PodCamp: Where content, community and creativity combine

We’re less than a month away from another PodCamp event … this time in my new hometown of Nashville. And I’m excited. This is the second year I’ve been a part of the PodCamp Nashville planning crew … and the second consecutive Nashville Camp I’ve served as marketing coordinator.

BarCamp (more for programmers, developers and the like, held in the fall here in Nashville) is a great event. But PodCamp is my baby, so to speak. I’m a content creator and I love nothing more than hanging out with other content creators.

Which is what PodCamp should be all about.

Meet Me at PodCamp NashvilleYes, the sessions selected by random draw last week are ridiculously awesome. I’m going to have a really hard time narrowing down what sessions I’m going to attend. I may be putting the “law of two feet” to abuse. (And, full disclosure, the session I submitted was chosen as an alternate, so I may be lucky enough to speak too.)

But, PodCamp is so much more than just the sessions. It’s about learning and sharing and interacting and creating. And if you don’t realize that, you’re missing out on the fun.

So, here’s how to get the most out of your PodCamp experience.

  • Don’t see a session on the schedule you want to attend during a particular time slot? That’s OK. Round up some friends. Meet some new friends. Exchange business cards with someone. Take some down time to process the awesome sessions you’ve already attended. Or … create your own spontaneous discussion at a discussion table. (Or outside on the patio if we’re lucky enough to have good weather. Yes, the new PCN venue has a patio!)
  • Have a question you’re too afraid to ask in public? Grab someone in the hallway or in the adult beverage line and ask. Likewise, if someone asks you a question and you have the knowledge to assist, be kind enough to answer. We’re here to help each other.
  • Have an awesome idea for a blog post? Why wait? Start writing. Need some help with your blog? Ask someone. Bring your audio or video equipment and interview people for your podcast. PodCamp should be about random acts of content – in all forms.
  • Get a really awesome idea while sitting in a session? Put that idea into action and round up some people – using the power of Twitter and the #pcn13 hashtag – and make it happen immediately. One of the coolest things I’ve ever seen at a PodCamp is a group of folks inspired during a session to create a group blog who took the next session time slot, found some open space down the hallway, bought their domain, created the WordPress account and wrote their first post. In less than an hour.

You see, PodCamp isn’t just about the sessions. Never has been. And people who skip PodCamp simply because they don’t know any of the speakers or the person they wanted to hear speak wasn’t drawn or they’re nervous to go by themselves are missing the point.

PodCamp is about community. It’s about sharing ideas, helping others learn and grow. It’s about those random acts of content and those flashes of inspiration that take you into an entirely different direction when you least expected it. It’s about making each other think and pushing each other to do things creatively that we never thought was possible.

That’s what PodCamp is all about. It’s why I’ve been a part of the PodCamp community for nearly six years. And it’s why I’m looking forward to May 4.

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