As we settle in with the first full week of the new year and new decade, the calendar shows January 6th, which means that counting down to Podfest is exactly two months away. March 6-8, 2020 will mark the sixth edition of the annual international conference formally known as Podfest Multimedia Expo.
President John F. Kennedy once said we can’t know where we’re going unless we know where we’ve been. And thus, on this two-months-out mark, it’s fitting to look back and see where this massive event got its start and how it became a destination that an expected 1,500 attendees will soon flock to central Florida for.
Podfest was born in the last decade, and over that time podcasters have been seen changing the world with their messages.
Seeds are planted via Steve Cherubino from Android Apps Addicts while teaching a small class at a meetup Chris Krimitsos was hosting.
Krimitsos hosts two podcasting workshops in the first three months of the year. It's during those workshops that it's decided that a yearly gathering is needed to properly support one another.
The first official Podfest, with 100 attendees and VERY strong sense of community.
Podfest doubled in size to 181 attendees and commissioned the official documentary about the medium of podcasting called “The Messengers: A Podcast Documentary.” Crowdfunding hits 123% of goal and the film is funded by the community at large. (Click here to watch the movie.) This is also the year that several events get implemented and help to further a sense of community and support within the community. The Strategic Alliance and Closing Gratitude Ceremony have since helped Podfest be known as the most inclusive, community-oriented event with a friendly, family feel.
Podfest doubled in size again to 373 and released “The Messengers: A Podcast Documentary” to a full house. Also, the conference was moved to Orlando, helping cater to attendees who travel from the UK, South America, and around the globe. And, 2017 would be the year that education tracks were introduced to better organize and facilitate learning.
While staying in Orlando, Podfest moves locations to the Wyndham on the well-known International Drive and hits 496 attendees. Vidfest – a YouTube Workshop for anyone looking to build a video presence – is launched. Plus, the first-ever podcasters roast was held, with Dave Jackson being on the hot seat.
Podfest doubles in size yet again and hits 975 attendees with many of its core members coming back and bringing friends along with them. The roast this time was for John Lee Dumas. And, an after party at Howl at the Moon had many podcasters take the stage!
Continuing the annual challenge to outdo the previous year, 2020 has a lot in store.
Counting Down to Podfest, Exactly Two Months Away
Podfest has moved to the Orlando World Center Marriott, the hotel chain’s largest Marriott in the world, with a water park and an 18-hole golf course. Podfest is catering to the diverse content creators by creating niche conferences and tracks that cater to the independents that make up the medium. The goal, Chris Krimitsos says, is to ensure high-quality education and community that can only be found within its walls.
This year we will mark the first ever hosting of:
• International Voice-Over Conference called "Cinema Voz" – presented by Niel Guilarte and Jhon Garcia
• Audio Drama Con – presented by Travis Vengroff and Crew
• Sports and eSports Pod Con – presented by John Largent
• Podcast Editor Con – presented by Steve Stewart and Mark Deal
• Military Creator Con – presented by James Van Prooyen and Russ Barnes
• Speaker Pitch Lab – presented by Phylecia Jones
• She's Linked Up: LinkedIn for Women Influencers – presented by Karen Yankovich
In March the 3rd Vidfest Expo will also be hosted, with YouTubers attending from around the country, making this a very diverse group of content creators who have come together to help support one another along the journey. (All VIP ticket holders get access to Vidfest.)
As for the after party, Howl at the Moon will be brought to the World Center Marriott and continuing to let the community be the party, growing from the inside out. Allison Melody will be hosting karaoke night in-house after a Dueling Pianos Party.
Krimitsos has already rolled out the welcome mat, encouraging podcasters to, “Please make sure to invite others to join us that have a similar community-minded perspective and want to grow their online presence. Podfest is just too special a place not to include other great people in on the action.”
The proof will be in the pudding starting in exactly two months!