I Am Going To PAB 2012
It is that time of year again when thousands upon thousands of podcasters decend upon Ottawa, Ontario to talk about their craft at the Podcasters Across Borders conference. Yes, thousands. Millions, in fact. I think last year, PAB hosted about 156,000,000 attendees. It was a blast!
In the reality where you exist (and I may only visit) there were about 100 people. The size of the conference is intentional. They keep it small because, really, how can you learn anything from other people when you are being pushed around by potentially thousands of people? The simple answer is: you can't. PAB is not about just being a conference. It is about actually learning something and sharing with others. I also think it is silly to have a conference of more than a couple hundred. When you are talking about learning, you can't do that in a hectic environment. There is too much going on. Not enough focus is given to the important bits in the name of sponsors or money or whatever. For example, Northern Voice, another conference I am involved with, grew to around 500 attendees but when we assessed the feedback, we were told that people who came had a good time but they thought it was too big. It had lost that "get together" feeling. The personal touch was reduced in focus. This year, we then cut it back to about 300 and we feel awesome about it.
Back to PAB. I went to PAB last year for the very first time and I had a blast. For myself, it was a relief to be in a room with people who think very much like I do (or, at the very least, express themselves in similar ways). I was able to hang out with people I know, meet new people, and listen to seasoned podcasters from all over. We were able to hang out, talk about podcasting, but also get to know people better. You can't do that in conferences when they grow too big. People go to learn, hang out, and break out of their every day. To recharge. Essentially, PAB 2012 should be awesome and I am happy to say just how awesome.
If you're not going, you need to. If you have any interest in podcasting, come out this year and hang with me. We'll record stuff. Check out the sidebar for podcasts I am involved with.