Podcast Movement Evolutions 2022 Review

I’ve become increasingly pickier about the conferences and events that I attend. Even before COVID happened, I’d begun alternating the years that I attended events, saying “no” to events in locations I couldn’t get excited about and spending a lot more time looking at the content being shared at the events I was planning to attend. I began asking the following questions before saying “yes” to an event:

  • Do I like the host city?
  • How much will this cost me? My maximum budget is $1,000 for everything.
  • Will I be able to earn back my invested money quickly? Via the following:
    • Clients
    • Client related work
    • Product sales
    • Speaking fees
    • Sponsorships
    • Knowledge that I can use to grow my business long-term
  • Does the conference offer a mix of content tiers? This actually is a huge question. As a long-term content creator I get really frustrated with conferences that only focus on beginner sessions. I don’t attend travel conferences for this reason. They very rarely seem to have advanced level content.

In this episode I’m going to share my Podcast Movement Evolutions 2022 Experience. Should you go or shouldn’t you?

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Show Notes

I’m a huge fan of Podcast Movement and its community. In fact, my first trip “post” COVID was to attend the 2021 Podcast Movement held in Nashville, Tennessee. I’ve always had a great experience with Podcast Movement, so when the Podcast Movement Evolutions event was launched, I was curious about the difference. This year it was hosted in Los Angeles, so I decided that it was a great time to go and check it out.

Podcast Movement Evolutions 2022

What I noticed right away about Podcast Movement Evolutions is that the attendees were more entrenched in the podcasting space and that there were fewer hobbiests in attendance. There were a lot more attendees who worked in the space, created products associated with their shows or were seriously looking to step up their podcasting game.

There were around 2,000 in-person attendees and 3 different content tracks. I really enjoyed the JW Marriott Live space that was used for the conference. It was a smaller footprint which created more forced proximity to one another.

I opted to stay at the Freehand Hotel LA which was within walking distance of the conference hotel. I like to stay at cute and bougie spaces whenever I visit a new city. The Freehand was perfect for my needs. It also had a rooftop pool.

Podcast Movement Evolutions Strengths

I’ve attended a lot of events so I have certain things that I’m looking at when attending. Here are some of the core strengths of this event that really stood out.

  • The content tracks were very clear and easy to navigate.
  • An incredibly diverse community of conference attendees at all levels of podcasting experience. It was amazing to meet folks working for well-known media outlets who looked like me. I do think being in Los Angeles helped increase the professional attendee attendance because we were in one of the media meccas of the United States (New York City/Atlanta and Chicago) being other notable media meccas.
  • There were plenty of opportunities to share one’s experience in the following ways:
    • As a speaker
    • At social events
    • During regular networking
  • It was totally vaccine compliant event. I do think this will be the trend for events for the next couple of years.
  • The networking was so much easier to do because it was a smaller event. I found it much easier to meet and connect with people at this event and I had significantly longer conversations with everyone.
  • The vendors who were in attendance and sponsored the event were a great fit.
  • Don’t laugh, but the IHeart Radio coffee sponsorship rocks. They did this in Nashville and I hope this continues to be an offering at the event. The coffee team rocks.
  • Standout sessions included:
    • Hip-Hop and Coffee: What Outside-The-Box Creative and Monetization Strategies REALLY Look Like-Manny producer of Unf*ck the Republic, Hip Hop Can Save America! and News Beat
    • Monetize Your Podcast Through TikTok-Declassified Media
    • Your Diversity Efforts Look Performative-Tangia Renee and Maribel Casada of BIPOC Podcasters
    • Mine! Money for the Rest of Us: How To Monetize When You Have 10,000 Downloads a Month
    • Will Farrell’s Keynote-I really enjoyed hearing him speak.
    • Paris Hilton-She was a surprisingly good DJ and the Grammy venue was wonderful.

Podcast Movement Evolutions Weaknesses

The Podcast Movement team that produces the two events are constantly focused on hosting the best events possible for their community. With that in mind, I share critiques knowing that this is their ultimate goal.

  • There were a number of panels that didn’t deliver on the premise of their talk. In fact, it really seemed like they got together at the event and prepared for their session right before the event. Unfortunately, this meant that the attendees noticed the lack of preparation. And this created panels where they forgot about the attendee or the 3rd person in the conversation. We’re podcasters. This is ridiculous that this happened. They did the Podcast Movement team dirty with their half-assed preparation. This happened with both several industry and independent panels that I attended.
  • I would love for both Podcast Movement and Podcast Movement Evolutions to host topic specific meetups during the event. Why? Because I’ve found it really challenging to connect with creators in my space or adjacent spaces in order to: schedule interviews, collaborations or just build new connections. By hosting these meetups the team creates a better eco-system for the attendee and a deeper attendee experience post conference. Here are my meetup suggestions:
    • Meetup #1-Entrepreneurship, Community Building, Personal Finance
    • Meetup #2-Creatives content such as Storytelling, Audio Dramas, Fictional content,True crime
    • Meetup #3-Travel and Place Related Shows
    • Meetup #4-Professionals and Businesses in the space-almost like a job fair
    • Then schedule one meetup a day so that people are able to attend with as little conflict as possible.

Some Thoughts About Los Angeles

I’ve visited L.A. and the state of California frequently enough that I’m able to comfortable use public transit in: San Francisco, San Diego and L.A. And, truth be told, I do have a love/hate relationship with L.A. and this trip didn’t disappoint.

  • I saw a motorcycle accident (he’s ok)
  • Spending a few days in Santa Monica
  • A woman pulled the emergency break on the train…because she wanted it to turn around.
  • Someone smashed a car window with a scooter.
  • Walking in the ocean
  • Eating fresh fruit with chamoy and tajin from a street vendor
  • Watching a questionable hip hop crew on Venice Beach
  • Going to the bougiest social good coffee shop I’ve ever been to in my life. La La Land Kind Cafe.
  • Taking the Amtrak to San Diego.

Other things happened as well, you can listen to my “Michelle is Money Hungry” episode about “Experiencing American Poverty While Traveling” episode. COVID has definitely impacted cities around the country and people need to be prepared for these changes.

Was Podcast Movement Evolutions 2022 Worth It?

Yes, it 100% was worth it. In fact, for where I’m at in my podcasting “career” it’s a better fit for my networking and professional goals. I loved how cohesive it was and that it was obviously focused on podcasting professionals who were getting serious about building out their shows, making professional connections and more.

It was worth the money and I’ve already earned it back via sponsorships for my show via a new content and monetization strategy that I’m now using. This strategy was inspired by conversations that I had with attendees and validating that it was time to use a new approach to my show.

Did you attend Podcast Movement Evolutions 2022? What are your thoughts?

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