PodCamp is back and we finally have our dates set for this year’s event. We are returning to Point Park University and are looking forward to our second year in their space. After a first time in a new location there are lots of thoughts about how we can do it better and Point Park was such a gracious host that we wanted to stay another year.
Annual Theme and New Vision
There a fundamental shift happening in PodCamps across the east coast. Where the “traditional” PodCamp is moving a way from the open-ended un-conferece and focusing itself to better serve the attendees. When I spoke with Whitney Hoffman, organizer of PodCamp East, earlier this year we both identified the need for our events to have a clear vision. In the early years of PodCamp the communities were just forming, new media was emerging, and web 2.0 was still maturing. Those of us on the edge have been living in this world for years, but we all know much of the world is behind the curve. PodCamp is the place to fill that gap for the uninitiated.
This year our theme is “Building Your Digital Toolbox.” The fruit of many discussions and brainstorming meeting with this years organizing committee. The average attendee at PodCamp used to be bloggers, podcasters and new media advocates. Over the past few years a shift has taken place. The average attendee is a small business owner, or an employee charged with managing their companies social media strategy, or a marketer looking to find inspiration in the latest SEO trend, or an old school podcamper looking to rub elbows. So PCPGH7 will cater to this more mature audience and aim at producing a higher quality event for everyone involved.
Building your digital toolbox will be the vision statement that drives us in achieving our goals. We would like for attendees to have a clear idea of what they will encounter in each session and what they can expect to walk away with. Finally we also would like to incorporate more interactive sessions. Where attendees can contribute to content being produced right in that session.
Remembering Our Roots
As much as I talk about focusing this year we can’t forget that PodCamp is a community event brought together by the need for people in the new media space to connect in real life. So if this will be your first PodCamp or your 7th, know that you are among good people and like-minded individuals.
OH and Fun. PodCamp is always about having fun and meeting new friends.
Finally keep up-to-date with the new PodCamp Pittsburgh website. We have four pre-PodCamp evenings planned between now and October 27 so stay tuned for those announcements. Session submissions opens tomorrow and registration will open toward the end of August. I look forward to seeing old faces and meeting new ones this year!