Monday, June 26, 2006

BloggerCon does podcasting right and wrong

I like when people at conferences include pictures and commentary in their blog while the event is happening.

BloggerCon 2006 is no different. ZDNet is blogging from the event and it's interesting to see what type of conversations are taking place and what kinds of people are attending.

I also like that BloggerCon is podcasting from the event right away. Most conferences who podcast release them weeks, even months after the event is over. And when they do release them, it's about 10 of them all at once. So, I like the fact that BloggerCon is doing them as soon as each session is over.

However, podcasting the entire session and giving it away for free is the wrong approach. Many conferences do this and unfortunately, BloggerCon is no exception.

Giving away unique content in a podcast in its entirety will dilute the importance of your conference. Attendance numbers will suffer because attendees will soon figure out that they can save alot of money just waiting for the podcasts at home. Why pay $350 for a 2-day pass, $700 for a plane ticket and $200 a night in a hotel when they can experience the conference in real-time from the comforts of home?

Instead, treat the podcasts as a lead-generating tool that guide people to purchase the full sessions on CD for a fee. Yes folks, I mean make money. That's how you monetize a podcast. You repurpose existing content by offering a small snippet in the podcast. Tease the listeners. Then, guide them to your website where the recording is available for sale.

Attendance numbers don't suffer (actually they should increase for the following year), you add another income stream to your bottom line and you still get to use a cool piece of technology to market your conference throughout the year.

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