What Happens At The Podcast Movement Conference? Interview With Co-Founder Dan Franks
April 19, 2016
Dan Franks is the co-founder and co-organizer of Podcast Movement, the world's largest conference for podcasters and professionals in the podcast industry. When not organizing live podcaster events, Dan is a CPA, and is the Business Manager at Midroll Media.
1. What happens at the Podcast Movement Conference?
Podcast Movement was created as a destination for people currently involved in, as well as folks looking to become a part of, the podcast industry. Because this is a somewhat catch-all type event, there is a lot of everything that happens at Podcast Movement. It is a 2+ day event that has over 20 panel discussions, over 60 breakout sessions and workshops, and keynote talks from industry leaders. There is also a large exhibition floor, with over 40 exhibitors from all ends of the podcast spectrum. Starting in 2015, Podcast Movement began serving as the home of the Academy of Podcasters Awards and Hall of Fame ceremony, which aims to be the Oscars of podcasting.
2. Who comes to the event?
There are a wide range of attendees, but all are on the industry side of podcasting, as opposed to the consumer side (it's not a fan event). While the conference started as one focusing on content for creators, whether brand new or veterans, it has since evolved into much more. The event this year will feature tracks catering to professionals in the industry, to people who provide ancillary services to the creators, and to broadcast professionals looking to make the transition into the space.
3. Tell us about some of the things at this year's event that you are excited about.
I am very excited that we're able to expand our content offering to have more sessions that will provide value to podcast and broadcast industry professionals. As the ecosystem has begun to grow and evolve, we've been able to stay on the forefront of that evolution, and to continue to serve the content creators while also serving the industry as a whole.
4. What is the history of the conference?
Myself, along with co-founders Jared Easley and Gary Leland, were literally sitting around a table at a now defunct new media event that merely had a podcast track, but was also very heavy in blogger and web TV content, and discussing how crazy it was that there was nothing specifically for podcasters. So we acted quickly, and in a matter of a few months we'd put together a small community of podcasters who lifted us up and helped us fund a successful Kickstarter campaign that jump started our idea to something bigger than we had ever imagined. That first year in Dallas we had just under 600 podcasters in attendance, and last year in our second event we had over 1,100 podcasters and industry professionals in Fort Worth. This year we're expecting to have nearly 2,000 people to join us in Chicago.
5. Why should radio programmers and broadcasters come to the conference?
I truly believe that while terrestrial radio is still king, there is so much buy-in from consumers in the on-demand audio space, that radio programmers and broadcasters must have podcasting as a part of their growth strategy, and they must do it sooner rather than later. And while many traditional radio conferences include a session or two about podcasting, there is nowhere in the world where more podcast industry professionals, experts, hosts, etc. will be than Podcast Movement. Compared to the one or two podcasting sessions, we have over 80 in total, and a good amount of those will be sessions of great interest to radio professionals who are either just getting started in, or considering getting started in podcasting.
The Podcast Movement Conference happens July 6-8 in Chicago. Visit podcastmovement.com for more details.