Podcasting events are popping up everywhere. It seems there’s a new event or conference being announced every day. And that’s great news for all podcasters.
Big shows like Podcast Movement, She Podcasts Live, Outliers and Podfest as well as regional shows like PodX in Nashville, The Chicago Podcast Festival and The Brooklyn Podcast Festival are giving podcasters the education they need to compete in a very exciting and growing medium.
Jennifer Crawford is the co-founder of DC Podfest which took place earlier this month and hooked in 150 interested podcasters. We caught up with Crawford to quiz her about her events and the podcasting craze.
Radio Ink: Why do you believe podcasting is so hot right now?
Jennifer Crawford: It is an incredibly efficient means of communication without any filtering by gatekeepers. To have the ability to fairly easily and affordably share your message, expertise, and creativity around the world, intimately, is a powerful magnet attracting people from all walks of life to this amazing medium.
Radio Ink: Why did you decide to host this event?
Jennifer Crawford: Five years ago, I had been podcasting for several years and was craving a community. I wanted to take the craft more seriously, but I felt fairly isolated. I didn’t know anyone else who was podcasting, and I knew very few people listening to podcasts. I checked around the DC area for Meetup groups and conferences, and didn’t find any, so I started a Facebook Group (The DC Podcaster Community) to try to gather area podcasters online, and test the idea for a local podcasting conference. It was enthusiastically received, and the rest is history.
Radio Ink: How did your event go? How was the attendance and how far away do you think people attended from?
Jennifer Crawford: The event went amazingly well. We had a stunning venue this year at the American Institute of Architects in Washington, DC, which provided a splendid backdrop for about 150 attendees. Although we are considered a regional conference, we are delighted to attract people from all around the United States, and sometimes beyond. We definitely had some attendees from the West Coast this year.
Radio Ink: What was your goal with the event?
Jennifer Crawford: Our goal is to provide high quality content combined with creative elements in a more intimate conference environment. It is incredibly paramount that the attendees connect with one another, and leave being part of a community with opportunities born out of a shared experience and passion.
Radio Ink: What is their biggest challenge?
Jennifer Crawford: Discovery and growing an audience, for sure. There are more and more podcasts being created every day, and it is a challenge to get noticed and find your audience. A lot of podcasters focus so much on Apple Podcasts, but as a platform it serves podcasters poorly in the realm of being easily found or discovered by new listeners.
Radio Ink: Is podcasting a hobby or a business?
Jennifer Crawford: We saw both, as well as organizations with podcasts. We even had the producers of the Secret Service’s podcast in attendance. Yes, even the U.S. Secret Service has a podcast! We also saw companies like GoFundMe in attendance. They are telling inspirational true stories from their GoFundMe campaigns via a podcast.
Radio Ink: What are your three favorite podcasts?
Jennifer Crawford: There are soooo many! The Pitch, True Crime Obsessed, The Secret Room.