Pop up pods and news content hubs: The sky’s the limit


How many times have you gone to a training session, heard a motivational speaker or attended a conference and left feeling inspired, only to fall back into your daily routine and forget all about it?

Via pop-up podcast studios and content news hubs, those inspirational learnings are now being shared and reinforced until the next session rolls around.

This was demonstrated to great effect just recently at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

PR and podcasting specialist Suzanne Jones – Director of The Jones Collective – tells Radio Today “About a year ago the CEO of Australian Corporate Treasury Association Ben Leaver enquired about setting up a podcast studio for the Association’s National Conference.”

From the initial chat, ideas began to crystallise, and Suzanne worked with Ke Creative Activation Manager Roz Skilton on a suite of ‘newsroom options.’

Suzanne says conferences are a mecca for great speakers. Via the pop up pod studio, these speakers can be utilised and the vast amount of content bursting forth from a two day conference repurposed for the hosts well into the months ahead.

With the ACTA conference having previously been deferred, Suzanne says it was exciting to arrive at at the Convention Centre and see the ‘On Air’ neon sign glowing on the portable studio and home of PodNow.

“It was a great success, with speakers finishing their keynotes and being interviewed in the studio. Sponsors in the exhibition hall were keen to share their stories.”

Attendees also welcomed the opportunity to share what they took out of the sessions.

“I attended the keynotes to take notes for the following interviews and advised the client of possible media follow-up stories from the presentations.”

Suzanne has noticed an appetite for interactive sessions.

Next month the pop up PodNow studio will be rolled out in Sydney, adding to panel sessions with Q&A style ‘live’ podcast recordings to engage the speakers and the audience.

“Instead of the traditional moderator working with a panel ensuring they all get equal time on answering a question, the in situ podcast will create a studio audience scenario where there is the expert panel being interviewed by the audience. This creates a vibrant dynamic between guests and speakers and a podcast to listen to later.”

Suzanne sees enormous potential for this concept in the conference setting, and says the many months spent working from home during Melbourne’s extended lockdown afforded her plenty of time to brainstorm the possibilities.

The former Melbourne radio newsreader says “Like all broadcasters, we love a microphone and a platform. In 2020 I started Podcast Now as an end-to-end service for those wanting to create their own podcasts. We do as little or much as the client wants. While phone interviews were allowed in lockdown, it wasn’t ideal.”

She says it’s only been in the past six months that the vibe has returned with one-on-one interviews that truly engage.

“I have been working with Ke Creative on a newsroom suite to provide a news hub service on site for conferences. It can be budgeted in the ticket price or sponsored.”

“The service can offer the podcast studio for broadcasting, in situ podcasting for panel sessions, and a press/digital and media service to create the content to feed out to publications and socials.”

Suzanne says the response has been super positive.

“How many times have you gone to training, heard a motivational speaker or attended a conference and left feeling invigorated? And then it’s back to your daily routine and within a week the conference is forgotten. The content news hub allows the learnings to be shared and reinforced until the next session.”

The conference experience only served to bolster Suzanne’s enthusiasm.

“Languishing in the work-from-home environment and engaging in Zooms, we can start to question what life was like out and about.”

“The conference experience and being able to interview and engage with a diverse range of exceptional people created a positive and collaborative atmosphere. It gave me confidence that Podcast Now does have a place in the communication offering for business.”

“Along the journey I have rediscovered the power of connection and networking and bringing together my passion for interviewing, and storytelling through audio.”

“I’m based in Victoria and have had enquiries for conferences around Australia, so I’d love the hear from Radio Today members who’d like to be part of the pop up news hubs.”

“Who knows where it’ll take us.”

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