Attending Podcast Conventions and Events

focus on people and creating real relationships

Podcasting can sometimes feel like a very lonely sport. Attending podcast conventions and events is a great way to get out from behind your microphone and interact with podcasters all over the world! Some events also have different vendors so you can meet the people behind the products you may be using to produce your show. Most of these events cost money, so how do you make the most out of your experience should you attend? My friend and fellow podcaster, Shā Sparks, is an amazing connector! She joins us and shares her mindset when going to these events!

Here’s what we’re going to discuss….

  • Should you attend podcasting events?
  • How do you find out about these events?
  • What should you do at these podcast events?

Want to connect with our special guest, Shā Sparks?

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Sunny Gault | Podcast Coach and Mentor | Independent Podcast Network

Episode Transcript

Sunny Gault 0:02
Podcasting can sometimes feel like a lonely sport, attending podcasts, conventions and other events, it’s a great way to get out from behind your microphone, and interact with podcasters. All over the world. Some events also have different vendors so you can meet the people behind the products you may be using to produce your show. And most of these events cost money. So how do you make the most out of your experience? If you decide to attend? The answer might surprise you. Take it away, Mister radio man. Podcast Your Business.

Sunny Gault 0:46
Hello, hello. Welcome back to another episode of Podcast Your Business. I’m Sunny Gault. I’m a podcast coach and mentor. And I’ve been podcasting for the last 17 years. I’m also the founder and CEO of a company I would love for you to check out it’s called Independent Podcast Network. And you can find us at, very long URL, which is great for SEO though. And what we do we actually do two different things. We help all types of podcasters, we put out a ton of free content. So you can access all of that through our website. And then if your podcast is ready to work with advertisers, well, then we help you find advertisers for your show. And we don’t get paid until you guys get paid. So it’s a pretty good deal. So check out our website for more information on that. But today, I am here to help you create amazing podcasts. And we focus on people who are podcasting for their business. But anyone that’s creating a podcast can probably benefit from the content we release. And how do we help you create amazing podcasts? We do this by mastering the five P’s of podcasting! Yep, so the five Ps, this is a concept that I created when I launched my first podcasting course. And the whole focus was how do we get people to have successful podcast? It’s one thing to launch a podcast, anybody can do that. But how do you have a successful show? And so I broke it down into five different P’s. We’ve got prep, plan, produce, promote, and profit. And each episode of podcast, your business falls inside one of those PS. So Mr. radio man, which of the five Ps are we talking about today? Plan. This was super hard to pick out which of the five Ps that today’s topic falls into, because it could be any of them. But I had to pick one, we had to get our little radio man voice in it. So I went with plan. And not necessarily when you’re first starting to plan your podcast, because when I talk about the five P’s, I usually talk about it in chronological order. And plan is after you decide, hey, I really am going to do this whole podcast thing, and then you start to plan your show. But anyone that’s attending podcast conferences, and expos, it really does go back to planning for your show, your show may already be you know, be released, be out there for years and years and years. But it usually has something to do with the next step for your show, which require some planning, right? That’s what I got today, guys. I picked the P word for plan. And that’s, that’s my story. And I’m sticking to it.

Sunny Gault 3:23
So here’s what we’re going to talk about in today’s show. Of course, we’re talking about podcasting events and things that are involved with that, and should you go and all this kind of stuff. So that is the first question. Should you attend podcasting events? What are some of the benefits of doing this? So I’ll share some of my own personal experience with you guys. Also, how do you find out about these events, I’ll list some of the big ones and then tell you guys how to find some of the smaller ones depending on where you live. And then we have a special treat. Because for the first time ever on podcast, your business, we have a guest, I did a quick little interview with my friend Sha Sparks, who’s a podcaster. And beyond being a podcaster. She’s a connector. And the first time I actually met Sha, in person was at a podcasting event, I’m gonna tell the story in the interview that we do with her, but I wanted her to come on the show because she’s excellent at going to these events and making the most of them. And you guys, let’s be honest, I could give you a laundry list of stuff that you should do, quote unquote, do you know, at these conventions, and, you know, I don’t know I thought it was gonna be boring and stupid. And I was like, you know, I really need to talk to someone who loves going to these events. Because Okay, little confession here. I not a big fan of conferences and expos where you kind of feel awkward and you got to go up and talk to people you don’t know. I don’t know that my personality that like flies in the face of how I natural Like to converse with people. But Sha is the exact opposite che is amazing when you watch her work, I mean, she can work a room and not in a bad way. But she can work a room like no one I’ve ever seen, because that’s just her personality. And she shines and that type of an environment. And so I wanted you guys to have some tips and tricks from someone who really loves doing this. So Sha was gracious enough to do a quick little interview with me earlier this week. And I’m gonna play that for you. And we’re gonna get started on all of that right after this quick break.

Sunny Gault 5:33
I really do think that all podcasters should attend some sort of podcasting event. Like I said in the intro, podcasting is kind of this solo sport. And unless you have an audience that engages with you all the time, it can get a little bit lonely. And so going to these events can be really nice just to, you know, have a group of people that get you that understand you. And so whether you are just thinking about starting a podcast, or you’ve been podcasting for a long time, I do think you should try to go to some sort of podcasting event. Truth be told, now, you guys know, I’ve been podcasting for a really long time. And a lot of these events weren’t around when I first started podcasting 17 plus years ago, but it took me several years, even when some of the big conferences were around. It took me several years to actually go to one. I was like this closet podcaster and I was podcasting all the time, but I wasn’t connecting with other podcasters at all, really, I was just you know, I was from media. So I have a journalism degree. And you know, I put the equipment together. And I just made it happen, because I knew you could do it. But as far as connecting with other people that were also podcasting, like, you know, I just didn’t do it at all. And then I started to do more and more of it when I really started thinking of podcasting as a business. Right. So I wasn’t just playing around in media. But I really wanted to get serious about this, I really wanted to bring on sponsors, I wanted this to be a legitimate business. And when I made that decision is when I started going to these podcasting events. So should you attend podcasting events? Yeah, I think you should, but the bigger question is, why?

Sunny Gault 7:26
What’s the benefit to you? Okay, so I’ve kind of narrowed this down to three main points. First, you get to learn about other products and services out there. Most of the time, they will have some sort of like vendor or exhibitor area, especially the really big podcasts that all are the podcasting events I’m gonna tell you about. And it’s great, you can walk up, you can talk to the vendors, you can kind of get to know the people behind the company. And I find that that is really helpful too. If you decide to use their product or service and something is off or you have a question about something, it’s really nice just to be able to connect a name to a face. And a lot of times, you know, these conferences are still small enough, that a lot of times the owners are right there standing behind the booth. So you really get to meet the people behind the product. Personally, I really enjoy that. And you get to see all the different types of products out there. And any new products and services coming to the podcasting space will usually get a booth at some of these big events. So I think that’s fun. In fact, I’ve been on the other side of that, too. So as you guys may know, I used to work for Zen caster, and they are a podcast recording platform, if you’re going to record your podcast remotely. And for like two or three years, I was at the Zen caster booth at these major conferences and meeting people and you know, telling them about the product and all that. So that’s one of the benefits. Another benefit is for you yourself to get podcasting advice and information. And so that’s usually done through classes. And, you know, it’s like, you know, there’s a speaker, it’s like a single class right now, like an ongoing class, but you’ll have presenters and there’ll be talking about something and then you get to meet them afterwards, and maybe grab their contact information and stuff. The more and more you podcast, the less and less, you’re probably going to go to all of those, you know, classes and sessions, things like that. But still, it can be really helpful, especially for people who are just starting. And then the third reason is to find different partners or perhaps guests for your show, or even sponsors. Now usually at these events, you don’t have sponsors that have booths, because all the podcasters would be at the sponsor booths. It wouldn’t work very well. There’d be like a traffic jam, but you can find people to partner with in different ways. So that might be a vendor that’s also there. Maybe you want to partner with them. Maybe you just love their product and Maybe they’re willing to also sponsor your show, I don’t know. But if you go to these events, and you see them in person and you start a report, that is definitely possible. And then just the other people in the hall, you’ve got gas, and you know, people that are just attending the event. Well, those are great people, depending on the format of your show, to connect with, maybe you can do some cross promotion and things like that. And I have seen sponsors, potential sponsors, or, you know, companies that like to sponsor podcasts at these events, a lot of times they are on panels. So there’ll be like a panel discussion where they’re talking about some sort of topic. Sometimes, though, just roaming the floor, it’s harder to find those people, right, unless you’re just staring at everybody’s badges. But those are the three main reasons that you may want to go to one of these podcasting events.

Sunny Gault 10:50
So the next question is, how do you find out about these events, I’m going to tell you about the top two here in the US. And then I’m going to share a couple of resources that you may want to check out because you’ve got the big ones that most people know about. And obviously they’re larger, you know, more people attend. And then you’ve got smaller one offs in communities like meetups and things like that. And so there could be a ton of different meetups out there. Obviously, I’m not going to list all of those. But the two big ones that I wanted to mention, at least here in the US are Podfest Expo and that, you know, the months have changed on that that is usually towards the beginning part of the year. So it’s been in February before and then one year was May, which is really late for that conference. I believe this last year was in January. So it’s usually like the beginning part of the year. And it’s always in Orlando, Florida. What’s nice about pod fest is it really is geared more towards independent podcasters, it still has that small, kind of, I don’t know homegrown kind of feel to it. It’s very much about the podcaster. As opposed to the industry. It’s not that they don’t talk about the industry. It’s less focused on money, and more about creativity, and just focused on creators in general. And so I think it’s a great expo to go to if you’re just starting out. So you could go to I think it’s If you want more information on that, then we have Podcast Movement, and that has expanded over the years. That is usually at the end of the summer time, at least here in the US. So like the August, maybe end of August timeframe. The location on that usually varies. I think this year, it was in Denver, Colorado, but they move it around sometimes. Sometimes it’s also in Florida, I think one year, they were both in Orlando, which was a little weird. So Poddfest Expo was in Orlando, and then like a few months later, you go back to Orlando for Podcast Movement. I don’t know it was a little weird there. But it does usually change. And that’s nice. And then they ended up creating smaller conferences from that called Podcast Movement evolutions. There’s one in March, there’s one in September. And so I’ve never been to the smaller ones, I have heard some good things about that. But honestly, you know, I’ve got little kids, I’ve got a husband, it’s harder for me to travel. So I usually just pick the top two, and, you know, try to go to those, with the main Podcast Movement event, I can tell you that that is much more industry focused, you are going to see a lot larger companies there. You know, like the Pandora’s and the iHeartRadio, you’re gonna see bigger booths, you know, Apple will be there, you’re gonna, you’re gonna see a lot more money involved. And that may be a little bit overwhelming to some people. But that’s the stark difference between what you’re gonna get at pod fest Expo and what you’re gonna get at Podcast Movement. Both are great, and they’re great for different reasons. So those are the those are the main ones, Podfest Expo and Podcast Movement, if you want the website for Podcast Movement, go to That’s pretty easy right?

Sunny Gault 14:14
Now, if you want a list of the other events out there, I mean, I would encourage you to just search for it, right? Just use some SEO and type in, you know, podcast events in whatever city you’re in. So that’s one way to do it. Obviously, you can search online. I also recommend that you sign up for the newsletter, and I’ve talked about this on the show before but that you sign up for pod news. And that is a I don’t know if it’s daily. I don’t think it’s a daily email that comes out. But it has some really good information about what’s happening in the podcast space and they do list of like upcoming events. So if you want to know I don’t know if you can really plan long term using that newsletter, because I think they just give you the events that are coming up in the next month or something like that. But it’s a great place to constantly be updated of new events out there. And, you know, people are starting new podcasting events all the time. So I’m just listing some of the big ones. But I mean, we wouldn’t be here all day, if I listed everything that’s, you know, that’s come out in the last few years. And sometimes it’s there for a year. And then, you know, the next year, it’s not there, you know, it’s kind of one of those things, because podcasting is still in its infancy. And so you’re gonna get that right, especially after COVID after COVID Like things, you know, everything shut down there for a while. And I think some of these places, these organizations, these groups, quite, you know, they haven’t quite bounced back yet. A lot of people were trying to do the online thing. Honestly, I didn’t really participate when it was just hey, come to this online conference, because I spend way too much time online already. I was like, No, I can’t do that. But it’ll be interesting to see where things go. But those are the top ones. And again, just do a good old fashioned search on your computer, for events near you, it can be really beneficial to do meetups every month, or I don’t think they do them every week, it really depends on the location you’re in. But some groups are really, really active. And maybe they also have a Slack group or something like that, where you can bounce ideas off of people. So it’s not that you always have to leave your house. Like if you’re like me, and it’s kind of difficult to get out of the house for a long period of time, then, you know, maybe look at some stuff that’s near you. So you’re just going out for a day, you know, get someone to watch the kids or the dog or whatever you’ve got going on in your house. But I definitely encourage you to try something. If you haven’t done it yet. Just try something even if it’s local.

Sunny Gault 16:48
So the next question is, what do you do with these podcasting events. And like I said earlier, I could give you a laundry list of stuff that is going to be in every other blog post out there about what you should do at pretty much any convention or Expo, right, you need to bring your business cards, you need to talk to as many people as possible, you gotta follow up immediately after blah, blah, blah, blah. So I could give you that, but it’s not going to be from the heart. And I’m also you know, I don’t even do that. So I wouldn’t even be practicing what I preach. So I have brought my friend onto the show today, Sha Sparks, who has been a podcaster. She’s a podcast host. She helps other people with their podcast, she and I are co hosts, along with two other women and a show called under wired, which supports and uplifts women. And she’s just a really good gal she’s really fun to talk to. And I thought you guys would really appreciate this. So let’s go ahead and play this conversation that I had with my friend Sha. And she’s going to give you some really good ideas of what you should do that you’re not going to find on all these blog posts.

Sunny Gault 17:59
Okay, Sha, welcome to Podcast Your Business. Thanks so much for being with us today.

Shā Sparks 18:04
Well, thank you for having me, Sunny. I’m honored to be on your show.

Sunny Gault 18:08
Awesome. And to be our first guest yea. guest on the show. Well, Sha, I wanted to bring you on today. Because, of course, our topic is about attending podcast conventions and events. And, you know, I’ve attended a bunch in the past. And I could probably run through a litany of things that you know, you should do, but you are a pro at this. You really are. In fact, I want to tell this story to the audience about how we first met in person because you and I were actually part of the group zoom call before this story that I’m about to tell you about. You know how you see someone on a zoom call and you don’t you know, you kind of get an idea what they look like, but it’s totally different when you meet them in person. Right, right. So Sha and I….

Shā Sparks 18:48
And you’re like, wait, they wear pants? No way. How did I know they were wearing pants? Right?

Sunny Gault 18:53
Exactly. That’s crazy. They have a bottom half? Yeah. And so. So we had this zoom call. And there was like a handful of women that were part of this zoom call. And we’re like, oh, yeah, we were like planning the show we were gonna do together and everything. And then we had pod fest. So Podfest is one of the two big I would say podcast conventions or expos that happened in the US. And so that was coming up. And I knew Sha was going to be there. And then another friend of ours, Lindsay, but we didn’t really say like how we were going to find each other or anything was like, Oh, I’m going to the event. I’m going to them too. And so I think it was right when the convention or the expo was getting started. And okay, so you guys, I get into town. And I’m like, I’m kind of dreading it because I’m just like, I I do fine in structured situations. But if you say Sunny, you know, go into this room and talk to 15 people, I will freak out. Okay, I just it’s just not my thing. I am not one of those people. But if you say something, you have to talk to these 15 people in the next 30 minutes. I could do that right because there’s structure around it. Okay, so anyway, I forced myself to leave my hotel room. This is like I got in, like in the afternoon and this is like nighttime now and like, oh, Sunday, you gotta get out of your room, you just, you know, you can’t, you know, I don’t know, I like hanging out my room when my kids aren’t there just relaxing, but I forced myself. So I’m like, No, I’m gonna go, I know, there’s some like nighttime activities or something. So I leave my hotel room because I’m staying at the place where pod fest is. And I’m walking down this hall. And there’s I could tell like, there was this open room and they were doing podcast trivia. And I’m like, Okay, well, you know, that kind of seems cool. And I kind of stuck my head in the door. And then I was like, now I’m not going to stay. I’m going to walk around. So I kind of did this back and forth. I came back to the room a few minutes later. And I’m like, Okay, now I’m going to actually walk into the room, so people can see me. And I was standing at the back and this lovely lady, she I can’t remember her name. But this lovely lady comes up to me and like ushers me to the front. She’s like, isn’t your first time and I’m like, Well, no, but you know, first time you know, whatever this is, whatever this trivia thing is. She ushers me down to the front. And she’s like, here, you can sit at this table. And guess who’s at the table? Sha is at the table? I could not believe it. Like I think she you probably made the connection right away. I was like, What am I doing? This lady just ushered me to the front. And now I’m sitting at this table. I’m so uncomfortable. There’s all these people that I don’t know. But that’s how I got to see Sha face-to-face. And then I pretty much just hung out with Sha the entire event because che like people gravitate towards you when you’re out and about and you have this confidence about you. And so I was kind of part of Sha’s posse. Anyway, that’s kind of the story. And because you’re so good at doing this, I was hoping you could give us some tips on what you know, what do you consider when you go to these events? I know you, you know, just got back not too long ago, within last month or so from Podcast Movement. So what goes through your head? You know, in planning to go to these events? What do you make sure you do or don’t do? What do you think?

Shā Sparks 19:08
Well, wow, that story brings you back. It’s funny, because I was like, how did we meet? And then you said the trivia and I’m like, Oh, my God, I totally forgot about that. And so and I believe I probably introduce you to everybody that was at the table? Of course you did. Of course I did. So one of the things I I say to myself, before I go before, as I’m getting ready to go to the conference, is setting and attention that most people your audience will probably laugh is not the intention of what do I want to get out of this conference, I set the intention of, hmm, I think maybe I’ll meet 500 of my new best friends. And so I feel as if I’m I just open to what whoever I’m supposed to meet and learn. And then being able to connect them to whoever else they’re supposed to meet. Because I am naturally a connector, and it’s one of my favorite things to do is connect people and then see them. See that relationship thrive and, and blossom. So I have to start off by saying the reason why I started having that intention is because my first Podcast Movement that I went to, which is another big global podcast conference that you know, here in the United States that we attend was in August of 2018. And I had no idea what I was getting myself into I just went and it and I had been taking a break from my podcast. So it was really like a great place to start again, right. And I had taken some business cards, and within the first half a day, I believe half of the first day, I had no more business cards. And I was like, Oh my gosh, so I people, I was staying with my brother at the time, driving back and forth every day. And he’s like, Well, how is it I go, I don’t know how to explain it other than I’m pretty sure I’ve met like 500 people. It just happened. I just happened. Like I don’t even like I can’t even wrap my head around the amount of people in the networking events that I attended that I met like This is bizarre. And so I have to say that the next time I learned is one thing I do now is that my intention is one, make sure that I’m open to meet 500 of my new best friends and then two is to really make sure I have enough business cards or swag, stickers, postcards I do as well. And because then it kind of tells you more about yourself. And then also I have an online an app called Blink. So it’s just basically you scan a QR code and people can connect with you that way because not everyone wants business card isn’t anymore, right? So I have make sure that I have all of that with me at all times and anything else that I want to give away, whether it’s T shirts, or pens, or literally whatever. Because the first time I went, I literally was out and I was like, Oh my gosh, how am I going to remember to connect with all these people? Right.

Shā Sparks 25:20
So then the third thing I’ll say is that, make sure that you’re open to connecting on social media. So whether that’s Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, those are my three major ones. And the good thing is, is that LinkedIn and Instagram, they have a QR code, that you can also have that person scan, and then connect with you on there. And you go to on LinkedIn, if you go to the search bar, and press search in the very right hand corner of that search bar, a little tiny QR code shows up and you can touch it, and then your code shows up for them to scan you, or it comes up pops up your camera for you to scan them. Okay. And the reason why that’s important is because for me, let’s just say you meet 100 200 people, right? Then trying to follow up is, is where my weakness is I don’t follow up in that same manner that most people are, like, immediately using the business cards for of sending the email and be like, Oh, my gosh, it was so great to meet you. Let’s connect blah, blah, blah. No, no, I connect on social media. So you can start commenting on their posts, start liking their posts or shit, maybe even sharing their posts. And the reason why is because then you’re automatically building that relationship and they makes you memorable. Yeah. And then they’re gonna remember you and be like, yes. Now, I am so glad that we connected at that podcast conference, because now I’ve become anew that your listener, you do this, you become part of their their posse, right? You become part of their friends. And what I found four years later, of doing this, is that then you see the same faces every time you go to these things. And all of a sudden, you’re automatically you have an in. It’s like you automatically know them. So this last one that I was at in Denver Podcast Movement, like the one you mentioned just a few weeks ago. Yeah, I’m, I’m there. I’m in mingling, I’m introducing people, you know, I’m connecting people with who were there for the first time, I’m connecting them with people that I’ve known. And he says one of my my friends, he says to me, che, what are you like the mayor of podcasting?

Sunny Gault 27:47
Yeah, I guess I am. Where’s my badge?

Shā Sparks 27:50
I said, Well, I mean, unofficially, yes, I need a sash that says that wouldn’t be great. And the reason is, is because it’s it’s that connecting component. So it’s not just about following up in the email, or the text, or the whatever, it’s really about going a step further, and connecting on the social media, and then engaging in their post, that that, to me is huge, and has just really created such a, like a digital asset, something to that effect where you Are you online, right? And it’s just really created a lot of friendships and amazing conversations I wouldn’t have had had I not been able to do that.

Sunny Gault 28:33
Well, it’s so much more personal, right? Because you’re getting to know them, it’s over a period of time. And it also shows that you don’t really have an agenda. Because you want to work, you know, okay, if you’re trying to go to these conferences, you know, not just for friendship purposes, but to develop some sort of business relationship down the road, I always think it’s better to know the people that you’re doing business with, you know, feel comfortable with them, or whatever. So what you’re talking about che is taking the initial steps, just to get to know them a little bit. And then maybe something blossoms, but sometimes you can’t force that. Right.

Shā Sparks 29:10
Right. And so I’ll give you a perfect example. So two people that I met at these podcasts conferences that we mentioned the podcast or the Podcast Movement. Yeah, both at different times. One was four years ago, that first one I went to, and there believe it or not, there was a fire drill. And we all had that. And we all had to exit the building. And I just happened to be standing by the speaker in the room that I was in. And she was engaging with another woman and I just engaged in with both of them. And I engaged with them as if we’ve known each other right. They knew each other but I didn’t know them, but I just engage and then I was vulnerable enough to say which was is very huge for me because it was really hard for me to go you know what I’m new here. Yeah, tell me what I need to know what advice Do you have and really be open to what it is they had to say? So then the one I met, and I’ll, I’ll name drop her name’s Damona Hoffman, and she has a podcast called Dates and Mates. And it’s a dating podcast. She’s a dating coach. And she’s like, well, I’m actually speaking later, I said, Well, I will be in your audience. So that’s the other thing is when you connect with someone, and you find out that they are a speaker, at the event you’re attending, attend their talk, because then you’re building rapport by going, seeing them in the audience, and then go up to them later and be like, Oh, can I get a selfie with you? Because again, you’re just solidifying how much of a connection, an authentic connection that you’re having with this person? Yeah. So then, I attended her talk, we created this connection, we became friends on on Facebook and Instagram and LinkedIn, and, you know, I’ll engage I’ll share whatever. And so four years later, and every, every time every Podcast Movement, every year, I see her I talked to her have a great conversation with her. This year. I was like, How are things and I already knew, because I saw some things what she was doing, but I wanted to hear it from her. And she’s like, well, you know, I don’t know if you know, she said, but I am now on the Drew Barrymore show as a regular. And I said, Yes, I that. I like I’m so proud of you. So proud of you, that where we’ve worked for years ago to see where you’re at now. And I’m a nobody. And maybe she thinks she’s a nobody who knows. But the fact that I’m saying how proud I am of her because it gives me hope. Right? So that’s what we all want aspire to one day is a podcast or gives us hope, to what we could possibly be. So then she also said, Yeah, I’ve got this new, I said, what else is going on? She’s like, I have this new book coming out. And I did the pitch. I would love to promote your book on my show. Nice. Now, mind you. For years I’ve been connected to her. I haven’t once actually said that to her. But now that she has something she wants to promote? Absolutely come on my show.

Sunny Gault 32:13
Oh, that was perfect. Yes, yes. Did it happen?

Shā Sparks 32:17
So the book hasn’t come out yet. So when the book comes out, she will be on my show this, this coming up? Season? Yeah. And then another person, he used to work for MTV, and curated all these shows with all these celebrities. And now he works for LinkedIn. And I just got off a call with him actually earlier today. And he’s like, che, we’re family. And I love that he said that. Because I really feel like that’s what podcasters are, when you’ve built that rapport with them. When you’ve built that connection. You at these podcast conferences, they’re large enough to feel like you’re actually in a big large group, but they’re also intimate and small enough that you are one helping each other out and supporting each other, but to you then get to know them on a deeper level and you feel like family. And so the fact that he said that to me, I was like, Oh, thank you. I love that. And so then, of course, at the end of every conversation in every interview, I have off camera, obviously off off microphone off recording, I always tried to ask, How can I support you? What can I do for you? And he said the same thing for me. And I mean, he has clients, celebrity clients, so you have no idea what might be coming next. So if I had not went to these podcast conferences, I wouldn’t have been I wouldn’t have met either one of those people. Hmm.

Sunny Gault 33:53
Now, do you agree? I’ve heard some people say this, oh, I go to the conferences, but it’s not really about, you know, attending the classes. All the connections really happened in the halls and in the parties and stuff like that. Do you find that to be true? Or it seems to me like you’re gonna find people to talk to you, regardless of where you’re at. Does it really matter?

Shā Sparks 34:13
Well, when you asked that, I was like, I’m pretty sure I’ve met people in the classes too. And that’s just it. Like for me, if I first of all, you have a schedule. So I will say this too, as another tip. So normally, they have an app that comes out that is connected to the event. And you are connected to the schedules and you’re connected to other event goers, other people who are going and sponsors all the things right. And one of the apps they actually on pod fest they have you engage with other people, so you’re kind of pre planning who you want to meet. Yeah. Okay. And the same thing with the other app. It doesn’t necessarily have the engagement before but at least you can kind of go through the So I’m like, Okay, who is someone I would like to connect with? So I always go through the list and see what my schedule might be, I might make make a few like say, Yes, I want to go to that. And you have to RSVP for some of the events. So I do that. And I try to leave enough room wiggle room, that I can go with an open mind to be like, Oh, something came up, I didn’t go to that. And I meet someone in the hallway. And, you know, an hour and a half later, two hours later, I’m still in the hallway, because I’ve had this amazing conversation and maybe more people joined in, or I’ve moved on and met someone else. Because I study I don’t know how to explain it. But it’s literally when you walk down the hall with me. It’s like, boom, here we are. People are like, Oh my god, che che and it’s like, yes. And then next thing you know, they leave and someone else comes in. It’s like a movie.

Sunny Gault 35:53
Like a rotating door. Yeah, hotel rooms. That’s what it is.

Shā Sparks 35:57
Yeah. Like, oh, and here we are the next person that we’re supposed to talk to in chat and, and then the thing that I love about it is then whoever I’m with, they are supposed to meet that person for some reason. Yeah. And it’s like, like, synergy, like you can’t believe it’s just amazing to me how that works every time.

Sunny Gault 36:17
It totally does. And I love that you brought this up. And I love that that’s your approach. Because in preparing for this episode, I’m thinking like, very methodically, I’m like, Oh, tell them to do this. And then that’s and then that’s, and your approach is totally different. And I think when we go with the flow, which is what I’m going to call your approach, with love, being in the moment is another way to say that just be like, Hey, I’m here. And you know, just meet who you’re supposed to meet and take advantage of, you know, whatever situation you’re in, just be present, be present with that person. And, and che numerous times you’ve talked about serving other people, when you come to any type of relationship with more of how can I help you as opposed to well, how can you help me? I think the whole energy changes everything changes about it. You know?

Shā Sparks 37:06
I agree. Totally agree. Yeah, I totally agree. And I will say that, yes, the hallway is, is fantastic. The after parties are fantastic. And yet, you know, just creating those connections and letting, letting the the laughter flow. And the connections go, so to speak. I didn’t mean to rhyme, but it happened.

Sunny Gault 37:29
We’re totally rhyming today, love it.

Shā Sparks 37:31
You literally have no idea. Someone that I met at yoga class this last time, we’ve hit it off. We’ve had a great conversation after the fact right, we’ve had great time. And you just never know, you never know what’s gonna happen.

Sunny Gault 37:48
I love it. I love it. And if you guys end up going to a podcast conference or something, and this is just seems, oh, you know, sometimes it’s just taking the first step is hard to do find somebody like shea or find Sha. Find the mayor, and you will be good to go. Because that’s pretty much what I do. Now. I find Sha and I’m like, Sha, who were talking to today?

Shā Sparks 38:09
You know, it’s funny. So there are Facebook groups for these conferences. And they’ll sometimes they’ll put in there like I’m new, and somebody will tag me. And I will go oh my gosh, you’re new, let’s meet. And I will meet them. And I’m like, so who do you want to meet? What do you want to get out of it? questions that people asked me? And I literally was like, I have no clue. So I’m like, great. If you have no clue. This is a great place to start. So I’m just going to tell me more about you. And I’m just going to introduce you to somebody that you probably need to be on their show. Or they probably need to be on your show. Yeah. And that’s literally how it starts. Yeah, that’s amazing.

Sunny Gault 38:45
Yeah. Okay, so Sha for people that are listening, how can they find you? If they’re not going to a podcast conference tomorrow? Yeah, you can always like first day, but if they’re not doing that, how can they find you? And how can they support you?

Shā Sparks 38:58
Oh, well, thank you for asking. You can go you can listen to my podcast at That’s Or my other website is And you can find out all about coaching and books and all the social media Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook.

Sunny Gault 39:23
Alright, Sha thank you so much for being with us today. This is awesome!

Shā Sparks 39:27
Thank you.

Sunny Gault 39:29
Oh, that was fun to interview. Always awesome to catch up with Sha and I knew she was going to provide some really good, you know, just things to think about. And she has a completely different view on how to approach relationships because that’s what we’re doing. We’re really just humans wanting to connect with one another. And it shouldn’t feel so structured. I just loved all the stuff that she had to say. So thank you Sha for being on the show. I hope you guys found that helpful. I do have a good freebie. for you today. So if you are just getting started with your podcast or you’re still in the process of figuring everything out, you haven’t launched your show yet. I have a free podcast launch guide for you guys. I’m going to include the link in the description for today’s episode. And you just click on it, you don’t even have to give me your email guys. You just download it and there’s a PDF and it’s like, it’s multiple pages. And there’s also a Trello board that goes with it. So if you’re more of like an electronic checklist kind of person, you can download the free Trello board as well. And we have got a ton of free resources on our website at Independent Podcast Network. We’ve got new blog posts that come out every week, more podcast episodes like this one. We’ve got videos, I create handouts all the time. So if you are brand new to podcasting, I even have a full podcast courses video courses on the website for free. So whether you’re just getting podcasting, you know just getting started with all of that or you’re thinking about doing ads on your show. I’ve got a whole course that is focused on that. Everything is free for you guys because I love you guys and I want you guys to be successful. Okay, until next week, remember, podcasts are awesome!

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