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Published on May 07, 2020 08:00 am:

Feeling Conflicted About Podcasting Conferences [Episode 308]

Many podcasters woke to an email this morning from a large podcasting conference stating that this year’s event had been pushed back by a couple of months. A few days ago, another large podcasting conference sent out an odd “pandemic or no pandemic, we’re having a physical conference, dammit!” notice. 

I’m supposed to attend both of those events. But... I’m conflicted. And concerned.

Based on what I know right now, I don't think I'm going to go to any physical conferences or events for the rest of 2020.

Barring extraordinary developments, like me having a positive antibody test, the availability and reliability of therapeutics,  or a vaccine;  I don't think attending a podcasting gathering of any size is worth the risk.

But I’m not optimistic about replicating the physical experience virtually. pecifically, I’m not confident that trying to copy/paste the physical format into a virtual format is a good idea. Not that it can’t work. Clearly it can. But to make it keep working, we have to move beyond “replacing” and into “making a better experience”.

We’re already seeing it. Some of the aspects of forced virtuality of experiences that used be physical are, indeed, better. How do you happy hour when friends are a thousand miles apart? No one shushes me when I type snarky comments to my friends in chat room while the musician is the middle of their performance on the other side of the country.

Attempts to make something new with a virtual experience do excite me. Can a virtual experience lead to better educational outcomes? Can virtual events come with better biz dev opportunities? Can virtual experiences redefine what makes a successful conference?

For now, count me out of all in-person events for 2020. Call me overzealous if you like, but it's where my brain is at right now. 

I'm curious what your plans are. Are you still going to attend? What are your restrictions or requirements for that to make sense to you? 

Also, this is a great time for you to educate me on what cool, new virtual experiences you’re having that are better than in-person gatherings. I’m far from well versed in this area, so let me know what I’m missing. 

Apologies for the ill-prepared episode. While this episode likely isn’t one you should send to a new listener, I’d still appreciate it if you would mention the show to just one person today. Thanks in advance.

Not that I have you much reason to so do on this episode, but you can go to and lend me a little support.

Add your thoughts on my thoughts here as a comment. Or you can email me at


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Podcast Pontifications is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

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