My Favorite Thing About Podcast Movement 2014

My Favorite Thing About Podcast Movement 2014

This weekend, I attended Podcast Movement 2014. I considered writing one of the early, big recaps about the conference online — packed full of tasty SEO hooks and smart moves along those lines. But I realized this weekend that kind of thing just isn’t me.

At the same time, I was reminded what is my kind of thing…

The Friday Night Plan

Podcast Movement opened Friday night to a large crowd full of all kinds of cool people there to network. I knocked out day job work early and planned to zip into Dallas to get there before the crowd. I would have done just that were it not for a Coloradan I met years ago and a Haligonian I’d never met until that night…

During a previous conference, I saw a tweet from a guy in Colorado asking for a ride from the airport to the conference site. I previously wrote about it, here — but if you don’t want to read that, here’s the gist: my wife and I planned to arrive early to check into our room and start the weekend, but we left later to give a stranger a ride. In the process, we made a good friend. So when I got a message on Podcast Movement’s community from a guy in Halifax, Nova Scotia who was going to attend the conference, I decided to offer him a ride to Dallas.

It’s not every day someone sends you an introductory message that reads:

“I like the cut of your jib, good sir!”

(Seriously, that was Jesse Harley’s introduction to me.) So later Friday afternoon I offered Jesse a ride to the conference. He sent email during a connecting flight saying he appreciated the offer and would love that, only…he boarded his connecting flight before providing flight info

A Wild Guess

When my workday ended, I headed for DFW Airport. I took a wild guess which flight he was on and decided to sit and wait in Terminal D. (A Halifax flight connecting in Toronto was coming in about the time I figured Jesse would arrive.) I emailed and told him I’d be waiting; I told him if I was in the wrong terminal (I was) that I’d swing to wherever he was to get him. He arrived later than planned and told me where he was. I zipped over there, found him at his baggage claim, and…we quickly realized his bag was lost!

Imagine: you’re coming into a new town for a 3-day conference and you only have the clothes you’re wearing! (The bag didn’t arrive all weekend, although I think Jesse will get to pick it up tomorrow, in time to head home with it.) You’ve arrived late, and you’re tired and hungry after dealing with a baggage claim guy who was so quiet and mumbling and out of it that you start looking for the candid cameras and wait for the punchline.

But the punchline is this:

“Your bag is lost and we have no record of it anywhere.”

Hanging Out (Not in Dallas)

Instead of zipping to the conference, since Jesse was hungry, we got a bite to eat locally. Between being tired, finding out his bag was lost, and the ambiance of a TexMex restaurant (they don’t have those in Halifax), it was a bit surreal for Jesse. When they brought him a margarita the size of his head (and a complimentary shot at the end of the meal that he described as “being punched in the face with a bag of sugar!”), that was the capper. We decided to not rush to Dallas.

I could have been there Friday, making connections that could have helped Men in Gorilla Suits, Hell Comes with Wood Paneled Doorsmy other blog, my YouTube channel, and even hyped the things I’m planning to do in the vaguely-near-future. Instead, I hung out with a really cool new friend, driving around Grapevine Lake and taking the long way to Dallas so we could talk about all kinds of cool and geeky things.

The Best Part of This Weekend

Podcast Movement was a great conference. (They’ve already announced next year’s venue: The Omni Hotel in Ft. Worth.) I enjoyed today more than yesterday; today, the sessions seemed more about specifics and less about hype. I got to see friends and meet new people. I was reminded again of my initial shyness in crowds, but how I quickly open up because I love hearing about what others are up to — more than telling people what I do.

You might think the best thing about this weekend was meeting Jesse — and in many ways you’d be right. But the absolute best thing was introducing Jesse to Mason Pelt.

Like Jesse, Mason is obsessed with media — especially video. I’ve known and respected Mason for years and figured he and Jesse would get along great.

Here’s proof that they did:

 Jesse Harley and Mason Pelt

Lost luggage and three days in the same clothes be damned! When Jesse Harley talks about video production, he becomes a blur of excitement.

What I’m Good At

If you ask me what I’m good at, my answer is usually, “Juggling, writing, being nice to people, and listening.”

I’m not the best at pushing my own stuff, but I’m good about taking chances and introducing people to each other — even if it doesn’t benefit me in any way.

Seeing Jesse and Mason chatting was the best part of my weekend.

On Second Thought…

Okay, I lied: this was the best part of the weekend!

Jesse Harley and Christopher Gronlund and Podcast Movement 2014

Any time you can help out someone you don’t know and — after a taking a silly photo — get a big hug goodbye and part good friends is a great weekend!

Here’s to a safe trip home tomorrow, Jesse…and to hoping the airline has a lost bag full of clean clothes waiting for you just in time for the return trip to Nova Scotia!


  1. Great wright up and thanks for the shout out!

  2. Christopher Gronlund says

    Thanks, Mason. It was nice bumping into you, there. It was an impressive conference, especially for a first-time show. I do hope next year that the, “Make money!/Hype!” aspect is toned down a bit, and there are more practical sessions and bigger guests beside those who are all about making money. At the same time, I understand that’s what people want, but there sadly seemed to be a lack of people doing it for the love of it all, or bigger podcasters doing things other than talking about how to make money podcasting.

  3. Jesse Harley says

    How did I not post a reply to this before??
    I love this post, and I’m glad I have it to refresh my memories! It was certainly a fun night and a fun event, and I still find myself telling others about it.

    Not sure I’ll come to the next podcast movement (you’re right, the last one was all about making money, not that there’s anything wrong with that), but I might be able to be persuaded. I’ll check out their posts from time to time.

    Thanks again for the well-wishing and fond memories!

  4. Christopher Gronlund says

    It was worth it just for the friendship. Somehow, I’d love to make it to Houston to see your feature at the film fest next week!

    I got a ticket to Podcast Movement 2015, but…it’s easy for me: I’m local. It DOES appear that they are expanding focus. We will see… 😉

  5. You are a good soul, Christopher. And if Podcast Movement if filled with people of a similar spirit… well, I may have to attend that conference one day.

    Thanks for sharing a great story.

  6. Christopher Gronlund says

    Thank you, Paul. There are definitely some very good people attending Podcast Movement. I think it will still largely be people who want to do yet another “entrepreneur interviewing an entrepreneur” show, but I’ve even met a handful of people like that who are good.


  1. […] Last weekend, I attended Podcast Movement 2014, in Dallas. Over 600 podcasters from all over the world descended on the area. (If you’re interested, I wrote about it here.) […]

  2. […] it’s just me, but I’d rather have an experience like this (or this), instead of desperately trying to put what I do into the heads of a bigger […]

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