Going to Las Vegas after a long cruel Canadian winter was an easy decision. With temps in the mid to high 20’s (80’s for my American friends), really, it was a no brainer. I don’t think it’s been that warm in Southern Ontario since around September!
Attending a conference filled with people was a little tougher. Call it a product of decades working in isolated booths in radio, television and voice over. I’m shy. Shy might be an understatement. I’m more like borderline hermit. Regardless, I was excited to attend WoVOCon 2 and I was ready to learn.
What did I learn, exactly? Well, I learned a few things…
On Saturday morning, Uncle Roy (Roy B Yokelson) and Anthony Gettig caught up with me in an elevator. I had never met either of them. That didn’t stop them both from offering handshakes, a friendly welcome, and an invitation to join them for breakfast.
I stepped out of a session on marketing and the delightful Anne Ganguzza was waiting for me in the hall. She heard I was in attendance and was determined to meet me. Arms wide open, she offered a big hug and then spent 10 minutes making me blush. Anne Ganguzza is a fan of mine? How’s that even possible? I’m the one that’s the fan of her!!
Dave Courvosier and I have been chatting on Twitter for years. He’s even called me a couple times to encourage me just because that’s what Dave does. Is there a more genuine guy in our business? Dave commented several times leading up to the conference that he was looking forward to meeting me in person. When our paths finally crossed, there was a firm handshake, a warm smile and some free advice from the legend himself!
These are just a few stories of dozens I could tell from my weekend.
One thing I learned at WoVoCon was what an amazing community I’m privileged to be part of. If I’m being honest, at times over the weekend the term community wouldn’t even be appropriate. It really did feel more like family.
In all the years I’ve been doing voice over I’ve been so blessed to never be taken advantage of by a client. However, it’s an unfortunate situation I’ve recently found myself in for the first time and my efforts to resolve it, to this point, have been unsuccessful.
Until this weekend I’d never met Dustin Ebaugh. That didn’t stop him from lending an ear and offering much needed advice on a frustrating situation. I can’t tell you how much I appreciated Dustin’s time and wisdom. Thanks to him, I feel like I’m finally heading in a direction that will bring resolution.
Sunday afternoon I caught Uncle Roy in the hall between sessions and asked him an impossible question to answer. “I’m looking for a mic and pre I can use in my home studio, but that’s portable enough I can travel with it anywhere. What do you recommend?” Yeah… like that’s an easy answer!!
Uncle Roy offered some insight. Jodi Krangle joined in the conversation and also offered some thoughts on the subject. They took the time to walk through the options and the conversation ended with me feeling much less overwhelmed by all the choices.
Another thing I learned at WoVOCon is that people really care. When you’ve got a problem, when you’re stuck on something, when you’re looking for some advice, there are talented, wise people whom all care about you enough to help.
My goal heading into the weekend was to learn as much as possible about marketing my voice over business more effectively. Most of the sessions I was planning to attend all had to do with marketing in one form or another.
After some of the sessions I walked away feeling slightly frustrated. I knew many of the things the presenters were talking about. In fact, I was already doing many of the things they talked about. I’d even blogged about many of their strategies and techniques.
What does that mean, I wondered to myself? If I know this stuff, if I’m already doing this stuff, what am I doing wrong? What do I need to do differently to take my business to the next level?
I took a scenic drive to the Red Rock Canyon area on my last day in Vegas, (thank you Andrea Hadhazy for the amazing recommendation). As I was doing the loop around 159 (and between stopping every five miles to be a tourist and take a hundred pictures) something hit me.
I finally realized the most valuable lesson I learned this weekend at WoVOCon.
When it hit me, I’m not going to lie, I got a little emotional.
Countless people came up to me this weekend to introduce themselves and tell me how much they appreciate my blogs and how much they’ve been encouraged by them. It was all really embarrassing for me, to tell you the truth. I’d get all flustered and wouldn’t really know how to respond. I’d much prefer to avoid any spotlights or attention.
As I reflected on this fact, while taking random pictures of breathtaking mountain views, it occurred to me that the most valuable lesson I learned at WoVOCon 2 was one in self confidence. You see, I do know what I’m doing, apparently. Now I just need to work on believing it a little more.
I’m really great at encouraging and supporting others, but, perhaps, I need to get a little better at encouraging and supporting myself!
To each and every person I met at WoVOCon this weekend, to all of you that shook my hand, said hello, offered an encouraging word, asked me to pose for a selfie more than once (yes, you Anne!), I want you to know that because of you, I’ve returned home inspired, encouraged, blessed and much more confident!
The lesson you’ve helped me learn this weekend is going to be what propels my voice over business to the next level!
Oh, and one more thing, I can’t wait to see you all next year! Is it too soon to start counting down?