Issue #22

Podcast Engagement

Podcasts help create extendible event content experiences on- and off-site.

Podcasts and live broadcasts may not be anything new, but their evolving connections to events are becoming more strategic. On top of podcast broadcast stages, marketers are embedding podcasts into larger events. They’re also using them to engage influencers, and they’re capitalizing on the “live” aspect of podcast streaming to capture audiences beyond the event footprint.

Take into account the amplification possibilities, as reported by Digiday in March: “Many podcast producers report that when they do live shows, particularly outside the hosts’ hometowns, they reliably drive big spikes in downloads locally.” Economically speaking, the podcast ad market is expected to break $200 million this year, according to the report.

C2 Montreal took the strategy of embedding podcasts into its commerce and creativity conference in May with The Aquarium, a glass enclosed on-site broadcast center in the middle of the show floor. Because of the design, the podcast stage served as an engagement tool and was a spectacle in and of itself, where passersby could stop to watch the action while tuning in and snapping photos. Not to mention, the design supported the acoustics needed for a successful podcast recording.

South by Southwest for a second year activated the SXSW Podcast Stage (which had sponsor TuneIn attached). Throughout the event, 42 podcasts on genres ranging from comedy to food to science were featured on stage. The podcast stage served as an event venue, too, for sponsored happy hours with TuneIn.

A top benefit for brands, events and exhibitors, is the opportunity to create compelling content and capitalize on the energy of the live experience. Exhibitors, for example, can ask a keynoter or key attendee influencer to take five minutes to sit down in the “podcast zone” in their booth to conduct an interview. Attendees will come to watch the VIPs in action and the content generated will be timely, live and worth amplifying, earning a brand thought-leadership status.

Mic drop.

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