So the uber-event Podcast Movement was last month, as we all know, and besides being an amazing and excellently-executed event, it was also a goldmine for opportunity.

I have a new podcast that explores how podcasters make money called The Moneycast and I knew that there would be a ton of successful podcasters at the event, and that I’d want to grab them for some sound bites for that show. However, I didn’t want to be one of those people who was trying to book an hour of their time, and here’s why. When an event is 48 hours, asking someone to devote even just one of them to you is a huge sacrifice. I don’t want to be known as someone who isn’t conscious of that. But I still wanted to talk to the heavy hitters about how they’ve made money with their podcast and if they had any regrets/advice, so here’s how I went about it.

  1. I sent them either an email or a message on Facebook. Most of the people I wanted to interview I was already connected to in some way, so I just shot them an email with the subject line “Permission to Interrupt?” Basically I was just asking that if we happened to see each other, would they give me 5 minutes. And then I also included the possibility in the email that if it wasn’t the worst experience in the world, perhaps we could follow up with a longer interview in the future. Most said yes and a few even thanked me for NOT asking for a meeting. This tactic allowed me to interview Pat Flynn, John Lee Dumas, Cliff Ravenscraft, Lou Mongello and Jaime Tardy. Win!
  2. I had three quick questions in mind. If they wanted to take a longer time to talk to me, that was of course cool with me, but the answers could be given in 5 minutes or less. Marc Maron was gracious enough to grant me this interview, but it’s exactly 2 minutes and 10 seconds long. Fine by me! Just having his insight is so valuable that I didn’t care how long he spoke to me, just that he DID.
  3. Some people I didn’t know I wanted to talk to until I was at the event, so I couldn’t have emailed them in advance. Instead, I attended their sessions and waited until the end when people were asking questions, and then asked my questions while recording the answers. This allowed me to get an interview with Lex Friedman with Midroll and Sarah Van Mosel, head of Sponsorship for WNYC.
  4. I had my whole recording setup and tested WAY before I got to Podcast Movement. I already have an ATR 2100, but I didn’t want to carry around my giant MacBook Pro and even an iPad isn’t smooth in a crowded room. So it had to connect to my iPhone. I ordered an Apple camera adapter and used bossjock studio to record, and I made sure it would work with my mic, with headphones, without headphones, etc. I wanted to make sure I wasn’t fumbling in front of possible interviewees and that I could work everything quickly and smoothly. (This was mostly so I didn’t feel like an idiot.)
  5. When the day of interviewing was done, I went back to my room and downloaded the audio to Dropbox right away. You never know what’s going to happen to your phone and I didn’t want to take any chances that I might lose the pieces or delete them by accident somehow.
  6. Before momentum from the event slipped away, I uploaded the interviews for everyone to enjoy. I didn’t want a month to go by before people saw the fruits of my labor, especially since some people took photos of me interviewing this person or that person. There’s so much to do when we return from an event, I didn’t want this energy and opportunity to seem stale by the time I got the audio live.

For next year, I have some other plans in mind. I still don’t want to ask for hour or even half-hour long meetings, but I will ask a little further in advance if my potential interviewee might want to catch up for a minute or two. There were a few people I really wanted to talk to that I just never got close to, or didn’t have time for and that is mostly because I planned this interview blitz about a week before the event. Next time, I’m going to make the connection with the person sooner, and perhaps build a slight relationship (or possibly interview them for the show beforehand?) so that when I go to the event, I don’t feel so much like I’m chasing people. But all in all, this experience really amped up the Podcast Movement event for me, and I know I made the most of the event because I got such valuable information.
How can you use this experience to amp up an event in the future?