Yesterday was the first ever Podcamp in Michigan. The event was held in Southfield, Michigan – at the Embassy Suites, not too far from 2 major highways – very easy to get to.
This event was a long time coming, it’s something I had considered starting up about 1 year ago, but just couldn’t find the time or resources to start it up. Glad that Mark decided to make the first step and put it together under such a short timeline.
I say short timeline because Mark had only announced this event at the end of September. He first suggested a date around mid-October, but a day or so later changed it to November 7th due to scheduling issues. Glad that he did, because I doubt we would have had such a turnout with only 2 weeks advance notice.
So how was the event yesterday? Overall, I’d consider it a great success, it shows that there is interest in new media in Michigan, and that people are willing to drive from Traverse City (or further?) to attend this event. It was not without it’s share of problems of course: audio difficulties, discussions of lack of space, no “break-out” sessions, only one track of sessions, powerpoint issues (pc vs mac)… But you have to keep in mind, Mark only had a little over 1 month to organize this, and with that – he did an excellent job.
The day started off with Rosh Sillars and his informative talk about using photography in social media/web sites. He made some excellent points, such as how important quality photos on your site are, and how you should have photos on my site (maybe I should heed his advice?).
The next speaker was Hajj Flemings and his discussion on building your brand. Hajj had a great presentation, driven by his book (The Brand YU Life) – but very good information here!! What I took from it: you should treat your personal brand like a business, with mission statements and all. Very good stuff.
The last speaker before lunch was Jermiah Staes of Portage Media. His company produces podcasts mostly for corporations – he also brought on one of his clients to provide a case study for podcasting and how she approaches podcasting. I believe that Portage Media works mostly with audio podcasts, not much discussion on video.
The afternoon sessions were a little more energetic, maybe the food from lunch helped fuel this?
Starting things off in the afternoon was Shannon Paul, who talked about social media and the importance of conversation. Shannon does media stuff for the Red Wings, which she didn’t mention during her presentation! She did talk about how to participate in social media without being “That Guy” – who is “that guy”? That guy is the one who seems to always be pimping their own stuff, but not sharing things found from others…? Right?
Next up was Dennis Fassett, who presented how he uses Twitter for business. This was an interesting presentation. At first, I thought it was going to give me a view into why there are spam twitter users and what makes them tick, but it turned out to be how Dennis used Twitter on a whim to prove how it was a silly web site, and ended up making $1500 with it by helping others with real estate! Not bad, if ya ask me.
The next presentation was one I was looking forward to: Tim Robertson and how to have rockstar interviews. Since I’ve been one to interview quite a few people on my podcast, this was something I stuck around for to hear. Tim said the best way to get to an artist is by contacting their PR company and going from there – not directly with the artist. He also mentioned that phone calls were more effective than email, which I would agree with him! Tim also brought up a friend (and listener to Zaldor’s World, I believe!) Rick Stringer of Variant Frequencies podcast. Rick discussed his award winning podcast and his relationship with Tim, was very cool to hear from him – and glad he made the trek from Traverse City!
Tim also mentioned that he had a story (a rather grim one) about when he was 18, a rogue bat, and starter fluid… I’ll leave it at that – it was entertaining though! The next presenters encouraged him to tell this story before they went on.
The next presentation was an entertaining one done by Charlie Wolborg and Terry Bean! They started off by providing insight into their personal lives before getting on with the presentation – and it worked well. The two of them were discussing passion with your brand, emphasized using positivity, and worked very well together! Funny thing is, Terry is a friend that I’ve known since I was 7! Had no idea he was going to be there, and it was great to bump into him again – haven’t seen him in about 6 or so years!
Finally was the presentation by my friend and active member of Detroit Podcasters Network, Mike Pfeiffer. Mike provided a good presentation about how his podcast has changed him, and how one can capture satisfaction from podcasting. He gave many facts on his podcast, who he’s met because of his podcast, the friends he’s made from it, and how he is earning money because his podcast gave him the connections! Great presentation and perfect way to end the first Podcamp Michigan!!
Afterwords, many of the participants went off for dinner and drinks at WAB (Woodward Ave. Brewery), but unfortunately I had to head home to get ready for hosting Karaoke. I had planned on staying all evening with the PC’ers, but a couple weeks earlier plans changed!
Sounds like everyone that attended had a great time, and the event was a big success. I look forward to the next Podcamp Michigan, which I hope we’ll have more presenters and possibly make it a 2 day event?? We’ll see! Thanks again Mark for a great event!