Faffcon 4: A Brief Post-Mortem

Faffcon 4_ A Brief Post-Mortem

I’m stoked to have recently returned from my second Faffcon (the voiceover un-conference), which ran from the 22nd to the 26th of  March in Ventura, California.

I know, the blog’s a little late…

After a couple of airline delays and a week or so to catch up on recording and finalising the new website, I now have the chance to debrief and process Faffcon 4 properly.

Faffcon is a wonderful event and if I hadn’t attended the last one in Harrisburg, PA, I probably wouldn’t have this fantastic new branding and website. Faffcon is unlike most other conferences, with more of a focus on camaraderie and sharing your own golden nuggets of information, as well as taking away those contributed by others.

The lovely CC Heim has compiled a great list of the reasons that Faffcon is so beneficial and enjoyable on her blog. Since I couldn’t say it better myself, I’ll recommend that you read what she has written.

In addition, my friend Bob Souer (who is a key, sustaining sponsor of the event – thanks, Bob!) has penned some great articles and thoughts on Faffcon, which you can read at his blog. Speaking of sponsors…they’re totally awesome for making Faffcon what it is, and you can check out a comprehensive list at my pal Peter O’Connell’s blog.

Faffcon means hanging out with my people. I love spending time with my friends back home and folks in the local business community, but Faffcon is the opportunity to be around friends who understand what life is like being a working professional in the voiceover industry. They aren’t strangers to the highs and lows and the common technical difficulties that have us removing hair, handfuls at a time. I think this is time and money well spent for any professional, particularly those who don’t spend their days in a conventional workplace with colleagues.

There were so many great sessions, and rather than try to acknowledge everyone, let me just say that if you led or facilitated a topic, I appreciate your contribution whether I attended or not. Once I’ve properly digested the information over the coming months, I’d like to post reflections on some of the topics presented at Faffcon and introduce you to the folks responsible.

I also managed to push myself a little outside of my comfort zone this Faffcon. As much as I consider myself to be a pretty outgoing and relaxed person, the thought of leading a session at Faffcon 3 and 4 got me a little jittery. Though I earn my living with voiceover and have studied and worked really hard to get where I am, I didn’t feel that I had anything valuable to offer that hadn’t already been presented by my talented colleagues. However, I was randomly inspired to share some of the techniques and tools that I use for maintaining focus during my self-employed day and also what I call “mining the internet”. As voiceover artists, we are often solo business owners working from home and you have to learn to be pretty resourceful. Over the years, my friends have passed on some awesome websites and tools for hunting down opportunities online and between that and what I know, it seemed like we would have a useful little session.

So, I led my friends through my “Morning Routine” and what keeps me efficient on the internet.

The best thing about the sessions at Faffcon is that they are rarely facilitated by just one person. Folks will chime in when they have a contribution to make or to ask a question to keep the discussion rolling. That’s what happened in the topic I led and for that I was enormously grateful. What is truly awesome is how much you learn from a session you lead. I walked away from the Mining the Internet session with some brilliant techniques to hone my job and client searches and some new websites, to boot.

If you’re a fellow Faffer, please chime in and share why Faffcon rocked your socks. On the other side of the glass, if you’ve been to any Un-conference – which industry was it for and why was it successful?

Posted by Matt Cowlrick