There are so many great voiceover conferences. I remember my reluctance at first to attend. I was convinced it would be table after table of bad demo producers. I thought everyone would be trying to sell me something that I had to have as a VO talent.
What I found was totally different! I made amazing connections — connections that have lasted. Now I can only speak to attending the WoVo Las Vegas Conference (part of the World-Voices organization, of which we are members), VO Atlanta, and That’s Voiceover. They are all completely different.
Here are my quick thoughts:
WoVo Con – Las Vegas October 2019.
I loved this conference. I will be attending every year. Not only was it small enough to feel manageable to leave work for three days, but I had meaningful conversations with the same people over multiple days. I met the people I needed to meet. With 120 attendees, it was just the right size.
As far as breakout sessions and classes, we had some of the best folks there. Bob Bergen (WB’s Porky Pig) gave the keynote, Mary Lynn Wissner taught a three-hour session the day before, and the breakout sessions were quality. Most importantly, I came away with 50+ new friends. It was amazing. Cost to attend is approximately $350 in advance if you are a member. A little more if you are not a member. I will be there this fall.
This is a big one. 750+ attendees. But I have to say, it was still terrific, if a little on the large side. I still made amazing networking contacts and new friends, but fewer than I did at WoVo. The breakout sessions where so numerous there was no way I could attend them all. But I liked all but one that I attended. And nowhere, including in the exhibition hall, did I find shady folks selling stuff I did not need. Everything and everyone there had been carefully screened by Gerald Griffith, the organizer, and they were legit. Now, there are voice talents that find this to be the BEST conference and they attend every year. It’s pricey. The room, travel and conference can run you $1500- and then you’ll want to do one or two (or more) x-sessions (completely worth it to experience some of the best VO trainers at one time). Those x-sessions run $190-$250 for each three-hour class. So, $$$. And you should attend at least once if you can.
That’s Voiceover and the SOVAS Awards
When I attended in LA in 2016, this one had an “entertainment” feel to it. Lots of great networking but no breakout sessions. You spend one day watching panels of VO superstars- which is fun but not as interactive or educational. However, there is a fantastic opportunity to audition into a “round robin” session where between 6-10 agents/talent/working pros get to hear your demo and give you direct feedback. I found that session to be outstanding and I made a number of great connections in that 30 minutes. The second day includes the SOVA Awards and Gala. I have not attended the Society of Voice Arts Awards ceremony, so I cannot speak to that part of the conference.
All in all, conferences help keep you in touch with what’s going on in the world of VO, will help you make outstanding contacts and they are a wonderful way to improve your craft.