VO Atlanta 2019 – From a Producer’s Perspective
'' VO Atlanta is the largest voiceover conference in the world. There are over 700 participants from 20 countries.
There's a separate Spanish program and a growing Portuguese audience. Not to mention the number of Brits who cross the pond to attend and to present. But this year was different…and not just for me because I was in a new role. It was different because the location, the presenters and the attendees took the energy to a whole new level.
For the past two years, I had been a presenter for the eLearning/Narration track at the conference. In 2018 I was the Team Lead and helped organize our little part of the conference. During our many discussions, Gerald Griffith, the conference founder and Executive Producer, recognized my organizational skills and producing “tendencies.” We shared many long conversations about the running of such a large event and the dreams he had to increase its value to everyone. In November 2018, he offered me the job of Virtual Conference Producer. I was to help him re-launch an idea he had to Live Stream the conference to people that were unable to attend in person but to also record all the sessions so that the content was available to people after the event. So much is happening at one time during the conference – 6 sessions every hour! – that you just can’t see it all. This was going to be a great solution.
I have a background in film and TV production and I was a producer for 12 years before going into voiceover full-time. Using those skills, I was tasked with heading the Audio/Visual department and working with the great crew to record the sessions and live stream the events taking place on the main stage. It was quite an undertaking – lots of moving parts – but a wonderful experience. We overcame a few technical challenges and some last minute personnel issues to create an outstanding event for the live stream attendees as well as those attending in person.
My favourite moment was helping orchestrate a meeting between two very special people. Gerald had extended an invitation for a young Atlanta girl that is undergoing cancer treatment to be a Junior Ambassador at the conference. Her dream is to be the voice of a cartoon character. She had previously written to Bob Bergen, the voice of Porky the Pig, who just happened to be presenting at this year’s conference. I arranged for them to meet for the very first time face to face. We captured it on video. Bob later told me that experience was his favourite moment and made his entire trip worth it!
This year I saw the conference from a different perspective. Not as an attendee, not as a presenter but from a 10,000-foot view. The thing I loved the most was watching everyone enjoy the conference from their perspective. I had precious little time to sit and catch up with my friends and colleagues but when I did, they were very complimentary of the conference and their experience. That is the ultimate compliment to a job so well done by Gerald, the crew and everyone involved behind the scenes. ''