Corporate Podcasting Summit Wraps Up In London

Mar 21st, 2007 | By | Category: Audio Podcasting, Corporate Podcasts, General, How to Podcast, Making Money with Podcasts, Podcasting Events, Podcasting Law, Video Podcasts

Corporate Podcasting Summit London

March 20 was the final day of the first European Corporate Podcasting Summit.

Following on the format of the previous day, the second day kept up the same very brisk pace. Presenters and panels were each given a scant thirty minutes in which to give their talks — meaning a lot of ideas and information were packed into the eight-hour day.

Some of the highlights of the day included:

A lighthearted ABC’s of Podcasting was offered by Laurence Lennard and Juian Mayers, the principals at new media consultant company Yada-Yada Productions. I’ll wait to post their whole alphabet for another day (once I’ve gotten their go-ahead), but favorite letters included

  • Q: questions (invite feedback and questions from your listeners!)
  • X: XML, “the language of podcasting” and “the cool big brother of HTML”
  • Z: zzzzzzz (“keep it interesting! don’t be boring!”)

Claire Raikes and Barbara Bradbury of the Podcast Production Co explained “How Blogs and Podcasts Work Together.” While stressing the importance of planning and careful production, they encouraged prospective podcasters to strike a balance between staying “on brand” and straying into sales pitch territory, a huge turn-off for listeners.

Raikes and Bradbury echoed a theme that kept coming up again and again throughout the two-day conference: engage the listener, put their interests in mind, and give the listener the means to interact and contribute to the podcast.

Wells Park Communication‘s Nick Saalfield took the idea a step further, saying that as sponsor of the event, he wanted to rename the Summit to be the Corporate Engagement Summit. A new media consultant, Saalfield outlined strategies for engaging listeners with better content within the podcast (inviting user participation and feedback, re-purposing new content in different ways) and around the podcast.

During the “Taking the Fear Out of Podcasting” panel, successful e-tailer and garden podcaster Heather Gorringe cracked up the audience with reassurance that inadvertently letting words like “bosom” and “bum” slip into a podcast will not ruin your brand reputation forever.

Small Biz Pod’s Alex Bellinger admitted his own tendency to say “um” and “er” during podcast interviews. He quipped “To ‘er‘ is human.” Their view seemed to be that fear of not being perfect could hold back a prospective podcaster, and that not trying for fear of mistakes is worse than having a little slip-up.

Other corporate podcasters, particularly among the new media consultants in the group, were insistent that corporate offerings must be as polished as possible – without being slick. All were in agreement that business podcasters should strive for an authentic, genuine tone in their podcast productions.

The panel discussion of podcast sponsorship offered a range of been-there-done-that alternatives for making money from podcasting. Paul Colligan, the master of ceremonies for the conference, doubled as moderator and panelist. He and co-panelist Andy Evans, CEO of Podcast Voices, shared ideas for monetization that ranged from straight ad or sponsorship deals to related sales of books, movies, t-shirts, and other brand “schwag.”

The input of panelist Daniel Winner, General Manager of Podshow UK Ltd., was the sole disappointment among presenters at the conference. His refusal to answer questions from attendees about PodShow’s revenue sharing scheme was at first disappointing. After repeated questioning from several attendees, his refusal became troubling.

When asked by Dean Whitbread from the UK Podcasters’ Association for details about podcasters’ revenue sharing arrangements with PodShow UK, Winner said, “I can’t really tell you about that. What I can say is that people who work with PodShow in the US, some of them have generated enough revenue to quit their day jobs to podcast full time.”

I asked a follow up question, expressing concern at PodShow’s unwillingness to answer the question. I also received an answer which, while polite, showed a total refusal to address the issue. At least one other attendee tried to ask for clarification, but to no avail. Winner left immediately after his panel, and was not available to discuss the issue privately.

While Winner may have legitimate reasons for not wanting to discuss PodShow’s practices, he missed an opportunity to tell some of the best and brightest in the world of podcasting more about his company.
Finally, we gave two presentations toward the end of the second day: one an overview of the state of podcasting today, and the other a look at strategies for dealing with the legal and copyright issues surrounding podcasting. (In case any readers missed the disclaimer in the previous article, note that Podcasting News is a marketing partner for the event, and we were also were speakers there.)

We capped off the Summit with some Guinness and traditional English fare at a local pub with podcasters from England, Australia, Canada, Spain and several US states. The feedback we heard from attendees was that the event was well-paced and featured a lot of great content. Even more important, though, people loved having an opportunity to meet with podcasters from all over the world and to informally discuss the challenges of business podcasting.

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