How Pods Up North and Radio Tech Con taught me more than podcasting and radio stuff!

I’ve lost count how many times I’ve written this blog.

Even while writing this now I’m not sure if I’m going to say everything that’s in my head because I feel a bit daft and I’m incredibly worried I’m going to sound like an arrogant jerk.

At the back end of 2019 (ok it was November, that’s how long it’s taken me to get this blog post up!) I went to two conference/events/shindigs.

The first was Pods Up North in Manchester. This involved me getting up at 5am on a Saturday morning having got home from the official meet up the night before at gone 11pm. Thank goodness for the coffee all day from the delicious Coffee Monkey gang.

The line up of speakers at Pods Up North was hugely impressive and it was really exciting to be in a room full of people who loved podcasts as much as I do!

Inspired by FOMO creator and Twitter Queen May King Tsang I live tweeted the day. You can head over to my twitter feed @cfosterpdns to see all the gazillion tweets. May King very much out tweeted me and all I had to show for it was a sore thumb for days!

The main take aways from the speakers though are

  1. It’s all about your audience.

  2. Podcasts are brilliant communities.

  3. Keep having fun.

  4. Your podcast is a journey, share that with your audience.

  5. Repurpose your content!

You can hear more in this episode of my podcast Turn Up The Volume Of Your Voice.

I left Manchester hugely inspired and ready to take on the podcast world. And very tired. As you’ll hear in the podcast.

Less than 48 hours later I was on another early train. This time heading in the opposite direction to London and Radio TechCon.

A day of learning about the tech and engineering side of all things audio and radio. There were discussions about the technical future of radio (digital, 5G, IP. We voted digital). Talks from the team behind Brexitcast and the technical and logistical nightmare they have putting the podcast together.

We got a demo of immersive sound on a sound bar we could soon be having at home, rather than headphones and we all got to geek out at the new studios for Virgin and Talk Radio.

Again I live tweeted lots of this on my twitter feed. I think I may also have RSI in my thumb.

I was very fortunate to be awarded a bursary ticket for Radio TechCon meaning I got in for free. The bursary tickets are for people who under represented in the industry and would be prevented from attending because of money.

I only applied for the bursary at the last minute because I wasn’t sure I deserved it.

As soon as I walked in the room I realised yes, I did deserve it. There are not enough women putting themselves forward in this world. This audio world in particular.

And I am one of them.

I massively doubted whether I belonged in the room in the run up to both events.

(And in case you are wondering, this is the bit I’m worried about looking like an arrogant twerp…)

Earlier in this blog I told you I left Pods Up North inspired and ready to take on the podcast world. That’s true. But I also left Pods Up North thinking “there’s not a lot I’ve heard today that I didn’t already know.”

I wasn’t thinking that because the speakers delivered poor content. They all brought brilliant knowledge, experience and wisdom to the stage. I was thinking that because actually I am good enough, I do know what I’m talking about and it’s about time I started actually telling people that.

Don’t get me wrong I’m always learning and trying new ideas, listening to others and doing my best to widen my knowledge, but I’ve got a more than solid base to grow from.

And with Radio TechCon I followed along with every talk without feeling as though it was all above my head. I learnt so much and have followed up on some of the things discussed to try and learn a bit more.

I’ve spent so much of my life behind the microphone but along the way I have actually learned a lot about the tech side. It’s now an area I want to develop even further as I look to have my very own podcast studio in the not too distant future. Going to Radio TechCon has inspired me to push myself more here.

At both Pods Up North and Radio TechCon I made new friends, got great advice and strengthened friendships with others. A massive well done to Radio TechCon for putting on a desk where you could rock up if you were on your own and get introduced to other people. This was a brilliant idea and I’d love to see something like this at other events too.

There’s a few morals to this story

1.Start actually believing in yourself.

2. Get out to events, conferences, meet ups and networking dos. Especially the ones that make you feel a bit uncomfortable about because you think you might not be good enough. You’ll no doubt learn something, but I also reckon you’ll know more than you thought you did!

This year I’m planning on going to more conferences, events, shindigs AND I’m also going to start a monthly podcast meet up in Stoke on Trent too.

Keep your eyes peeled on social media and here for more info on that pod party people!

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