Attending a conference like VO Atlanta is a big investment. Take note of that, by the way. I said investment. Not expense. They’re two different things!
By the time I paid for registration, flight, hotel and a near 40% USD exchange rate, I’m over $2,000 in. To me, though, it’s worth every dime!
Maybe you don’t have to book a flight. Maybe you’re splitting a hotel. Maybe you’re local and you’re only paying for registration. No matter what your financial investment is, they key to drawing maximum benefit for your investment and optimizing that return is having a plan.
Don’t just show up and see what happens. Be intentional about getting every last drop of value you can from the conference. Do that, and in the long run it’ll pay for itself ten fold and more!
See you there!
5 Tips For Getting the Most Out of VO Atlanta
For Comment: What session are you most excited about attending?
Did you miss out on VO Atlanta this year? This is for you! I took a break from the action on the weekend to shoot a quick video sharing some of my top takeaways from the conference. There's always something new to learn, no matter where you're at in your #voiceover career.
What were some of your favourite takeaways from the event? I’d love to hear them. Comment below.
It doesn’t take much convincing to get a Canadian to travel to Florida in November. In fact, all it took was a single email from Randy Thomas inviting me to her VO Mastery Summit. When it’s snowing at home, who wouldn’t want to spend a weekend in Ft Myers?!
Saturday was packed full of sessions with some of the best coaches, talent and mentors our industry has to offer. With my Macbook in hand, I was busy typing all kinds of notes and making a list of action items. From all of those notes, I wanted to share a few of the key takeaways from the event, for those of you unable to attend.
5 Takeaways From VO Mastery 2015
Spelling Matters: Doug Turkel is a branding genius, and I was thrilled to spend some time listening to him share. One of my best takeaways from the event came from him. Doug has branded himself as the unnouncer (which is brilliant), but he noted it’s easily mispronounced or misspelled. Many think it’s unannouncer. For that reason, he registered the .com’s for both.
My name is Marc. With a “c.” It’s been spelled wrong since my birth. As Doug was speaking, I jumped online, registered markscottvoiceover.com and set it up to forward to my main site.
Whose Clients?: One of the things the CEO of a certain P2P site said in a recent interview that offended and upset a lot of talent was that the clients on their site belonged to the site; despite the fact we (as the talent) are providing all the work. We believe they are our clients!
J Michael Collins is, perhaps, the foremost expert when it comes to casting sites, and he boldly proclaimed from the stage that despite what any CEO may say, they are indeed our clients!
Positively Awesome: Don Abbott started off the event on Saturday morning. What a fantastic way to launch into the day. Don’s presentation was simply awesome, and his energy was infectious. By the end, every person in the room was smiling and feeling great… even if it was really early for some of us! 😉
One thing he said that stuck was this, “The day you automatically think, act and speak positively, you will be a positive person. From that day forward, nothing will be impossible!” Is that powerful stuff or what?!
Staggering Stats: During a session on marketing Jonathan Tilley tossed out a factoid that caused my jaw to hit the floor. If you’re struggling to put together a website, or have just thrown together some free or cheap placeholder, this stat might very well cause you to re-evaluate your decision.
46% of people say a website design is the deciding factor for them on a persons credibility. I guess it all goes back to the timeless saying, you never get a second chance to make a first impression!
Tease Please: Peter Rofé did a session titled, “Mastering the Basics: Commercial and Character Acting for Animation.” It was a great session filled with a lot of great info and some of the best voice over demos I’ve ever heard! While I could probably write an entire blog just from the notes I wrote during his session, there’s one thing he said that really stuck out.
While speaking of demos he encouraged us to showcase just enough to make them [client] want to call you. Teasers. Don’t give it all away. I’ve listened to demos that are too long, and I’ve listened to demos that definitely give it all away. Working with a professional producer is going to help you create the perfect tease that will make them [clients] want to call!
VO Mastery Summit 2016?
Randy Thomas and her team really did do a great job putting together the Summit. I’d also like to give a special mention to Chovitta Ariza. If you don’t think it’s possible to be in multiple places at the same time, clearly you’ve never watched Chovitta do her magic at an event. She was everywhere, all the time! Making sure things were running smoothly and everyone had everything they needed.
The dates for next years VO Mastery Summit have already been announced. If you were thinking about attending this year and didn’t, perhaps you’ll want to look ahead to next year, November 4-6, 2016.
Lately there have been a few really great discussion threads on the topic of voice over conferences. Why to attend them? Why not to attend them? What purpose do they serve? I shared a few quick thoughts on one of the threads, but thought I’d expand on it a bit further here.
Before we dive in, let me say if you’re thinking you’re going to find voice over clients, you’re coming from the wrong direction. That’s not the purpose of these conference. Not directly, anyway. Does that mean they have no value? If they have no work potential, that is? Absolutely not! Personally, I think they come with a ton of potential for new opportunities.
5 Reasons To Attend A Voice Over Conference
Personal Development: An investment in your personal development is never a bad investment. If you attend these conferences with an open mind, you can learn a ton! Here’s just one example. While sitting in on a session about Adobe Audition hosted by Uncle Roy, I learned two tricks in the software I wasn’t previously aware of. I can’t even begin to tell you how much time those tricks have saved me!
Networking: Meeting and connecting with fellow VO’s is great, but it goes beyond that. Looking for a new demo? Odds are you’ll connect with a producer. Looking for a new demo player? I met Bob Merkel and discovered VoiceZam at WoVO Con. Need help with a legal matter? Also thanks to WoVO, I was connected to Rob Sciglimpaglia, who helped me resolve an issue. You’ll meet all kinds of people who can help you in your business.
Confidence Boost: For me, attending a conference is a big step outside my comfort zone. I’m very introverted and shy. Being in a big group of people like that can be stressful for me. However, once I started meeting people, having conversations and developing relationships, my confidence grew. An unexpected and welcome result!
Creativity: Between the sessions I attended, the people I met, the stories I heard and the stories I told, I walked away from WoVO Con with a renewed creative drive. Coming home, I re-evaluated a number of aspects of my business and made some changes based on things I learned.
New Work: No, you’re not likely to meet new clients. Yes, you are likely to learn tips, tricks and techniques to help you find new work. Attending one great session on social media or marketing can make a world of difference in your business. This simple truth is reason enough to attend on its own.
Pick One; Plan To Attend
There are a lot of arguments why not to attend. Cost is always one of the biggest ones. I want to challenge that mindset. Stop looking at voice over conferences as a cost. Instead, see them as an investment. That’s what they are. Not unlike purchasing a microphone, making an ad buy on Facebook, picking up supplies for your office or adding a new piece of equipment to your audio chain.
Stop looking at voice over conferences as a cost. Instead, see them as an investment. Click To Tweet
WoVO Con was a brilliant investment for me in 2015. Honestly, one of my best investments dollar for dollar when looking at the value I walked away with. That’s why it’s absolutely going on my schedule for 2016 when the next one is announced.
Whether it’s WoVO, VO Atlanta, FaffCon or any other one that’s out there, I strongly encourage you to consider attending at least one. Check out the speakers. Review the schedule. See the sessions being offered. Decide which one will give you the most value, then set a goal and make a plan to attend. You won’t regret it!