VO Atlanta is almost here. A lot of people are talking about it. There are posts all over Facebook and other social media. You can’t seem to get away from it. Am I the only one tired of hearing about it? I mean, it’s just a conference.
Just because people regularly say they have met some of their best friends in the industry—or even best friends in life—at this conference doesn’t mean all that much. And when they talk about how those people are the ones that support them, challenge them and provide a shoulder they can lean on when the chips are down… how valuable is that?
I know others who say that the things they learned at a conference transformed their performance or their approach to their business, but that’s not exceptional, is it? Won’t a Zoom call do the same?
When post after post goes on and on about how much fun they had, it gets to be a bit much, right? And don’t get me started on ALL the pictures of smiling faces, laughing faces, hugs, singing, dancing, eating together and all that stuff. Please. It can’t have been that awesome. It’s just a conference.
If you are a part of the VO world, you undoubtedly you have heard people say that they have made professional connections at VOA which have bloomed into relationships which influenced and nurtured their career for years afterward. That’s nice and all, but that doesn’t mean the conference was the catalyst. That could happen anywhere, am I right?
I’ll admit that the 3-hour intensive small group training available from top industry pros is nice, but just because you get to read for them, get directed by them and receive feedback tailored specifically for you isn’t all that, let alone a bag of chips. You could always watch another free YouTube video or two to get what you need, so what is the big deal?
Yes, I admit my experience of VO conferences is limited and I have never been to VO Atlanta in person, but come on, let’s be realistic. It’s just a conference. The whole thing is WAY overblown.
What if it isn’t? What if VOA really does provide an opportunity for all of the above? Would it be worth the cost?
Can you quantify the value of friends who share your love of voiceover and can relate to the struggles you have?
Would it be helpful to get a TON of training and information all in one place over a couple of days so you can use it right away? What about if you made new connections in the industry? Found accountability buddies? Would it be valuable to you to be inspired to go further in your performance or business than you had thought possible? Given confidence and motivation to try?
What if you found that one coach you have been looking for who perfectly fits where you are at right now and where you want to go? Where could you be in six months if you receive that one bit of feedback which is a lightbulb moment for you, making all the pieces in your understanding come together?
Of what value is inspiration? Motivation? Not to mention a chance to relax, let your (in my case, proverbial) hair down and discover that you fit and are accepted into this very unique family? How do you value belonging?
But again, let’s keep our feet on planet Earth here. Is all of that really possible, or is it just a conference?
I’ve had enough
Speculation aside, I am really am tired of hearing all the testimony from conferences past. I am totally over the pictures and the posts. If I see another video snippet or another ad for a specific session, I may scream.
I. Am. Over. It.
I am so tired of hearing about it… because I am SOOO tired of waiting! Let it happen already! My long drive to Atlanta is tomorrow and I am chomping at the proverbial bit to be there, reconnect with people I know and add many more to my list of friends. I want the hugs*. I want the handshakes*. I want to see smiles and I want to absorb like a sponge all the learning I can soak up. Bring it on already!
If VO Atlanta isn’t on your schedule this year, one of the other voiceover conferences should be. It may be just a conference, but it is also a tremendous opportunity and I plan on making everything that I can of it. Like most things in life, you get out of it what you put in. Your greatest benefit will come when you go outside of your comfort zone, take personal and professional risks, and plunge ahead even if your confidence hasn’t caught up to your actions. This applies whether you are attending in person or virtually.
If you are attending in person, please say hi if you see me!
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Thanks for reading.
*Have no fear! Extreme self control will be required, but if you would prefer to keep your distance for health reasons, I will honor that.