker, Chris Brogan and other very successful podcasters. What do they all have in common? They blog as well as podcast. Some of you do that already too – in fact many podcasters start off as bloggers and decide to move into podcasting. You often turn your show notes into a blog post. This is where the idea of blogging comes into place too.
You start with an audio podcast – but what about the online video? What about YouTube? Can we ignore it all together? There are people out there who utilise video for their overall content creation strategy – shouldn’t we be learning more about that? This is where the video element comes in for 2015.
You can’t do anything in the first place – without a great website – ready for not only today but also tomorrow. We need specialists who talk about web development and creation. WordPress is the biggest platform – there are so many questions on how to, where and what – we need to make sure to have this all covered.
Of course the most important element is the actual podcasting – equipment, techniques, tools, strategies, audio – you name it!
So as you can see – our trail of thought has given us the following conclusion.
In order for 2015 to be bigger and better – and most of all in order for UK Podcasters to grow and set a permanent mark in the world of new media we need to provide sessions that will cover:
- Social Media
- Web Creation
The list looks great – certainly plenty of work for us – thankfully we have one full year!
Wait, hang on! Something suddenly doesn’t look right… our conference name… #ukpod15 somehow feels that it doesn't actually tell the whole story here.
So here is the big one…
Ready To Be Heard!
If anyone of you is now thinking whether our focus will shift to those other aspects – the answer is no – everything we do will still centre around podcasting. We want to change the name to tell the whole story, to give a true representation of what content anyone attending can expect to receive – but also to enable the community to grow by inviting people who want to consider podcasting in the near future but have not done so yet.
I will go even further and say we would like to engage with communities that have not yet even thought about podcasting so that we spread the awareness of this amazing content creation tool.
We asked for some questions from you over the past couple of days.
Here is one from Ben Adam Smith:
Will the 2015 conference be about nurturing UK talent or the opportunity to attract big players from the US?
The UK is still in its infancy stages if it is about embracing new media compared to what the US is doing at the moment – we certainly must recognise that and at the same time use this as the opportunity to nurture talent in the UK. I believe that in the next couple of years we will see UK equivalent of Pat Flynn, Cliff Ravenscraft and other really successful new media embracers emerge.
The challenge we have now is finding the right balance between the two. We would be silly not to invite the US new media stars – they have an amazing amount of knowledge that we can all learn from. At the same time we will be looking around not only the UK but also Europe. What is important to say here is that there should be no divide between them and us. We are all in this together and should grow the culture of helping each other as opposed to competing viciously. We can be complementors – we don’t have to be competitors.
Will the conference name change anything for UK Podcasters as the community?
No, everything will remain exactly the same – with one difference of fingers crossed – more members!
Are there any other reasons for the name change we should know about?
Yes – a simple answer is sponsors. Last year we had sponsors from various continents – not only Europe! Spreaker is in Germany, Adobe in the US, 99 Designs in Australia, Skype is global. We feel that by changing the name we would like to give a bigger and most of all more accurate picture for our sponsors.
For you that means – more drinks on the day, evening parties, goodies and giveaways – they do enhance your experience on the day and if we want to keep the tickets at affordable prices – they are essential to our existence in the future!
We go on to answer more questions in the audio and video podcast. You can leave your question in the comments below and we'll do our very best to answer you in a timely manner.