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CONFERENCE GUIDE SERIES
How To Get The Most From Voice Over
Conferences: Part 1 - Plan Before You Go

By Natasha Marchewka
Voice Actor

Our voice over industry is fortunate to have a community that wants to give back and share knowledge, which very often happens in the form of a conference.

VO conferences take place all over the country…and the world! 

But why network with your peers and, essentially, your competition?

For the most part, when going to an industry function, most of the people ARE NOT your competition. They are not YOU. We have our unique way of being and doing.

Walking in with that attitude welcomes connections with EVERYONE.

Still, the attendees are those who do what you do every day, and who generally live the same lifestyle as you. As a result, you receive A LOT from interacting for: support, empathy, understanding your business issues and resources. All this helps you to raise your own game and educate you as to where you stand.

I absolutely LOVE voice over conferences because of the educational opportunities, the chance to see my voice over kinfolk, and time out of the studio to re-energize my enthusiasm for my business.

And for me, there's nothing like being amongst other talent to feel fully at-home and in my lane.

Following is Part 1 of a three-part series on getting the most from your VO conference experience.

PRE-CONFERENCE PLANNING

When committing to attend a voice over conference, I make intuitive lists for conference strategies. This allows me to not only be prepared and organized (important for someone who gets overwhelmed), but to make the most of my time and enjoy the event to the fullest.

Here are some of my voice over conference pre-planning strategies.

1. Plan Your Objectives
  • What is my focus for this event?
  • Do I simply want to take in all the information and goodness while I'm there?
  • Am I looking to meet certain people?
  • Or, am I wanting to interact with as many people as possible?
While it would stand to reason that you'd want to do ALL of the above, the plan of action depends on:
  • which conference you're going to,
  • how long you'll be there,
  • how many other conferences have you been to, and
  • where you are in the learning curve of your business and career.
Biting off more than you can chew will leave you sorely overwhelmed and overstimulated.

2. Plan And Order Promotional Material

If your objective is to meet as many people as possible (because you haven't been to a conference before), maybe you want to create promotional item giveaways as ice breakers to conversation.

Or maybe you want to save your money and simply see who you meet along the way?

Your choices mostly depend on your conference objectives.

But you don't really need anything other than your business card.

3. Pack Special Items That Make Your Hotel Stay More Comfortable

Because traveling can sometimes be arduous, and you want to have the best possible experience at your event, you'll want anything that keeps you grounded and comfortable while staying in a hotel.

Some things I consider bringing along are candles or aromatherapy (you never know what your room will smell like), granola bars, fruit and easy snacks - and music or meditations for sleeping or maintaining a relaxed atmosphere in your room.

I HIGHLY recommend popping out upon arrival and purchasing as much purified water as you can, if possible.

4. Plan Your Schedule 

To avoid baptism by fire or missing out on something great, I like to plan my conference schedule, looking through the agenda thoroughly ahead of time, providing myself A, B, & C choices on sessions when appropriate.

You don't want to arrive at a conference and immediately be overwhelmed by the choices.

Sometimes there are SO many sessions back-to-back that you need a plan of action on where to be and when.

5. Schedule Enough Sleep

Networking and taking in conference education are both very demanding. I actually schedule approximate bedtimes and waking times in order to be in tip top shape each day. Not sure if I'm the only one who needs 8 ½ hours sleep, (some people seem to be fine on much less), but I will not enjoy my days if I haven't had my required allotment. (Why you need to think about "sleep for success" as a voice actor.)

6. Avoid Illness At All Costs

I hope it goes without saying that you don't want to get sick before, during, or after a conference. Being able to get on with the business of recording at any time means being completely well.

Further, anyone who networks amongst voice actors while being ill will be vilified. Please, PLEASE… do everything in your power to stay extremely healthy. You'll contribute to the wellness of your whole community. (Here are my tips for being a Vocal Health Ninja.)


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ABOUT NATASHA
Natasha Marchewka is… only human – a fact she fully embraces in her voice over work. She's authentic, down-to-earth and connects with her audiences on a personal level. With a full-time VO business since 2006, Natasha has experience and business acumen to accompany her warm voice excellence. She's worked with clients such as First Horizon Bank, Universal Studios, Florida Tourism, and more. Natasha is a co-producer and co-host of the "Speechless VO" webcast (@SpeechlessVO) and co-creator of V123Pros.com. Before VO, Natasha earned a BAA in Radio and Television Arts from The Creative School at the Toronto Metropolitan University. She spent several years singing in clubs in New York City and paying her dues in many different media and entertainment jobs. She has two teens, a rescue Dane, a miniature Poodle, and a love of Yoga and meditation.

Voice Over Web: www.natashamarchewka.com
V123Pros.com web: https://www.v123pros.com
Speechless VO webcast: https://www.speechlessvo.com


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