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Our Websites are Closing

The IT Conversations website will be shutting down at the end of 2012. All of our programs will continue to be available online for free. For more information, please see Executive Director Doug Kaye's blog post.



IT Conversations
Executive Producer

Publishing Your Event

What is The Conversations Network?

See the detailed description of our mission.

How does The Conversations Network cover events?

We operate two tiers: a collection of curated channels and a grassroots team of producers known as PodCorps.org. Within the scope and topics of our channels, The Conversations Network accepts high-quality recordings of spoken-word events, handles all post-production chores, and publishes the presentations as MP3 files (podcasts) for free downloading and streaming by the public.

For events that fall outside the guidelines of our curated channels, producers can add their events to our database, which we then use to locate someone to record audio or video from our all-volunteer worldwide staff of PodCorps.org.

Will The Conversations Network record our event?

Yes, if you submit your event to PodCorps.org and we can find one more more volunteers. For events published on our curated channels, however, that is your responsibility. Most curated-channel events are recorded by the same audio-visual contractor that provides the live public-address services. Make sure you read our Audio Submission Guidelines and ask your contractor to read them as well.

How much will it cost us?

For our curated channels, beyond your cost of professionally recording your event, the costs of editing, post-production, hosting and content delivery are funded by underwriting sponsorships and memberships. The Conversations Network is a lot like public radio in this regard. We will work together to locate the underwriters for the coverage of your event.

How much do The Conversations Network listeners pay?

Nothing. The Conversations Network is free to all visitors. Paid membership, which supports our operations and infrastructure, is optional.

How many listeners will hear our programs?

It varies greatly, but our rule of thumb is to expect 100x as many listeners as you have attendees at your in-person event. For example, if 400 people attend your event, you might have 40,000 unique individuals listen to the audio from that event. The most popular programs on IT Conversations, our flagship channel, have been downloaded more than 200,000 times. The average is approximately 25,000 downloads per program on that channel. Yes, the in-person attendance represents only 1% of the total number of people you will ultimately influence.

But we could sell our recordings. Why should we give them to The Conversations Network?

What will your net income be from the sale of recordings after you cover your expenses? Maybe a few thousand dollars? Maybe far less? Compare that to the benefits of extending your audience by perhaps 100x at no additional cost once you've recorded your event. And consider the value of having the best sessions from your event available online when it comes time to ramp-up registrations for next-year's event.

Won't free audio discourage attendance and cannibalize registrations?

This is the question we're asked more often than any other. The answer is No, and here are the reasons why:

  • Timed release. We typically publish the audio from events at the rate of one program per week. If an event includes 25 sessions, for example, it will be released over a six-month period.
  • Non-overlapping audiences. Cast yourself in the role of a prospective attendee. Can you imagine having enough interest to pay the registration fee and perhaps the travel and hotel expenses, but instead saying, "You know, I could just wait to get the audio over the next six months." It's been our experience that the sets of people in each audience (attendees and listeners) have very little overlap.
  • We don't publish everything. We typically only publish the single-track sessions of an event, not the overlapping breakouts. This increases the differentiation between the live-attendance and stay-at-home experiences.
  • Audio encourages future attendance. Every time we publish an event, we get comments from listeners who tell us it convinced them to attend the next year.

Is our relationship with The Conversations Network exclusive?

Only for our curated channels, not for recordings made via PodCorps.org. Our mission is to publish events that otherwise would not be available to the public. So if you're going to post your recordings elsewhere, our limited resources will be put to better use publishing other events that need our help more. You must agree not to publish competitive on-demand audio of the sessions covered by The Conversations Network, and not to allow any third party to do so.

Do we have to sign a contract?

Only for content published on our curated channels. We have a standard agreement which is available upon request. We have continuously updated the contract to meet the needs of a wide range of events.

How much will we have to do?

Very little. Once we sign an agreement, you'll put us in touch with your event-planning staff, your webmaster (to cross-promote our web sites), and your audio/visual contractor. Our producers will take care of everything else.

What rights does The Conversations Network have to the recordings?

If you make the recordings, you own them. Because we invest a great deal in post-production, The Conversations Network owns the rights to our derivative versions published on our curated channels.

Will The Conversations Network publish our entire event?

We only publish programs that are educational, inspirational and entertaining. We also have exacting broadcast-quality standards for audio. One way our engineers and producers maintain our high standards of quality is by rejecting any session that doesn't make the grade. Don't be surprised, therefore, if not all of your event's presentations appear on our network. Any sessions we choose not to publish are exempt from our requirement for exclusivity, so you're free to publish them elsewhere.

What about permissions from our speakers?

Chances are your existing releases already cover publishing audio on the Internet, but if not we can provide the one-page agreement you will need.