(By Traci Long DeForge) ‘What has been your favorite part of the conference so far?’ If you stopped by the Produce Your Podcast/PODHIVE booth at She Podcasts Live last week you were likely asked this question. Hands down the most popular answer was “Getting to see people in person for the first time in two years.”
The theme of She Podcasts Live was Together We Rebuild and rebuild is exactly what we did. It was incredible to see the hugs, the laughter and the tears bubbling over from the sessions into the hallways and throughout the entire event. It was joyous to be a part of this community of powerhouse women celebrating and honoring each other. The backdrop of the conference was the beautiful Scottsdale Plaza Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona where it was sunny and 80 degrees every day. I was especially amused by the attendees who watched the sessions virtually together from the POOL!!! That was without a doubt, a conference first.
Jessica Kupferman and Elsie Escobar along with their team (special shout out to Jen and Jack!) went above and beyond in every single way. The amount of thoughtfulness and creativity infused into this conference was like no other. It kicked off with the registrants being greeted by smiling faces. Do not even get me started about the swag bag…
Sennhieser headphones? Yes, Please!
Thank you to Cheryl Holling, host of 19 Stories: from Fear to Hope, who spent the better part of a year curating the contents of the bag. A woman focused conference wouldn’t be complete without a Slumber Party stocked with candy, even a backup stash was delivered by DoorDash… just in case! The dress code was pajamas, of course. Speaking of stylish party attire… Holly Katz, Host of the podcast Fashion Crimes,represented with some of the most paparazzi worthy outfits. I thought for a moment we were at New York fashion week! She also gets the award for most strategic event marketing strategy for a podcast.
Ya’ll this one is case study worthy.
Holly and her co- host Nolan released a Fashion Crimes episode along with a newsletter in advance of She Podcasts Live about how to pack for a conference, her cover art was on every room key and wait for it…she sponsored the bags with her logo and the phrase, “This podcast keeps me from looking like an old bag!” Brilliant.
I spent a lot of time in the Bazaar area where I made some great new friends with other exhibitors like Humble and Hustle, Pair, Advertisecast and Headliner. It’s always fun to see my pals from Libsyn, Bluberry, Buzzsprout and Squadcast. I enjoyed catching up with Tracy and Tom Hazzard from Podetize and Steve Stewart from the Podcast Academy where he gave me some great insights on the launch of our very own PYP’s newest venture, MyPodcastBiz. Well, I hate to pick favorites but in this case, the showstopper exhibitor was Journey Gurl Magic Productions. Owner and Chief Creator, Nikita Burks-Hale had podcast designed coloring sheets and crayons!! EEEEEK!
My session, Burn Your Buns Hot Seat Coaching, was super fun. I spoke from the main stage which was a first for me at a Podcast Conference. WIN! I can check that one off the vision board! I took our Podhive weekly coaching call format from zoom into the room and it was one of the highlights of the weekend for me. I’m pretty sure I do not want to see the video however since there may have been some solo dancing on the stage reminiscent of Elaine from Seinfeld.
As the conference came to a close, Jess and Elsie hosted the wrap up session and encouraged people to share their most impactful moments and takeaways. Some of my favorites included:
“I didn’t know the first thing about podcasting. I just knew I wanted to start a podcast, so I googled podcast conferences and bought a ticket. I had no idea there was such an amazing community behind this event. Everyone has been incredibly helpful and made me feel so welcome.”
“I walked into the conference and found myself crying. Not because I was sad but because I realized this was the first time I’ve seen “my people” in two years!”
“My podcast faded over the pandemic. The focus of my show is to help women feel connected, inspired and empowered. I just realized, I’m leaving this conference feeling connected, inspired and empowered!”
The purpose of She Podcasts Live is to offer women audio creators a chance to learn and experience community in an environment created JUST for them. And to that I say…
Well done, Ladies. Well done!