The Value of Conferences

Greetings from Music City, USA! I am waking up bleary eyed- a frenzied mixture of excitement and exhaustion- as one of my favorite conferences winds down to it’s final day. Today is the last full day of Podcast Movement- the world’s largest podcast conference, which this year is being held at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee. 

What’s interesting about this conference is that I’ve been coming to Podcast Movement since the 2017 event in Anaheim- two years before I even started a podcast. Why in the world would I fly across the country, spend a decent chunk of cash on a flight, hotel and food- all to go to a conference when I wasn’t even a part of the industry yet?

Simple. I needed to meet the people that were already a part of the world that I wanted to get into. Some people would say they couldn’t afford to do that with no obvious return on investment. I felt that I couldn’t afford not to go. I was five months away from the release of my first book, Freelance To Freedom and I knew that being a guest on podcasts was going to be the best promotional opportunity to get the word out. I couldn’t think of a better way to do that than to put myself right in the middle of throngs of podcasters looking to meet and connect. 

A few months earlier, I attended a different podcast conference in Washington D.C. and met Carey Green, a podcast producer. We struck up a fun conversation and he had actually heard me as a guest on Michael O’Neal’s Solopreneur Hour podcast- the first show I was ever a guest on. In Anaheim for Podcast Movement, I felt a tap on my shoulder as my friend Andy Storch and I waited to hear the presentation by John Lee Dumas. 

“Vincent- I have someone I want to introduce you to,” this voice called out. It was Green, who I hadn’t seen yet at the conference. He led me to the back of the room where Nick Loper stood, the host of the Side Hustle Nation Podcast. His show was- and still is- one of the biggest podcasts in this space. Getting a guest spot is an incredibly difficult task, as the requests far outweigh the available spots and Loper is very thorough in vetting his potential guests. But Green- who produced Loper’s podcast- opened the door for me. 

Later that evening, after one of the many parties, a few friends and I ran into Loper and Green and we took a stroll looking for a late night meal. Over a fabulous plate of nachos, Loper and I discussed my book, the story, and if it would be a good fit for his show. He was interested enough to ask for a follow up conversation, where he discovered the ah-ha moment that he felt would click with his audience. He then invited me to be a guest on his show. 

That episode was one of the five most needle-moving podcast interviews that I had. It led to a significant amount of book sales, a few business coaching clients and numerous requests to be a guest on other podcasts. The credibility alone for being on the show was a huge boost for the book and the eventual Total Life Freedom brand. 

Yet, it never would have been possible without the time and money investment of putting myself in the right place with the right people. It’s one thing to connect online. It’s an entirely different level when you can meet in person- especially with those who have influence in their industry. People who invest in themselves in this way are viewed differently. It’s one thing to send a video, a DM or to leave a comment. Anyone can do that. But to value your work and your network so much that you will spend that money, leave your family for a few days and not work on your business (in a traditional sense), people who know what it takes to build something significant appreciate that. They acknowledge the commitment and take your business more seriously. 

This is not even to mention the hundreds of other potential connections you can make within a specific industry. Think about it- where else can you get such a bang for your buck? At what other time can you walk into a building and have not only the leaders of your industry speaking and potentially to network with, but other like minded people doing what you are doing with the potential for connection, collaboration and beneficial opportunities galore for all parties?

I’m just thrilled that this conference- and these events- are back. I had the privilege to be asked by Podcast Movement co-founder Jared Easley to speak at PM19 two years ago. Last year in Dallas was postponed due to Covid. I almost forgot the magic that comes from these events. I will leave here tomorrow wiped out. But I will also leave here with deeper connections, new friendships and multiple business collaborations ahead as I once again prepare for a book launch in 2022. 

I just want to thank Jared Easley, Dan Franks and the entire Podcast Movement crew for all of the hard work that goes into putting on such a complex and amazing event and they never get enough credit for all of the work that they do. I am grateful to you all for how much your work impacts and affects our lives in such a meaningful way. 

And if you are a podcaster, or if you think podcast guesting can help your business (quick answer- it can!), make plans to be at Podcast Movement 2022 in Dallas, Texas!

– Vincent​

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