PodUKast Episode 12 - PodUK 2020 Retrospective + Transcript

Bret 0:00

This episode of the UK podcast was sponsored by Boo Makes Things, a geeky and LGBT friendly small business bringing crocheted cuteness to the world. Check them out at bit.ly/boomakesthings and enter the code PODUK to get 10% off your order.

Jess Anson 0:46

Hello and welcome to the UK PodUKast! I'm Jess, it's been a while but we're back.

Bret 0:52

Yes, I - we're a bit rusty. But don't worry, I'm Bret, and I'm alive again.

Chris 0:57

I'm Chris and it's very windy.

Jess Anson 1:02

[laughter] You're not wrong! We're recording this on the day of storm Chiara so you might get some some ambient noises in the background

Chris 1:08

but don't worry it's not ghosts

Jess Anson 1:11

...Oo. I'd be okay with that though.

Bret 1:12

Nobody was worrying about ghosts until just now.

Chris 1:15

Okay now now worry about ghosts.

Jess Anson 1:18

can you imagine if you caught a ghost on podcast? For the first time ever!

Chris 1:22

That must be a podcast already right

Bret 1:24

it's gotta be - most haunted but it's a podcast

Chris 1:28


Bret 1:28

let's get them next year

Jess Anson 1:31

we should

Bret 1:33

see if Millennium point is haunted

Jess Anson 1:36

Millennium Point doesn't have haunted energy, but there are a few venues I've been to before thatdefinitely do have haunted energy.

Chris 1:42

yeah. Yeah. Last week. We did a convention.

Bret 1:45

Yeah, that happened.

Chris 1:47

Yeah, it was only a week ago. Feels like it was months ago now because

Jess Anson 1:53

this week has shot by compared to January which really, really, really dragged

Bret 1:58

January really crawled, but That meant that meant I didn't feel like I had 20 minutes to do all of the art like it - like last year, where I was panicking and doing like, a minute before we ordered it.

Jess Anson 2:12

There's always something to panic about right at the - right at the last minute, you know, always

Bret 2:16

Well, yeah.

Jess Anson 2:17

That's just how event planning goes. How are you guys feeling post event?

Chris 2:22


Bret 2:23

Yeah, pretty good. Yeah. I managed to - I think I'm the only one here that managed to actually sleep on the night of the event. So I was pretty good The morning after to be honest. Almost got stranded in Birmingham, but it didn't so that's fine.

Jess Anson 2:37

Yeah, almost!

Bret 2:40

But yeah, I'm feeling pretty good. For those that weren't at the super secret pizza party. My last train - I was gonna get the last train so I could stay as long as possible. And then my last train got cancelled with little to no warning -

Chris 2:53

Oh, I didn't know this

Bret 2:54

with nowhere - Oh, yeah. No. So I had to like ask if anyone had a spare place to sleep. And fortunately Jess did. Because that was - it was much rather you than a random guest/attendee

Jess Anson 3:10

Well, you had Trent Shumway offering up a bed that didn't actually exist.

Bret 3:13

Yeah. That would have been very interesting.

Jess Anson 3:19

That'd be quite fun. I feel like. Sleepover with KFAM.

Bret 3:22

on a bed that doesn't exist. That's the main point of the problem

Jess Anson 3:27

If it had existed! If it had.

Bret 3:30

If it had, yeah.

Jess Anson 3:32

Anyway, I felt like a corpse the entire week,

Chris 3:35

Oh same

Jess Anson 3:37

I wasn't doing very well. I barely slept the night before. I took Night Nurse at 1am in the morning, which stayed in my system until about.. I would say about 2pm the next day. So the first half of PodUK I was just kind of.. harkening back to two minutes ago, I did feel like a ghost. And then the night after I didn't sleep at all. So that was fun. I mean that was okay cuz it was post event and you know, I didn't need to be awake. Yeah, everything was already done but it did kind of make me think like if we ever do a two day event.. How am I going to survive?

Chris 4:12

I think it'd be fine because the second day like you've already gone through one day you've - there's less like stuff to do at the very beginning. This is from my experiences like working in events and stuff like that. When things are multiple days. I always find the second day so much easier because like the beginning of the first day is the most difficult part and the end of the second day is difficult because you're taking everything down again. But the beginning of the second day is normally a breeze because just leave it all up and running from the previous day.

Jess Anson 4:42

Chris, how were you feeling on the day?

Chris 4:44

I was in a lot of pain.

Jess Anson 4:47

Oh yeah

Chris 4:48

basically for the entire weekend. My feet were flaring up. And I could barely walk but I powered through it was a long couple of days. I started at eight on Friday morning. Through to like 10pm with the setup, and then back there again at 7:30. Next morning,

Jess Anson 5:07

DId you managed to get breakfast?

Chris 5:09

Yeah, some someone - one of the volunteers brought me breakfast, which was lovely.

Bret 5:13

That is lovely

Jess Anson 5:14

oh, yeah, that might have been from our hotel.

Chris 5:15

Yeah, I think so.

Jess Anson 5:18

We got you some stuff! Because Chris stayed in a conference hotel. But the conference hotel didn't start breakfast until What was it? like eight in the morning

Chris 5:25

eight, because for some reason, they they only start at 8 on the weekends, whereas during the week, it's like six, whichwould have been perfect. But yeah,

Jess Anson 5:32

yeah, I just I just can't get over that logic. Because it's a conference. Hotel! conferences tend to start pretty early.

Chris 5:37

yeah. But they also tend to be at the during the week.

Bret 5:40

That's true. That's true.

Jess Anson 5:41

Well. We're not a conference. We're a *convention*. So we play by different rules.

Bret 5:44

We're not, we are a convention - clear delineation. Also, like, you guys were in Birmingham on the day before, right?

Chris 5:55


Jess Anson 5:56


Bret 5:56

I had to drive. Well, I say I had to drive up. I had to make Zac drive up on the morning. I didn't get - for the record. I didn't get breakfast either. Because I had to get up at like six o'clock and then be in a car for an hour, which is not Fantastic.

Jess Anson 6:13

Well, I mean, feel for my friends who had to get up at like five in the morning and drive up two and half hours

Chris 6:18

From Kent. Yeah,

Bret 6:19

That feels like like that was like bad decision making.

Jess Anson 6:24

But without them we wouldn't have an ev- Well, I mean, like, you know, they're very, very, I'm really glad that they've stepped up to help because it helps me having people that I know that well come up and volunteer for us.

Chris 6:36

and honestly, because of the volunteers like we, I think, unanimously I think we've all agreed it was so easy to run this year. Because we had so many volunteers basically doing all of the detailed tasks, which meant that we could just sit back and make sure like, globally the whole thing was working.

Jess Anson 6:57

Because I know them so well. I can just I feel comfortable going okay, you do this, you do this and I know who likes what I know who doesn't like what so I can kind of shift it around their personalities. It makes things a whole lot easier for me. I think both years it's been really nice. Just being able to just kind of sit and watch the event unfold around me.

Chris 7:14

Yeah. Especially because it's been well, particularly your life for the last. What, eight months?

Jess Anson 7:24

Yeah, we booked it back in April. And I think planning properly started in about May.

Chris 7:30

Yeah. Almost a year.

Jess Anson 7:34

Yeah. And then I quit my job. I've been really working on it since about October. For the last four months or so.

Chris 7:38

Yeah. I mean, me and Brethave been doing some things but not quite as much as you

Jess Anson 7:44

No, I have, I have every admin job. It's a lot. I enjoy doing it. Otherwise, I wouldn't do it. But like, there's so much to think about. When you plan an event.

Bret 7:56

That's true, like, I don't realise how much there is until I see your spreadsheet and go Oh, I haven't thought about at least a third of those.

Jess Anson 8:05

Yeah, the spreadsheet. Yeah, you look at it, it's got like 50 different tabs for each different thing and it's like - but that's because I need to make sure that I know that everything's down, because we were talking about this on the on the new PodUK discord the other day, about how if you don't plan things out, and if you kind of leave it and don't think about it, then you end up with Dashcon. And you end up with Fyre Festival and you end up with Tanacon, which is not what we're striving to do, we're striving to be better!

Chris 8:33

Extra hour.. in the ballpit.

Jess Anson 8:35

That's right! We're not offering an extra hour in the ballpit because we do not have a ballpit -

Bret 8:40


Jess Anson 8:42

and we will never have a ballpit!

Bret 8:43

Now. Not with that kind of attitude

Chris 8:44

We are considering puppies, but no ballpit.

Jess Anson 8:46

Maybe puppies. Puppy playpen! So we've been receiving outpourings of gratitude and love from the people who came from the podcasting community. But how did the day feel from your guys perspective?

Chris 9:05

It was stressful to begin with, I think because there was some stuff which hadn't been set up the night before. Thankfully I had Keiron there, my colleague who was able to like - I was basically able to say can you just sort this stuff out and I go do something else. And yeah, so he just got on with it. Without him I don't think I would have been able to get it all set up in time To be honest. Because I was on the platform at like, two minutes to the opening ceremony getting the Twitter wall going on the projector. So yeah, but after that, once we had done the opening ceremony and once like the ball got rolling with the, with the performances and stuff like that. Honestly, it was a breeze. Like with especially like I said, already having volunteers on hand to like help change the stage around and everything like that. I was able to sit back and just make sure that everything was going going according to plan. Yeah, and I was actually able to sit back and just enjoy the podcasts which was nice.

Bret 10:06

Yeah, that that does sound pretty nice. I didn't get to see anything! Because I was - well my job on the day was making sure all the guests were where they needed to be, which you - Jess kept doing which is bad because Jess had enough to worry about on the day. So my like, but because the guests that we got with generally pretty on the ball, I would run to the green room like 20 minutes before something started. The guest I need isn't there so I run to the place where they're supposed to be. And they're already there. So I've just done a whole lap of the Convention Centre for no reason. It did really good for my Pokemon GO eggs, but other than that kind of

Jess Anson 10:55

Getting your 10,000 steps in.

Bret 10:57

So so like I spent most the time like flitting between the platform, the green room, and everything -everyone was happy, everyone was relaxed, even like 10 minutes before someone's show they were relaxed because they were confident that things were going to go well. It was all very good. Good reactions. I didn't get to see it.

Jess Anson 11:18

This is this is what I mean by kind of planning everything down to the detail, like the amount of emails, I sent these poor performers to make sure they knew everything to make sure that everything was kind of like, this is what you're doing. This is where you need to be. And the good thing is most of them read them! That's what you want.

Chris 11:34

Yeah. I had a bunch of correspondence with the performers in the auditorium, like the weeks leading up to it, and they were all excellent. I got to the point where everyone knew what was going on. They told me everything that I needed to know about their show. They were able to give me all the files and things that they needed to give me and everything. So on the day there weren't people - like I do events for a living. Mainly like conferences and corporate stuff, and you always get people running up to you like just before they go on on stage with their USB drives saying, Oh, I've got some updated slides and all that sort of stuff. I didn't have any of that! I had someone come to me like right the very beginning of the day saying this is the intro music for our show in like five hours time, which is fine because we got loads of time. But yeah, it was it all went really well. And the performance did a stellar job of being organised.

Jess Anson 12:31

Yeah, I think if there's one thing I've noticed from doing these events it's that podcasters and podcast fans are really considerate and, you know, polite people who want to make sure that everything's gonna go right. They won't just kind of forget about it and you know, leave you hanging, which I imagine you've experienced quite a lot in your day job(!)

Chris 12:50

Yeah, I've had times where I've been like updating slides during the presentation that the slides are being shown in.

Jess Anson 12:55

Oh god! Every time I came down to the AV.. cave?

Bret 13:01


Jess Anson 13:02

I suppose. What would you call that?

Chris 13:04


Jess Anson 13:06

Yeah, you and Keiron seem really chilled out and like happy with the things that were happening. So I was happy with that.

Chris 13:11

Yeah, yeah, it went really really smoothly. Yeah, it was great.

Jess Anson 13:15

I mean from from my point of view, it's funny, I - last year I did about 20,000 steps the whole day. This year I did less than that, which I was not expecting, especially considering that we were spread out over even more rooms this time.

Chris 13:26

I haven't actually checked my steps. Let me have a look. I tried to do as little walking as possible because my feet were really really hurting.

Jess Anson 13:32


Chris 13:33

Let me have a look.

Bret 13:34

Let me see how much I did on the day because I can't remember how much I did either. I know I hatched like three eggs in GO.

Jess Anson 13:39

I think I had like 18,000 this year. I think it was partly because last year I thought the only way to get to the - from the auditorium to a different part of the venue is by going up and down the IMAX stairs. And then I realised that there's an elevator behind the green room this year so that really took down my steps. ..Maybe I should have just kept using the stairs. I feel bad though, going up and down the steps when there's a performance going on, because you have to be really conscious of like being really quiet and making sure that you're like, not interrupting anything.

Chris 14:07

Seems my app doesn't want to tell me how many steps I did, but it was the most that week. So

Bret 14:12

I'm back and I did 15,890 steps.

Jess Anson 14:16

Oh, Slightly less than me. slightly.

Bret 14:18

What was yours? Sorry, my internet dropped out for a second

Jess Anson 14:21

18,000. Give it take. Still less than last year.

Chris 14:26

I have no idea what mine was. All it's telling me that is ws more than 6000 which is the goal apparently, I haven't actually set up this app properly.

Jess Anson 14:36

Should be 10,000. 10,000!

Chris 14:37

I've only got this app for Pokemon Go. That's the only reason why. Because of the adventures.

Bret 14:43

Hell yeah.

Jess Anson 14:45

My day - I feel like it started off a bit hectic because people weren't arriving on time, which is, you know, but once everything kind of settled down about an hour in, I was able to calm down and just let everything happen. I chilled out a lot more than last year. Because I was so tired because of the aforementioned Night Nurse situation.

Chris 15:04

You were just coming down all day.

Jess Anson 15:06

Yeah, I picked up halfway through the day, went to watch a few panels, did the king falls meet and greet. I think for me, the best thing about the day was that it was noticeable, the change from year one to year two. Cuz I mean, for one thing we sold double the tickets. Two there was no snow this time.

Bret 15:25

So everyone could get there

Jess Anson 15:26

We weren't hindered by that. And we had some - We had the Promenade this year, which was a - it came about because of the feedback from last year because a lot of people were saying that the tables were nice and the meet and greets were okay. But it would be good if there were more tables and more opportunities for socialising.

Chris 15:43

Yeah. And we realised that the the meet and greet space wasn't really used to its full - because we realised that like, actually people were just meeting and greeting on the platform as it was. We didn't really need to schedule a zone for them

Jess Anson 16:01

No, I mean I come from - because I come from TV convention backgrounds, I'm used to a meet and greet being long queues. And you go and - well, either either long queues where you go and get your autograph, and you say, Hello. Or the coffee lounges, where it's like 20 people sat in a circle with the one celebrity and you just got to chat for a little bit. But, you know, having been in this podcasting circle for a couple of years, now, you realise that, you know, we're not dealing with A list celebrities - well, you know, B list - C list TV celebrities. We're just dealing with people who've made a fun thing and they want to communicate with their fans. Andhey want to have a good time doing it. They don't need to have bodyguards, they don't need to be chaperoned around the building, you know, by someone whose - [laugh] arm is as big as a tree trunk!

Chris 16:48

Yeah, and everyone on that platform is basically on the same sort of level. Everyone's a fan of podcasts, and they may create their own podcast, but they're also a fan of another podcast that's on the platform. So

Bret 17:00

Yeah, but even though there was like the king falls, like meet and greet, all day, they were just sort of mingling. They weren't, they weren't even behind their table the whole time. They were just milling around the platform on the same level as everyone else. It wasn't - there's like, I feel like with podcasting, because it's such a personal thing. There's no, there's, like the hierarchy of like, TV star to TV fan is completely gone.

Jess Anson 17:25

it's a whole different thing.

Chris 17:26

Yeah, we've addressed the fact before on this podcast that we can - anyone can make a podcast so the majority of those fans can also call themselves podcasters just because they've done something with their mates before. Yeah.

Jess Anson 17:41

If people listen to it and people enjoy it. It's, you know, yeah, it's a podcast. I mean, even if they don't, it's a podcast, but you know! Yeah, the King Falls meet and greet format was interesting, because the meet and greet format that I had in my head was basically what people were doing on the platform all day anyway, so kind of felt a little bit.. what's the word.. superfluous? It didn't eel needed.

Bret 18:03

But it was still very popular.

Jess Anson 18:05

Yeah, no, it was, um, it was well received but a couple of people in the feedback forms have been like, well, it was just what we had in the platform anyway. Which I totally agree with. I think people were expecting photo ops, which I would have called 'photo ops', if they were going to be photo ops, which is you know, you have a background, you have the the umbrella lighting or whatever it is. And you have a professional photographer standing there taking photos of you with the people. We don't really have the budget for that yet(!) So it kind of ended up being a little bit like, oh, okay, we're just going and talking to these people. But I feel like a few people went to the meet and greet that hadn't already done that. So it kind of worked out. But either way, it was pretty cool being on the other side of a meet and greet this time!

Bret 18:48

As I say, Yeah, you're usually on the - in the queue. So how did that feel?

Jess Anson 18:51

Oh, I'm always like -- it took me a long time to get over the fact that these are just people? Like with Misha Collins from Supernatural, because that's my background, Supernatural. The first time I had a meet and greet with him, I was absolutely terrified. And I told him as much and you know, he was like, 'Oh don't be scared!' and I was like, 'aaahh!!' Yeah, as time went on, I was just like, oh, he's just a guy. I can just say hi to him. And it's funny. watching people at the beginning of that process, at these meet and greets. It's like, oh, oh, that's sweet! So yeah, it was it was a fun experience. I enjoyed doing that.

Chris 19:27

I was with you when we went to the meet and greet with Travis McElroy. And you just talked about PodUK.

Jess Anson 19:32

Yeah, I wanted to have a whole thing - I think I ended up talking to him for like five seconds because I actually did get a bit overwhelmed about that. Just because there was a huge queue behind me. Had I had my way I probably would have had like a 30 second conversation with him. But that didn't - that didn't end up happening. Yeah, so meet n greets can be interesting. You never quite know how it's gonna work out.

Bret 19:51

Yeah, I get what you mean, like I only ducked head into that. That meet n' grete. But it did feel like there was a different atmosphere between that and like the platform stuff because -and also like, I feel like the photo op thing - like me personally, I would prefer just like an impromptu selfie to a proper photo, because it feels more real.

Jess Anson 20:12

Yeah, a lot of people said on the feedback form, they didn't feel that they could get a photo which I feel quite sad about actually, because I was - I was saying like, from the beginning that I'll take a photo for you, I'll do the photos, you know. And I did, I did take photos for quite a few people but I think we're dealing with people who do suffer from you know, shyness or social anxiety and figuring out how to cater to that better might be in my kind of list of things to work on for the next events. Cuz I - you know, I've been there, I've done that, but it's quite difficult to - not to come off as insensitive, but I feel like having been through that and kind of come out the other side, it's difficult for me to remember what it was like, So maybe putting myself back in that headspace would be a thing to do. I dunno, that was a bit of waffely bullshit. But

Bret 20:58

that's the whole show you've just described!

Jess Anson 21:01

Yeah, right.

Chris 21:02

That's this show, yeah!

Jess Anson 21:03

But I was -in terms of the promenade it was one thing I really didn't get to do because I was focused more on making sure that the panels and the workshops and everything were running as they were supposed to. Or at least ducking my head in and and seeing that, oh yeah, the volunteers have done exactly what they should do, and it's fine. And ducking back out again. I didn't get to go round the promenade. But everything I've seen about it looks really good. Like it's - on the feedback formsp eople are citing it as the favourite thing of the day. It's beating out the live shows and the panels even at the moment, which is really interesting. But it does kind of make sense to me because it was just like one big social event on the platform

Bret 21:37

that's true. I spent a lot of time sort of walking through there and occasionally dipping in to see how my table is doing. The platform had a really good atmosphere. I think. Because it was like listeners and creators all literally on the same level. It just had this.. I don't know, there was just something very like welcoming and nice -

Jess Anson 22:05


Unknown Speaker 22:06

Yes. Cameraderie.

Jess Anson 22:09

It was an interesting one in planning because the platform is a - it's not your conventional convention hall shape. . So planning out the layout was quite difficult. And I wonder if there'd be a better way to do it in the future. But it seemed like in most cases, it was okay. I think.

Chris 22:24

Yeah, I think it seemed to work.

Bret 22:26


Jess Anson 22:27

I feel like even - because I was a bit worried that you know, if people were facing outwards the other way then they might feel a bit left out but I, as far as I could see people were going around there and saying hi, and you know, not leaving them out or anything.

Chris 22:38

Yeah, I think the the one section like underneath the staircase to the auditorium felt slightly separated from the row at the back of the platform, though. I don't know whether there's a way of -

Jess Anson 22:52

the king falls tables?

Chris 22:53

- arranging. Yeah, there were a few performance and I think like the -

Jess Anson 23:00

Oh. the ones on the balcony.

Chris 23:01

Yeah, by the balcony. I don't know whether there's a way of almost joining them up again, at the side, just to make it feel like you're doing a circuit of it, as opposed to there being two sections.

Jess Anson 23:11

Yeah, one of the disadvantages of doing an event that's, you know, a two and a half hour train journey away from where you live, is that you can't go and check it out every so often. And you forget what the scale is like in there.

Bret 23:22

Yeah, that's true. Like, the downside of Birmingham, is that none of us are that close. But I feel like, like that sort of area. If we're talking about the same area, that was where like, the performers tables were, and that, I feel like that sort of created a nice little area, like a naturally occurring area for the post-show discussions, because all their tables were there. They all just sort of gravitated there.

Chris 23:50

That's true. Yeah. So people who wanted to catch up with performers after their performance are able to meet-

Bret 23:55

yeah, and they all sort of went there.

Chris 23:58

Actually, yeah, compared to last year where we had quite a few times where down by the stage in the auditorium, we had a flood of people trying to meet with the performers and talk.

Jess Anson 24:10

Did we really?

Chris 24:10

Yeah. And we kept on having to hustle them along and say, Sorry, we need this space. So we can change around the stage

Jess Anson 24:16

I had no idea that's really interesting.

Chris 24:18

Whereas this year, we didn't have any of that. And I don't know whether that's because of what you're saying, Bret, about the that zone down on the platform being almost a performer meetup section.

Bret 24:29

When they've all got a table like at the end of their show, they can just go 'come talk to us at our table', so there's no need for them to like come up there -

Chris 24:35

That's true. Yeah, whereas last year. They didn't say that or they said 'we'll be around!'

Jess Anson 24:41

we'd allocated them a meet and greet space and that was it whereas this year, they had like a designated spot.

Bret 24:45

Yeah, they had their zone.

Jess Anson 24:48

I think it was really heartwarming as well when you see things like the Flintlocks & Fireballs photo with all the - with all their stowaways. When you see the Amelia Project with all their shirts and people wearing the shirts all over the venue and King Falls with everyone like gathered around the table - that is so heartwarming. It's like that's what we made - for me, that's what it's about. Yeah.

Chris 25:06

I love seeing people turn out for just their thing, the thing that they are a big fan of. Yeah, especially during the flintlocks and fireballs show they had the front line, the front row of the auditorium was all their, like all the stoaways. And they were all singing along with the intro music and all that sort of stuff. It was great.

Jess Anson 25:23

Oh, that's so cute! I love that! I mean, like, we come from a fandom background. That's how we know each other. So to be able to bring together people and you know, give them that opportunity.. Just makes my heart so happy. Everything I wanted from this convention.

..So let's move on. We've been having some interesting conversations recently. Because in our feedback, we often see an interesting divide between people who want more audio drama and people who want less audio drama. Now this is of all the feedback I've seen. This is something that comes up again and again. And it's something that there seems to be two definite sides to. And it's really interesting to me.

Chris 26:15

Yeah. And it's sort of it's, I think it's because last year, we were very audio drama focused. It was partly just a circumstance thing, like we we got a couple of audio dramas onboard and they helped us get other people on board because we didn't really have any contacts. And whereas this year, like we were again, I think it's good, we - we've built some contacts since then. But we wanted to spread our wings, a little bit, bringing other genres but we ended up still having a few audio dramas.

Bret 26:51

I feel like the divide is being put in the wrong place. I feel like dividing it into audio drama and Not audio drama or nonfiction, I suppose, -- that's the wrong line to draw in the sand I feel like. Jess kept bringing up the 'does does this feel like it belongs to Comic Con?' and that is the line I feel we need to draw in the sand for like PodUK podcasts, and that's not all audio dramas; that's not all *not* audio dramas. That's - I don't want to say podcasts that feel fun, because that implies that no podcast we allow is fun. They're all boring. But podcasts that are this like light hearted, enjoyable, like - something that would motivate a fandom happening around it. And that's not necessarily all audio drama stuff because like my brother, my brother and me did that. And that's a nonfiction podcast, I suppose. Maybe.

Jess Anson 27:51

It - hmm. Yeah, that's an interesting point. That's something to touch on. Is MBMBAM non-fiction..?

Bret 27:56

I think the dividing podcast into audio drama and non audio drama is not the way like, that's not the way I view how we book things.

Chris 28:07

Yeah, I agree. I think our goal from day one has always been to try and foster a sort of fan focused community. Because there are podcast events - there are loads of podcast events out there. Most podcast events are focused at people who want to make podcasts, people who want to make money through podcasts, and that sort of thing.

Bret 28:31

All business and networking stuff.

Chris 28:33

We created PodUK because we wanted a place for people who enjoy podcasts, whether they are people who make podcasts or just people who listen to podcasts, it needs to be people who, who enjoy it as a hobby and

Jess Anson 28:46

Which does tend to skew towards audio drama. I find.

Chris 28:49

Yeah. Because there are a lot of people who - people get invested in audio dramas. And the same with actual plays, right, people get invested in those stories. And so when you're trying to find podcasts that allow you to foster that sort of community, that sort of fan focused event, we do tend to get drawn towards audio dramas and actual plays and things because they are the ones that already have that.

Jess Anson 29:15

And we do - we did get an interesting range of people applying to perform this year, actually. But I do feel like there were people that applied just because they saw the words 'podcast event'.

Bret 29:28


Jess Anson 29:30

And it's not to say that we don't think those podcasts are good. It's a case of.. a whole bunch of different criteria, which I kind of touched on in my retrospective, but I mean, first and foremost, we're looking at 'is this a podcast that could have a fan base or does have a fan base', because to break it down to its very basic form, we need to sell tickets, guys. To make this event work, we have to sell tickets, and we can't sell tickets if we don't have something that will draw people in to buy those tickets!! So there's that!

There's the case of 'will this be an interesting live show for the event?' Because sometimes, a podcast might not have like a massive listenership, but the pitch for the live show is something that we think will bring people in. For example, People's Polygraph, not a huge podcast, you know, compared to say, like, the obviously, like King Falls AM, who was our headliner this year, but their live show concept was something that we'd never seen before. And it was something that I looked at and saw and thought to myself, well, if people go to see that they're definitely going to want to listen to this podcast.

Bret 30:33

Yeah, that was a real good live show.

Jess Anson 30:36

Yeah, right. And in the feedback forms, I asked the question, 'what podcastsdo you think you'd be most likely to pick up?' and they are among the top two that people have chosen. So it's not easy choosing podcasts to feature our even, because we have, what, eight slots if that? And we had like 30, 40 people applying this year alone

Bret 30:57

yeah, it is really hard. And we have like an ever- to say an ever growing list of criteria feels like we're being stingier and stingier. An ever more defined list of criteria to try to establish the mood of PodUK.

Jess Anson 31:17

Even I couldn't turn around and say 'this is exactly what we're looking for'. It's so difficult, because in my head, there's a divide between - well not divide, but there's a point where the genres become such that we would stop accepting them, but even then, I mean, like, I wouldn't necessarily take on a political podcast or a sports podcast or a parenting podcast or kids podcast for PodUK, you know, because going back to the 'does this fit at Comic Con' criteria, you wouldn't often see that kind of thing at a comic con, right? But there are some podcasts focused on those topics, but have a spin that might mean that they would fit at PodUK. It's just, you don't know until you see it.

Chris 31:57

We've also sort of - we look at everything through almost nerdy glasses. If you know what I mean.

Jess Anson 32:03

Oh, 100%. 100%.

Chris 32:05

A lot of the time we're thinking like, yeah, again coming to the 'would it fit in the comic con', we look at things as like, is this a nerdy thing that nreds would like? Yeah, I think there's some shows about politics or parenting and stuff like that which are presented in such a way that their fan base does tend to be the type of people that we're looking for, for coming to PodUK and that we think, would enjoy the other shows that we have going on at PodUK, and that's part of the key is people are buying one ticket to see eight shows. We want people - the majority of those shows to be something that that one person who's bought one ticket will enjoy. And so the sort of people that we were bringing, that we want to encourage to come to PodUK are the people who will enjoy an audio drama, an actual play, some interesting, deep dive into literature and stuff. And yeah, those who sort of things: nerdy stuff.

Jess Anson 33:08

Yeah. I mean, Shedunnit has certainly been one of the ones that a lot of people have said, Oh, yeah, this is really interesting. I didn't know about this before, I've started listening to this podcast now. Because it is -- It might not be your classic. Actually, no, no, it *is* your classic nerd! We're the modern nerd, Shedunnit is more like your classic nerd.. Yeah. Yeah! I think when it comes to AD - audio drama versus nonfiction, for me, the biggest thing is the -

Chris 33:37

the audience

Jess Anson 33:37

The fandom aspect of it.

Chris 33:39

Yeah, who who is the Who is this show aimed at? What sort of audience will it bring to the, to the event?

Jess Anson 33:46

Yeah. And I imagine, *if* we do a 2021, then the amount of applications will only increase, and it's gonna get harder and harder.

Chris 33:57

But I'm also excited to see a huge variety of shows as well.

Jess Anson 34:03


Bret 34:04

Oh, yeah.

Chris 34:05

And yeah, I want - when - *if*, I'm gonna continue saying 'if', we do 2021, I want to encourage people to share the application as far and wide as possible because honestly, there's, yeah, we want as many podcasts to, to apply to it as possible. So to give us as wide a bucket to pick from.

Jess Anson 34:27

Yeah, there's a lot of talks I need to have before we can turn that 'if' into a 'when'.

Bret 34:33

I will continue saying when because I did last year and I was right!

Jess Anson 34:37

And it happened. I mean, yeah, it's interesting. Quite a few of the comments we've had in the feedback forms have acknowledged that this is something that could get bigger and bigger. And right now, I'm still in that mindset of 'oh, we're just doing a fun small little thing.' If it becomes something more official, if it becomes something more kind of - with more gravitas.. then yeah, there are talks I need to have. But that's for me to worry about over the next few months, I mean, God, we hope it's going to happen. We've had people come to us and say, hey, we want to do something like this in Glasgow, we want to do something like this in New York, and I'm absolutely happy to help those get off the ground as well. Like give me more projects!

Chris 35:17

Yeah, honestly, if you're out there and you're listening, and you're like, we really enjoyed PodUK. I want to do something myself in my own town with people I know. Go ahead. We're not that fussed about competition.

Bret 35:28

Yeah. It's not competition. It's, there's, there's no - it's not a zero sum game.

Chris 35:35

We're all just fostering a community. And yeah, the more we can all get involved in doing that, the bigger the community will grow, and the better it'll be.

Jess Anson 35:44

Well, that will lead us nicely, I think on to our third topic, or fourth topic, our next topic. So a lot happened at PodUK -

Bret 35:55

A lot did happen

Jess Anson 35:55

- this year. Do you guys have anything that stood out to you in particular? Any Top Moment?

Bret 36:01

Now. This is gonna seem incredibly conceited -

Chris 36:05

I thought you said no!

Jess Anson 36:08

No! Just no, not at all!

Bret 36:10

[laugh] So this is one of the top moments for me. This is gonna sound incredibly conceited because it is. When we were all in the pub afterwards, you guys went upstairs. And I was mid conversation with somebody. And then I come upstairs a few minutes later, and I waved over to you. Somebody saw me come in. Everyone started clapping. That is the top moment of my life. I love when a room applauds when I enter.

Chris 36:43

Me and Jess had that that when we first entered the room. It was Yeah, it was quite a moment.

Bret 36:48

It makes it worth it

Unknown Speaker 36:48

Nice to have your work acknowledged!

Jess Anson 36:53

I think the after party in general is pretty wild. There's just so much pizza.

Bret 36:57

I didn't buy a single drink and I got very drunk.

Jess Anson 37:02

I was gonna say King Falls got drunk, but no, *Noah* got very drunk. That was fun. I enjoyed that. And just having a chance as well to chat to people because during the day you just - well, I certainly didn't anyway, I was everywhere and

Chris 37:13

Yeah, exactly. I was able to have like - I kept bumping into people that I wanted to talk to, I bumped into Ella once on the stairs, like we gotta catch up later, as I was running between two rooms.

Jess Anson 37:26

I think for me, one of the top moments - and this is probably, you know, one of the most obvious - but the fact that we managed to get - or that it was so easy to get King Aalls AM over to the UK has been a source of complete surreal-ality, which isn't a word, but you know what I mean? Since they agreed back in - I think it was back in around October.

Bret 37:48

Yeah, like that was - that just sort of happened so fast?

Jess Anson 37:53

Yeah, it was like - we're a tiny little event, we had had one event, and it had gone alright. It had gone pretty well, to be fair for a first event, and you know, the reviews have been really good and the photos were really good. But even so, that's all they were going off of, to say yes, this

Bret 38:14

They had a lot of faith in us.

Jess Anson 38:14

They saw -- exactly, they decided, oh yeah, that looks worth doing. Let's hop over from the west coast of America to come over, and they did and it was really cool!

Chris 38:25

I honestly think it was it was a good stroke of luck as well. Because they're basically in between stuff - like they've just finished their like hundredth episode -

Jess Anson 38:35

Yeah, they're on a big hiatus right now -

Chris 38:36

They're on a big old hiatus between things. And so I think the fact that we picked them up right at the right moment, where they were quite happy to jump on a new thing.

Jess Anson 38:40

I mean, not even King Falls - I mean, King Falls are amazing, because they're one of my favourite podcasts from 2019 that I picked up - but also you've got KC Wayland and the We're Alive gang. They came over from the US. You had attendees coming over from the US purely because King Falls were coming. It's - like I last year I was blown away because we had people from Europe coming.

Bret 39:12

I'm still blown away that people have come from like, Austria.

Chris 39:15

Yeah. Big shout out to the Amelia Project guys. They came from all over Europe.

Jess Anson 39:21

I was gonna say, like they came from Norway, France, Brussels. You know, shout out to Felix Trench for getting caught on the train. Not quite, you know, nearly missing the live show. But making it anyway

Bret 39:39

Not a not a fantastic time to travel from Europe into the UK.

Jess Anson 39:42

No.. no. I mean, can I just say maybe one of my top three moments as well is that I completely forgot that that was happening? It didn't even cross my mind.

Bret 39:51

It let me forget about the world for a whole day and that was great.

Jess Anson 39:55

What a blessing at this time of the year. Honestly,

Chris 40:00

What's your what's your second top three thing, Bret? You've only done one and then we started -

Jess Anson 40:04

Have you done one at all, Chris?

Bret 40:05

Yeah, have you done any?

Chris 40:07

I haven't done any, should I do one?

Jess Anson 40:09

Do one!

Unknown Speaker 40:10

One of my top top three moments I think was the during the quirky voices - or dashingly quirky I think it is - live show, they had, in the first script they had like bunch of birds and bees and stuff in the audience, and just hearing birds and bees going off whenever there was a sexual innuendo in the script -

Jess Anson 40:33

just to clarify, foley birds and bees?

Chris 40:36

Yeah, not real - they didn't just unleash a bunch of bees like opera!

Jess Anson 40:41

I'm waiting on hearing that recording Chris, I can't wait.

Bret 40:45

That's gonna be good.

Chris 40:47

And, and likewise, in the in the second script, they had mild panic. They had just a bunch of people in the audience go 'Ah, no!' And it added so much, especially since the people on stage we're trying to have an in depth discussion about the meaning of love and there was people banging pots and pans and stuff in the background. It was, altogether yeah, it was a it was a lot of fun.

Jess Anson 41:13

I'm sad to miss that one. But I'm looking forward to the recording.

Chris 41:18

I'm currently editing it. I've edited through the first one yesterday, and they sounded really good.

Jess Anson 41:25

Amazing. Okay, now Bret, second thing!

Bret 41:28

Ah, no, I had a thing and then I forgot a thing because your thing was so good. Yes, okay. Beginning of - very beginning of the day, I've gone from the very end to the very beginning. People's polygraph was the first show I showed around. And I like showing the guests the auditorium.

Jess Anson 41:44

Oh my god, yes

Bret 41:45

Like, you're like showing them from the back. I like bringing them up the stairs and onto the stage so they can see just the scope of the whole thing. And then they turn around and see the screen and it just - like the first like - people's photograph were the first people I got to do that with and it was just, it was really - it's really cool being able to show off that stage. From both ends, but I like from the stage out. It's really cool to see the reactions on that when we go hey, this is where you're going to be. Don't be nervous!

Jess Anson 42:19

To be honest that kind of ties in with my second thing as well because I think for me the - it doesn't really hit you know, you can stand in the venue and you can have people arranging the convention around you and you can still kind of think like oh no, this isn't really happening. For me the moment it sunk in was when I was in the AV booth with Chris and he put up the PodUK 2020 logo up onto the IMAX screen for the first time. And seeing a logo emblazoned that big. it.. it was a moment

Unknown Speaker 42:50

you know, it was even bigger than last year as well because I think the margins were were smaller so the logo was even more grandiose. Yeah.

Jess Anson 43:00

It just looks so impressive. I love all the photos of - I love going up to the top of the IMAX and taking a picture of the people on the stage looking so tiny compared to their MASSIVE logo in the back. Yeah. Yeah. But that and yeah, I I do like opening the doors to the back of the auditorium and hearing people just being like [gasp], because that's definitely how we reacted the first time the Millennium Point guys showed us through as well. Yeah, yeah, very good. Chris, d'you have a second thing?

Bret 43:33

Jess do you have a thing?

You stole my thing!

Chris 43:38

She just copied your thing.

Jess Anson 43:41

No no no, my thing my thing was seeing the PodUK logo.

Chris 43:43

So yeah, my my second thing would be, actually almost a lack of a moment. Something that didn't happen, which did happen the previous year was technical issues. Didn't have any this year, and it was was great. Because last year, we had issues with some of the recording devices, which stressed me the fuck out the night before. And the morning of and everything like that. And it was just the whole - the whole day was basically stressful because of it. This year didn't have any technical issues at all throughout the whole day. And yeah, that in itself, I think is one of my top three moments whether you can call it that.

Jess Anson 44:29

No I would I would agree. Yeah. I mean, that's why you looked so chilled out the whole day. It was nice to see when last year you've been like a ball of nerves. Bret, third thing.

Bret 44:39

I don't have a third thing, just the whole thing. The whole thing was just a series of top moments. It just all went so well. It was - it was pretty seamless. I did quite enjoy seeing the big queue for the Amelia Project. That was because they didn't realise they could go in. But

Jess Anson 45:07

yeah, even though that wasn't - that was like a -

Bret 45:10

like queuing down the stairs into the platform - health and safety disaster, but really good to see the enthusiasm! I enjoyed that

Chris 45:17

Yeah, it was made a good photo. Yeah. I think next year --

Jess Anson 45:22

Actually interesting you should say that, my mum was telling me how Pip & Oystein were talking about the queue in the green room afterwards. And Becky Lai, Boo, had taken a photo of that queue and Pip & Oystein were talking about how it made it look like you know, really prestigious on Twitter and like, 'we had a massive queue going' so yeah, you're right.

Chris 45:45

Yeah, I don't know whether next time we should tell people that if the doors are shut, just open them quietly. It doesn't mean that you're not allowed in.

Jess Anson 45:53

I had a recording sign off on you know, please enter quietly. I think it was on the wrong doors. You know, small things. For me my third thing would be - even though it was a little bit overwhelming was just the -the sheer positivity at the end of the day.

Bret 46:11


Jess Anson 46:12

Like, we got on stage for the closing ceremony and we all nearly weeped a little bit. [laugh] And then you get back on the platform and everyone's just everyone's just coming up to you like, Oh, that was that was amazing. Thank you so much for this. Itt got a little bit overwhelming. I had to go take a break in the green room just be like, okay. Oof. So much, so much love. But it's, it's not something you get to feel very often. And it's nice to know that something that you've put so much god damn effort into over the past, you know, half a year has paid off.

Bret 46:47

The payoff is - it's a good feeling.

Jess Anson 46:49

Yeah. And you know, I keep saying to Chris and Bret, to you two, like I still find it difficult to believe.

Bret 46:58

It really did happen.

Jess Anson 46:59

you know - reading the feedback forms because for me, it's like you read the feedback forms and you're like, ah, yeah, there was a problem! See, you weren't gonna tell me about it. But there was a problem! But at the same time, like that many people can't be lying, you know?

Bret 47:04

Yeah, like the amount of feedback we've gotten that. Well, yeah. And there have been like one or two problems pointed out but. Most of the feedback has been, y'all did a solid job. And it's anonymous. So you know, they're not lying.

Jess Anson 47:29

Yeah. Yeah. That would be my best thing. I think.

Bret 47:36


Chris 47:36

Yeah, I might, I might just piggyback on that. 'Same!' Oh, yeah. Honestly, it was. It was just a joy to to help run and to see everyone's enthusiasm, even leading up to the event and on the event, when I was emailing all the performers, all that the excitement that everyone had about, like, coming and everything like that? It was just Yeah, really nice.

Jess Anson 48:08

Yeah, I mean podcasters - it shows I think when you look at things like the London Podcast Festival and you see that they're showcasing a lot of different shows, but none of them, really, are what we're showcasing, which is the 'built from the ground up, started in the living room with a with a blanket over your head', just like I'm doing right now. And now you've made it onto stage. Like, I love giving people that chance. And I'm glad that we can do it. And I hope that it continues to expand. But slow enough I can keep up with it!

Bret 48:43

Yeah, we don't want it we don't want it to explode. Just slowly keep going.

Jess Anson 48:47

no, I don't have the mental capacity for that right now

Chris 48:49

build gradually

Jess Anson 48:50

which actually leads us on to our last very last segment. The future. which we kind of touched on a little bit.

Chris 48:59

Beep boop, l I am the future of PodUK

Bret 49:01

PodUK, with jetpacks

Chris 49:05

Flying cars and teleporting. If we could teleport all the equipment to the venue that'd be great.

Bret 49:11

That's make life a lot easier for everyone

Jess Anson 49:14

yeah it's it's a difficult one to say because we're on the precipice I think of this becoming something too big for three people to handle

Bret 49:25

yeah. You might have to bring on some some podUK recurring characters.

Jess Anson 49:33

Yeah right.

Bret 49:34

Because I feel like like year one was the pilot episode. We were making sure like that people wanted this, like that we could do it and that people wanted it, and now people are excited for it, people look forward to it. People plan their February's around it. So it's clear- we are firmly in season one. And you can't have a season one with just three characters.

Jess Anson 50:04

No, that's true. Yeah. So as I said, over the next few months, I'm planning on speaking to a lot of people, kind of seeing what the.. what the outlook is, whether we'll have to up the ticket prices, which you know......don't really want to do but might have to do it.

Chris 50:20

I mean, let's talk about the elephant in the room. We can cut this out.

Jess Anson 50:24

Yeah right? Nah, it's fine

Chris 50:24

The thing is running a convention is expensive

Jess Anson 50:31

Oh, yeah

Chris 50:31

this is entirely beena passion project up till now, none of us are making any sort of money out of this. The profits we make is not really going anywhere. It's like a measly amount of profit, if anything. And costs are going to be more a third year round. For sure. And so it's not - we need to work out where we can get that money from, whether it's through more - lot more sponsorship, through a crowdfunding, or through increasing ticket pricing, or maybe a little bit of all three

Jess Anson 51:10

maybe a little bit of all three. I mean, we want to start compensating people, that's the biggest thing. We want to make sure that we can start paying people

Chris 51:19

because unfortunately all of our podcast - all of the performers are doing it out of the goodness of their hearts, which is great for us.

Jess Anson 51:25


Chris 51:26

But it's it's not sustainable. If we want to continue doing it,

Bret 51:30

not like not just the performers like, Neil the photographer, Keiron the AV assistant.

Jess Anson 51:36


Bret 51:37

Us. we can't - like I feel bad. Neil's a good friend of mine. I feel bad for not paying him for two years. But like - less importantly me. I also require food. We can't - it's unsustainable for us to not do thi - - Wait. It's unsustainable for us to not get paid, especially like Jess has put hours and hours and hours and hours into this.

Jess Anson 52:05

Hundreds. Hundreds!!! All for one day. That, you know, it never quite gets old to me the fact that you put in all this work and it's done within nine hours. Or rather the bulk of it is done. I mean, you work on post event,

Chris 52:21

but it's a lifetime of memories.

Jess Anson 52:23

Oh, it is. it is, very much so. So we'll see what the future holds. We're not sure yet.

Chris 52:29

We can't make any announcements yet cuz we literally haven't talked about it properly.

Bret 52:32

This is the first conversation we've had

Jess Anson 52:35

This is a recuperation period, I think.

Chris 52:39

Did we agree that we're not talking about it until Bret's birthday?

Bret 52:42

Yeah. We're not allowed to talk about it until my birthday, which is the 28th of March for anyone that's interested.

Jess Anson 52:48

Yeah, well we just we just talked about it for a whole entire hour. So we're doing well already

Bret 52:55

But we haven't talked about planning the next event. We're not allowed to.

Jess Anson 52:59

Oh, that's true. Yeah, no, we're not gonna do that

Bret 53:02

And because we're not allowed to I think that draws this this post PodUK podUKacast to a close

Jess Anson 53:09

Let's draw a line under it.

Bret 53:12

in the pod UK official discord we did float the idea of doing an official like ama type episode. If we are going to do that, then we'll most likely make a channel in the discord just to chuck questions into. If you're not in the discord, check the Twitter, there's a link there.

Chris 53:33

I think we can put a link in the description of this episode as well. I think

Jess Anson 53:36

yes, that would be a sensible thing to do. Come join the POD.

Bret 53:40

Yeah, come join the POD.

Jess Anson 53:45

Well, I think probably the next thing you'll hear from us is going to be the the audio recordings from the convention probably. Yeah, we've got the audio drama panel and we've got the horror panel to give you

Bret 53:53

which I'm looking forward to hearing cuz I wasn't there.

Jess Anson 53:55

Yeah, me too.

Chris 53:56

Yeah, but I've already listened to them because I've got the recordings but I wasn't able to - I didn't get to go to the panel room at all throughout the whole day- -- actually that's my third thing, I haven't, yeah I'm gonna say my third thing was JP. The in house AV guy at Millennium Point. I basically just gave him the audio recorder and said just record everything please! And yeah he got on with it and the recordings sound good. Yeah, I asked whether he had any issues and he was like oh no it was really easy and fun.

Jess Anson 54:32

Millennium Point do seem to really like the event as well. And when your venue likes your event, you know you're doing an okay job. Yeah. So you can find us all at @teampoduk on Twitter or @podukcon on Facebook and Instagram. And I am @aomyuu, which I will spell out as always, a o m y u u

Chris 54:53

I -

Bret 54:54

I am overtaking Chris because it's alphabetical.

Chris 55:00

Oh yeah. Well Jess isn't -

Jess Anson 55:01

J comes before B, you know?

Bret 55:01

No Jess does the outro, and then it's alphabetical from then on out. W have a system Chris! I am on everything at Bretmyxnjaksfc.. which I will spell because it's unpronounceable: bretmwxyz

Chris 55:18

and I'm on Twitter @paintedtwit, which I'm not going to spell out because I'm sure you can spell it.

Bret 55:26

La di da, you and your pronounceable spellable Twitter name!

Jess Anson 55:31

We will see you all next time. :)

Bret 55:32


Chris 55:32


Jess Anson 55:34


Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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