I love attending and keynoting at conferences, especially when I can talk about podcasting. For a while, it seemed that the best conferences for podcasters were local PodCamps.
PodCamps seem to have had their place, but with the maturity of the podcasting industry, I see a need for a higher level of education, networking, and inspiration.
I attended and present at my first New Media Expo (then called “Blogworld and New Media Expo”) in 2012 in New York City. This was the first event with Cliff Ravenscraft as director of podcasting. With Cliff's help, podcasters flocked to this event and felt welcomed by several podcasting-focused sessions.
In 2014, a new conference was announced that would be by podcasters, for podcasters, and all about podcasting. Podcast Movement hosted its first conference in Dallas. Hundreds attended and it was a well-loved event.
Now the tough choice. If you, as a podcaster, could only chose one conference to attend, which would it be?
New Media Expo
New Media Expo (NMX) is a mixture of all things “new media”—blogging, podcasting, “web TV,” social-networking, and other forms of social media. The annual conference is held in Las Vegas and is usually three or four days long.
NMX attracts many prominent figures in the social-media space. It's common to see hosts from This Week in Tech or other major podcast brands, movie or TV celebrities, and highly influential and inspirational individuals who are crushing their niche.
Admission to New Media Expo is usually around $300 for a regular ticket (up to $600 for a VIP pass), but sometimes the Virtual Ticket is additional or can be purchased by itself. There are frequent discounts available (I expect to have my own to offer soon).
It's usually less expensive to travel to and lodge in Las Vegas, compared to other major cities.
In 2015, New Media Expo will partner with the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) show. This will be a beautiful relationship. NMX will have its own area in the same space as NAB vendors. The sessions will also be nearby. A ticket to NMX also includes access to NAB.
NAB will host many vendors with high-priced items for media production and distribution. While most of these may be too expensive for podcasters, they can still be inspirational. It's also likely that the more podcasters voice their interest, the more these companies may consider creating something for our market.
The Podcast Awards are now owned by New Media Expo and will receive a lot of attention from traditional media broadcasters.
Although New Media Expo isn't entirely about podcasting, there will always be a lot of crossover between topics. For example, podcasters should be just as concerned about SEO and affiliate links as bloggers. Video podcasters will benefit from the same information as “YouTubers.” And learning more about social-networks and tools can help us all grow and reach our audience in better ways.
If you take podcasting seriously as part of your success, then I recommend New Media Expo.
Podcast Movement was inspired by the vision of recapturing the community of the “early days” of podcasting. This is a conference completely by podcasters, for podcasters, all about podcasting. It's a two-day conference so far hosted in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.
Podcast Movement strengthens the community of podcasting. This is where podcasters (or so-to-be podcasters) build relationships, meet their heroes, and get inspired to podcast better. In just its first year, Podcast Movement attracted top-level podcasters like Chris Brogan, Evo Terra, and more.
Although the first Podcast Movement had a strong entrepreneur influence, there was plenty of information for anyone at any level with their podcast.
Admission to Podcast Movement first opened on Kickstarter and reached its goals very quickly. In coming years, admission will probably be around $200 and include a virtual ticket.
Podcast Movement is a great place to meet and hang out with other podcasters. The energy at the first event was thrilling!
If you want to feel a sense of community and foster relationships with podcasting, then I recommend Podcast Movement.
If you can only attend one, attend New Media Expo
It's a very close call to recommend one conference over the other. I will actually be attending both.
But if you can only attend one event, then I recommend that you make it to New Media Expo. This is where you'll get a more diverse range of information, see amazing audio/video gear and setups that can inspire your home studio, and potentially build highly beneficial connections to help you succeed.
New Media Expo has NAB, the Podcast Awards, and the broad coverage of social-media information. Podcast Movement is only all about podcasting. Both approaches are necessary and highly valuable, and it's not an easy decision to recommend one over the other.
At least for 2015, I would recommend New Media Expo with a 9.25 out of 10, and Podcast Movement with a 9 out of 10.
What about you? If you attended both conferences, which would you recommend and why? What are your thoughts comparing New Media Expo to Podcast Movement? Comment below!
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