Have you heard of PodCamp Nashville? It’s a free “unconference” held each year to celebrate Nashville’s digital talent. Unconference because of its open structure where anyone can present and everyone is considered equal. PodCamp brings together podcasters, bloggers, social media professionals, developers, designers, and anyone who loves to create and consume content online. On May 17th (Saturday), PodCamp Nashville will be celebrating its seventh year. Hundreds of outgoing technology enthusiasts will connect at Nossi College of Art and Design to learn, share, and network with fellow web professionals and novices. It’s an unforgettable event you should join us for if you're in the area. It’s also completely free to attend thanks to generous sponsors.
The TechnologyAdvice Podcast recently featured an interview with this year’s PodCamp Nashville Chair, Carla Swank; PodCamp co-founder, Chris Brogan; and myself. Full disclosure, TechnologyAdvice is a client. Clark Buckner did a wonderful job chatting about the history and future of PodCamp.
I enjoyed hearing more about how PodCamp was born in September, 2006 in Boston. Chris Brogan explained how he and co-founder, Chris Penn, open-sourced the event. This made it simple for local chapters to create their own PodCamps (like we did in Nashville). I wrote about organizing your own events in my book, New Business Networking. This is a great way to connect and grow your community!
PodCamp Needs a New Name
Chris talked about how de-centralized organizations and events are the way of the future. He spoke about the future of unconferences like PodCamp and BarCamp. He believes the events may need to be re-skinned by losing the word “camp”. I can speak to this first-hand. It still disappoints me each year when I hear from people who should have attended PodCamp, but who didn’t understand what the event is. They get confused by the name and think it has to do with camping. I always explain that it is a free, community event, created and run by the community, for the community. If you have an interest in social media and online content, you need to be there. Trust me on this.
What to Expect at PodCamp Nashville
Clark spoke with Carla Swank on the podcast, who leads the tireless volunteers organizing the event this year. She explained that every job she has had in Nashville is a result from her involvement in attending, speaking, or organizing PodCamp. She found a similar experience when she worked on PodCamp Pittsburgh where she is from. On organizing these events, Carla said, “You form really tight bonds, you really do. They have become some of my best friends”.
Carla said she is most excited about PodCamp Nashville because of the Friday night meet and greet at the Entrepreneur Center. She is also excited about a new category this year for creatives. PodCamp Nashville is being held at Nossi College of Art, so it will make a perfect location for learning and connecting with one another.
Chris Brogan told Clark something that stood out to me during their interview, “You’ve got to come with your ideas intact and with all of your feelings, thoughts and notions on what you are going to do to deliver value, or it’s just not going to be a good event for you.”
PodCamp really is what you put into it. Come prepared to learn, share, and meet new people. You are guaranteed to have fun (or your money back).
Did I mention PodCamp Nashville is free? I hope to see you on Saturday. Online registration is now closed, but walk-up registrations are welcome. Check out the sessions and see why you should plan to attend.
Photo by Kerry Woo. This post originally appeared in the Tennessean newspaper.