Last week rocked. Here are some of the highlights from the time I rolled out of Baltimore:
Flew into Dallas, TX, rented a large Dodge Durango and met Giovanni Gallucci a.k.a. The Podparazzi for lunch. Either of us had any idea we were both going to be in Ontario, CA just 2 days later. After some meetings, I enjoyed catching up with Ned Bryant from Slingshot, it had been a long 2 years, great catching up. Shortly after I was one of the first guests at the latest Kimpton property Hotel Palomar, they had just opened that week, and it was nothing short of spectacular. This is my new favorite hotel chain.
Great breakfast with Ed Weaver at MPReach, we spent alot of time talking alot about building podcast networks and monetizing syndicated content. He was preparing for a trip to Finland for a speaking engagement this past weekend. Shortly after, I rolled out of DFW Airport in quest of Ontario, CA for the Podcast Academy and the Portable Media Expo. Upon arriving and settling, I enjoyed a quick drink with Michael Geoghegan, Doug Kaye, Tim Street, Tim & Emile Bourquin, Kris Smith & then promptly returned to my room at the Doubletree “complex.”
Kicked off as the first speaker of Podcast Academy 4, and declared I was officially ‘buying a mac” after my Dell froze on the first slide, and once again a little later it was all good. I had a good time speaking, the day was full of great presentations that were knowledgable and informative, not to mention all of the great conversations. At 5:30pm there was a reception at the convention center welcoming all speakers and exhibitors. There was a lot of putting faces to voices for the first time. Good times at the sold out Marriott followed.
PME kick off. I got there around 9 and couldn’t get in to the Leo Laporte keynote due to incredible standing room only attendance. Great evidence that Tim Bourquin had done it once again, and this time even better. The exhibit hall was vibing almost all weekend long. Lee Gibbons of Podango had his conference, “unconference” rocking and rolling all day long, Libsyn had the total rock star booth, LA Podcasters were in full effect, and Feedburner was telling all to put their best feed forward. Great sessions from Michael Geoghegan of Gigavox and Rick Klau of Feedburner. Shortly after the days events Gio and I headed over to Porters Steak House for a lovely dinner with Feedburners Rick Klau & Eric Olson, David Lawrence, Scott Fletcher, Kris Smith, Shwen Gwee and the folks who run Go Daddy’s podcasting hosting product (sorry didn’t get your card). The meal was followed by attendance at the PME afterparty hosted by Libsyn, IODA and Kiptronic at the Doubletree’s presidential suite. It was packed and loud, I stayed until security shut it down for the second time then crashed.
Day 2 of the PME, I arrived at 9am to catch Andrew Barron’s keynote. Interesting to say the least I bounced in and out of the days sessions mostly as the energy in the hallways, exhibit hall and bloggers lounge was much more interesting to me. Its all about the connections and new relationships that are formed that make these events so rewarding. Around noon Greg Narain of Social Roots and Chris Heuer of Social Media Club decided to record a Beercast in the blogger lounge. Good times. After bouncing around the afternoon sessions, and spending some time in the exhibition hall meeting more interesting folks like Joanne Colan of Rocketboom, the PME came to a close. A large group of folks headed over to the Marriott for a BBQ mingle and scattered events were talking place throughout. I was toast at this point, it had been a long week. I cancelled my 3pm flight for Sunday and booked a 6:50am (ouch!) so that I could get back to the east coast mid afternoon on Sunday.
Mission accomplished. This was really an incredible week to say the least. On the plane back I counted a stack of about 100 business cards from all of the great people I met over the course of the Ontario events. I will be in touch with you all to keep the conversation going. Great job to Tim Bourquin and his excellent crew (really they were the coolest people) for putting on another great event. We all look forward to next year with the extended day!