All righty... I have some time now to put some thoughts together. The first few days after the Expo always seem to drag. Many stayed through Sunday night or came home Monday, because of the extra day. I came home Sunday afternoon myself.
Where did I leave off? Day 1 part 1? Heeheeee... yah. I'm still waiting for audio so I'll bring this post back up to the top later and add things for ya. I wanted to share the Women in Podcasting panel I was on, as well as the Political Round Table. The round table is my fault for not having audio ready, since I'm the one in control of the audio. But it should be up soon, I'm planning my next podcast around it. I will update this post when I have the audio.
UPDATE: Audio of the political round table can be found right HERE.
UPDATE 2: Audio of the Women in Podcasting Panel can be found right HERE.
Anyway, the rest of the expo was really nice. I did notice that there did seem to be less people walking around the expo floor. Just didn't seem quite as crowded. I did catch more panels at the LA Podcaster's booth, and the Podango Booth. Which is great if you are not able to afford the tracks the Expo provides. (for a lot of us podcasters, travel and hotel are about all we can do.)
It was also different this year personally, as a podcaster with now 18 months of podcasting under her belt. I actually have listeners, and they knew who I was and recognized my show logo. That was both weird and cool at the same time. I also noticed the importance of swag. People actually do pay attention to buttons and shirts.
But still, overall, the best part always comes back to the other podcasters. Meeting the voices I have been listening to for the past year, and meeting new voices to check out. Re-connecting with those I met last year. Some even remembered my past association with Sonic Society, which I found rather amusing. But hanging out with new and old friends (and in the podcaster world, you really are friends for the most part, with the way so many of us are so open on our shows), still trumps everything for a socialite like me. :-)
This was the last year of the Expo being held in Ontario, CA. Next year will be in Las Vegas. There are absolutely many good points to this move. The Expo is growing- and Vegas is pretty much the convention capital of the US, if not North America. You have a convention in Vegas, it means you want exposure. Can't really do that in a little place like Ontario. Another plus is there are always good deals to Vegas from wherever you might live, so that means more are likely to actually attend next year.
On the down side- there is definitely more distraction. In Ontario if parties become too crowded or stifling, people escape and gather in lobbies or by the pool or wherever- because you have nothing else to do at night but be social with each other. Well, I definitely don't have to tell anyone about the extra distractions Vegas will bring. It could create a disconnect, which would be sad. I'm all about the community. Those planning the Expo will have to work extra-hard to make sure there are enough things planned to keep people from opting for the gambling and heading out to the strip.
Along with the change in venue, they have also changed the name. Again. This time it bothers me a bit more, since they dropped "Podcast", and left it simply as the New Media Expo. I do understand that podcasting fits under the new media blanket. The problem I see, as a podcaster, is with how difficult it has been to get the word out about podcasting, and explain it, to drop it from the title just seems like a step in the wrong direction. Heck, on the way to the airport last week I was explaining to my brother-in-law how you do not need an iPod to listen to a podcast! So, there is still a lot of teaching and awareness to bring to people about this neglected form of media.
So, overall I am still very glad I went, and I will do my darndest to get there next year. It's right at the time school begins here in AZ, so it will take a little more juggling than normal.
I'd love to know what other thoughts are out there from those who attended this year- so please leave a link in the comments to your writings!