I’m Leaving on a Jet Plane…
Yes, even in the midst of the mounting news about the delta variant, with great enthusiasm I am packing my bags and flying to, of all places, Dallas, TX for the OneVoice Conference. Why? Because the amazing J. Michael Collins and his team have worked hard to create a lineup that is great for both newcomers and established professionals alike. And if you think I’ve been flying about so what’s one more trip, this is actually the first flight I am taking since the pandemic began. So I want to explain up front why I am comfortable and what your options are before we delve into the details about the conference.
The conference is being held at a Hyatt on airport property. Consequently, masks are required while in all common spaces. This would not have been true had they chosen a different site. I plan to mask up while indoors except for at meals and when I am presenting. Next, J. Michael explains that there will be about 300 people in attendance at OneVoice. Last week there was an anime conference at our venue. They hosted 1000 guests and that dod not feel crowded, so with only 300 voice actors, we should have ample room to distance. It is also important to note that it is the policy of the conference that you have up until the day before to cancel for a full refund or switch to an online pass with no questions asked. J. Michael explained that because he, Hugh Edwards, and Peter Dickson earn their income in other ways, they can offer this level of flexibility to conference attendees. When I heard this, I was blown away by their generosity of spirit and level of understand. Running a conference is hard enough, and these guys are really putting others’ needs first. Lastly, J. Michael talked about the availability of rapid tests for those who feel they need them. Lastly, then conference team even have different lanyards to distinguish between those who want hugs and those who prefer to distance. I will take hugs! For me personally, as I have family members with precarious health concerns, I plan to quarantine for three days post travel and already have a PCR test scheduled at CVS for day 3. So, will all that thought of, I have an array of masks and some travel air purifiers and I will come with all the enthusiasm in my heart.
When they could have had the conference anywhere in the country, I was curious how J. Michael came to choose Dallas. He explained that its central location was a huge draw, making it easy for everyone to get to. JMC explains that it is much more cosmopolitan than people realize, and that it has Diana Birdsall who now lives in Dallas conquered that it has become quite a melting pot. In addition to the vibrant culture, the restaurant offerings, and the sports, it’s a city that has grown up and a place we would all be excited to visit. When we asked J. Michael if he plans to keep the conference there going forward he said he yes, he loves building a relationship with a venue and he wants us to be treated well going forward.
The Tech of the OneVoice
For those who don’t know, Hugh Edwards has created his own platform called reattendance. This offers seamless virtual conferencing. They are also working with an AV company local to Dallas and Uncle Roy Yokelson of Antland Productions is in charge of everything Tech on site. For all attendees, whether in person or remote, you will have access to the recordings of the sessions.
The Awards Night
In the UK, the OneVoice awards are the only awards for voice over talent there are. When they brought the conference to the US this year, they had over 2000 submissions. Unlike other awards events, it is free to enter and the statue is free. JMC said we need as many celebrations of what we do as possible, and I rather agree! This is just another opportunity to lift each other up.
Some of the Highlights
J. Michael tells us he is really excited about the blend of living legends and rising stars at the conference. He says that they keynotes will be wonderful. He is excited about guests like Joe Cipriano, Randall Ryan, Melissa Disney, Vince Lebica, and Bill Farmer. He is also really excited about the workshops, some of which still have availability.
Other Details to Note
There will be a TriBooth available for use. With the exception of the awards night, all meals are on your own. There is a restaurant in the hotel that will be open 3 meals a day. Pastries and coffee with be out in the morning in the conference area. About 5 minutes from the hotel by car there are several great restaurants. Attendees and presenters ca park for free in terminal C which connects. Please note, there are two Hyatts at the Dallas airport hotel. The conference is at the Hyatt Regency across from terminal C. There is a shuttle. For those who need more assistance J. Michael recommends blacklane.com.
Our Demo Giveaway
If you missed it in our earlier postings, we are doing a commercial demo giveaway to OneVoice USA attendees! Here is the info and good luck:)