The yearly gathering of promo producers, editors, designers, executives, and anyone remotely connected to the craft of content promotion, known as PromaxBDA – The Conference, took place this week in the newly renovated section of downtown Los Angeles. The beautiful 54-story J.W. Marriott at L.A. Live was the host venue for what was undoubtedly the best conference the PromaxBDA community has ever produced. With the tagline “Create what’s next” attendees were treated to an array of sessions and topics featuring an army of speakers and moderators who are the clear leaders and innovators of this huge, and still growing, industry.
I know what you are saying, “How does this affect me, the VO talent?”. Well, if you do, or plan to do, any promo voice work, then this is a must-attend event. Of course, having the opportunity to press-the-flesh and schmooze with current and, hopefully, future hirers of your vocal talents could be career changing. But, the information you can glean from the iconoclasts of the promo genre can be just as, if not more, crucial to making you a key player from the vast pool of VO talent available to these creative geniuses.
For instance, in the breakout session “The Editor As Storyteller” SLAQR “Ringleader” Monina Verano discussed how to combine inspiration, detail, and principles to help determine your point of view in order to create the magic of your own identity. This brilliant perspective isn’t exclusive to the promo editor or producer as we VO artists must create that unique inner voice in order for our individual auditory voice to shine.
In the energetic and entertaining “Promoting Promos” session TV-host, Dave Holmes, and Creative Director of Awesomeness at AlkemyX, Bex Schwartz, discussed the various opportunities to create a buzz around the promo that is, in and of itself, supposed to create excitement about the project it is designed to promote. As I constantly tell my 1 On 1 VO Training clients, we need to promote ourselves as much as possible. Many of the techniques discussed in this session could easily be applied to the talent wishing to generate their own buzz.
Of course, “The Promo Catwalk” session with Director and “VO Shrink” Marice Tobias (aka The Voice Whisperer) and TV Host/VO Talent John McCalmont had numerous gems that we could deposit in our VO Bank of Tricks. While the “Powering Business “Through The Lens Of Culture” session with industry groundbreakers Channing Dungey, Christine Escribano, Susan Kresnicka, Jesus Rodriguez, and Melissa Grego certainly inspired all ethnicities that there is opportunity for any voice in the industry as cultural lines are continually and successfully crossed. Though, it was with the standard final session of the conference, “State Of Our Art” with Vicky Free and Jesse Redniss, that we were treated to glimpses of the future of the art, as well as examples of some of the past year’s most creative work. Unfortunately, I can’t list here all of the incredible seminars that were conducted over the three day affair. In fact, the only “problem” with the Promax conference is deciding which session to attend, as you can often find yourself torn between concurrent panels.
If you missed this year’s event, don’t sweat it. Next year, the 60th anniversary of Promax will be celebrated in New York City with another chance for you to enhance your repertoire, engage with the top minds in the industry, and increase the size of your contact list. If you’d like to view all our photos from the 2015 PromaxBDA conference, please check out our Twitter page or our Flickr page.