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

yeah


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

Good.


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

Yeah,


Jess Anson 5:56

yes.


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

*Yet*


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

Cave


Jess Anson 13:02

I suppose. What would you call that?


Chris 13:04

booth?


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

Understandable.


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

camaraderie!


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

Yeah.


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

Yeah.


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

Yeah.


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