The VO Atlanta conference is the largest annual event for the voice over industry. This year it was held at the Hilton Atlanta Airport Hotel. It was just four years ago that I stepped into this very same hotel for my first-ever voiceover conference. Immediately I began to have flashbacks of a welcoming environment, the outgoing people I met, the information gathered, and the exuberant feeling I had which continued until the very last minute of the very last day. It was an experience that would not only enlighten my voice acting career but also my mind, body, and spirit.
This year, I was ready for more of the same. So, it’s no coincidence that 2019’s theme for the conference was “REFRESH.”
Come One, Come All: This Conference Welcomes All Skill Levels
Each voiceover artist attending the conference has had their own unique starting point in their career. And after leaving, will likely exhibit a greater degree of professional progression from where they were last year. Attendees range in skill levels from novice to intermediate to established pro. No matter our placement, we realize that we must always remain teachable for our continued success. Whether it’s through working with an established and vetted coach, meet-ups and seminars, or by collaborating with our fellow voice talent.
At this conference, there are non-stop breakout sessions offered to all attendees to improve the business and marketing, performance, and technical aspects of our voiceover businesses. And there are additional subject-specific opportunities for learning with the X-Sessions, which have an intimate audience of up to 12 people, allowing the leader to provide focused long-term attention to each attendee.
English and Spanish-speaking voice talent, Sophia Cruz was at the helm of VO Atlanta En Espanol. This part of the conference parallels the English-speaking activities and contains a fully packed agenda dedicated to the success of Spanish-speaking and bilingual voiceover talent.
I encourage any attendee to arrive with the mindset of an arid cellulose sponge ready to completely absorb every bit of information in this sea of knowledge.
Together We Are One – You Are Not Flying Solo
Prior to becoming a full-time voice actor, I spent several years in the corporate world as a sales and marketing professional. And with that company position came extensive travel to several convention centers to meet with a variety of clientele. And while I certainly encountered some very nice people who turned out to be long-term clients, the VO community is a different animal.
As voice talent, we are often doing self-directed sessions for our recording projects. We are solopreneurs accountable for each idea, decision and directive carried out in our business. Even though some of us are extroverts with an inferiority complex, we are a collective of different types of people who come together because we all have the same passion for this thing called voiceover.
There are no superstars here. Only rising stars who are always continuing to ascend higher. At this gathering, we exchange support, encouragement, and a healthy exchange of ideas.
How to Use Your Right Brain in Your VO Business
For this reason, not all the sessions are about the schematics or diagrams of how to propel and maintain our voice over business. We are given ideas and applications for the emotional side of our business as well. This year was no exception, with an emphasis on successful in-person networking, self-care, the inner game of our marketing efforts, surviving the peaks and valleys of VO, and learning about the winning mindsets to take charge of our careers.
How Will This Conference Make Me Feel?
I never attended summer camp as a kid, but I could only imagine that the bittersweet feeling in my gut at the last minute of that last day, was that of a happy camper. All of you want to stay and continue to stoke that fire in your belly about the craft and the business of voice over. You want to further cultivate your new and old relationships with these like-minded vibrant thinkers. Yet you’re anxious to let loose this adrenaline of newfound energy. You want to leave as soon as possible to get back to your studio and apply this abundance of innovative information.
To paraphrase Maya Angelou, I heard what people said and did while I was here. But most of all, I remember how these people made me feel. This is what I mean when I say that VO Atlanta fed my body, mind, and spirit. If you bring your body, the mind will follow, and your spirit will be filled with all that surrounded you during your time at this conference.
Now It’s Time to Do the Work
Peter Dickson from Gravy for the Brain summed it up best this year when he quoted Vance Havner saying: “The vision must be followed by the venture. It is not enough to stare up the steps – we must step up the stairs.”
Thinking About Attending VO Atlanta?
Yes, the “Refresh” theme for VO Atlanta was spot on. A big thanks to Gerald Griffith, conference founder, and organizer, and his team for another year and another job well done. To learn more about the VO Atlanta conference, visit https://voatlanta.me/. Here you’ll be able to have a look at the detailed descriptions of each Breakout and X-Session in this year’s agenda and get an overall idea of what this conference has to offer anyone interested in investigating, pursuing or improving their voice over career and business.
Thanks for listening. I look forward to talking with you and for you again soon!