Host Tom Fox attended Podfest Expo in March and came away thinking that it was the best conference he had ever attended. He is excited about chatting with this week’s guest on the Innovation In Compliance Podcast, Chris Krimitsos. Chris is the CEO of CK Productions and the organizer of Podfest Expo. They discuss the history of Podfest, the incredible sense of community at the event and what’s coming up for Podfest 2020.
The History of Podfest
Chris describes how Podfest evolved from his local business network into the large event it is today. He noticed that many podcasters needed support so he created the event to provide the education and support they needed. People come to conferences for the camaraderie and social experience more than the education, he points out. As such, he wanted to ensure that attendees felt comfortable and a part of the tribe when they came to Podfest.
Creating a Sense of Community
Tom says that he felt that every component of Podfest was designed especially for him. He asks Chris how he was able to create that sense of community at the event. Chris responds that they thought about the common fears that an attendee might have then made direct efforts to alleviate them. They designed Podfest to be an event that speaks to the individual, where you can feel comfortable and integrate. He describes a few of those efforts; for instance, you may hesitate to visit the trade show booths because you think the exhibitors are going to be “salesy”. Podfest solves this problem by asking exhibitors to provide one question they want you to ask them. This question is displayed on the table so when you ask, you have an engaging and informative conversation with the exhibitors.
Podfest also thinks about making the experience better for their vendors. Last year they complained that there was so much traffic they could not even take a break. So this year, Chris and his team introduced a vendor concierge, who would man the booth if a vendor needed to step away for a bit.
Pay it Forward
Another aspect of Podfest that makes it a unique community is the Pay it Forward scholarship program. Chris describes how the program started and evolved: this year they were able to offer 100 free tickets. Both Tom and Chris talk about the impact this program has had. This year they sponsored an entire high school class. The students all came up to Chris to thank him for the incredible experience.
Podfest 2020 will take place on March 6-8 at Marriott World Resort in Orlando. It will be two conferences in one: Podfest and Vidfest, where you can YouTube. You can access one or both conferences depending on your ticket. If you want to be an audio influencer – and Chris says that now is the best time to get started – Podfest will give you the tools you need to succeed.