The third annual Detroit Podcast Festival will be held in a virtual format on October 16 through the 18th, 2020. We asked the festival’s co-producer, Erin Allen, what to expect at this year’s event.
1. What is the Detroit Podcast Festival all about?
Detroit Podcast Festival is an extended weekend of events to amplify the voices and stories of Detroiters. This year, in response to the global pandemic, we’ve gone virtual with the inaugural Detroit Podcast Conference. Conference 2020 features workshops, panels and mixers to level up your podcasting and storytelling chops. The focus is to launch new podcasters and storytellers into their craft as well as diversify the skills of experienced performers and media makers.
2. Who attends the Detroit Podcast Conference?
- Podcast hosts and producers
- Live performers (comedians, storytellers, poets)
- Marketing professionals looking to leverage podcasting to expand their brand
- Voice artists looking to diversify their skills, and simply looking to find each other
- Folks looking for compelling conversations about culture and society by folks who make it their business
3. How is the Detroit podcast Conference going to work this year given the COVID-19 pandemic?
In 2020, we’re playing it safe and keeping it virtual — Detroit Podcast Conference is happening entirely via the Zoom platform. We know that being online all day can feel overwhelming, so each session is live and interactive, with Q&As and off-screen time to try what you’ve learned. Our wellness sponsor, Live Cycle Delight, is also for providing a meditation break each day. And we’re setting aside time for a dance break too — DJ Dope CANDI is returning this year with live DJ sets as well. And to close each day, there’s time to grab a bite and return to hear a live conversation on a compelling issue, like “How to Survive the End of the World.”
4. If I’m brand new to podcasting, are there some sessions you recommend?
For new podcasters and storytellers, there’s plenty to see:
- NPR Story Lab
- Trials and Tribulations of a Self-made Podcaster
- Getting Great Audio
- Podcast Makeover: Broadcast professionals aircheck a podcast live
- The Illusion of Being Effortless
- Kids these Days: How to create a podcast for and by teens
5. If I’m an experienced podcaster, which sessions do you recommend?
For folks who have a couple of years of experience podcasting or producing audio stories, the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University brings “Making it Sing” to the conference this year. This is a three-day intensive opportunity to “bring home” a project you may have been working on for a bit, but just can’t seem to finish. This intensive features the expertise of Detroit’s own Satori Shakoor, in addition to John Biewen of Scene On Radio and dynamic documentarian Michael Betts. It starts October 11.
For folks who have less than a couple years of experience or who are in that on again, off again phase, I’d recommend:
- Who Owns Your Content?
- Monetizing Your Podcast
- Storyscaping 101: Take your content to the next level
- Beyond Audio: Multimedia Collaboration during COVID-19
- Building a top 125 Ranking Podcast
- Mining the Past for Audio
- Getting Great Audio
- Voice Art Mixer
And of course all of our live conversations, or Dinner Features, are compelling for any conference-goer, including Bridge Detroit’s “Beyond the Headlines” conversation with Abdul El Sayed, Donna Givens and Orlando Bailey.
Bonus: If you could have drinks with any podcaster in the world, who would it be and why?
Wow, so hard to pick just one! Well lately I’ve been looking westward because of all the fires and because I’m dreading the cold weather of another Michigan winter. So Earlonne Woods, co-host of Ear Hustle podcast, has been on my mind, especially since incarcerated people are fighting fires in California as well. I’d talk with Earlonne about dichotomies and paradoxes. I’d ask him about being engrossed in something relatively niche even in the outside world– a podcast in 2017 — as a person on the inside of a prison where access to such media is scarce. I’d ask what it’s like to have an internationally recognized and eventually celebrated voice and presence while being confined to the dehumanizing conditions of a prison. How might this compare to a Nelson Mandella? And since we’re having drinks, I’d likely get personal and ask about the ways guilt and forgiveness manifested for him in the experience of creating Ear Hustle, both on the inside and now on the outside.
On Friday, October 16th at 10:00am, our founder, Seth Resler, will be a panelist on the “Build Your Podcast Into a Brand” session.
Seth will also host the “Podcast Makeover” session on Sunday, October 18th at 4:00pm with Ann Delisi of Essential Music on 101.9 WDET, Greg Russell of Live in The D on WDIV, and Scott Jameson of Beasley Detroit.