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  • Writer's pictureKara Lea

Why we All Need Networking Events

We all know the word, but for some it’s, how do the kids say it these days?...cringey. For whatever reason, “networking” sometimes evokes images of white collar cutthroats, comparing business card watermarks a la “American Psycho,” touting their latest achievements, all while figuring out how to best use one another to climb the ladder (or get followers). Hashtag, networking!


I think we get that idea in our heads because we spend too much time watching t.v., scrolling, writing blog posts about ourselves, and not enough time talking to people. What is that called where you get outside of the four walls of your home, or outside the cone of silence that is emanating from your phone? Oh yeah. Networking.


What is the point of networking?


But first, let me write a little blog post about myself. Once upon a time, VoiceOver Atlanta had a baby. Actually, it had lots of babies. It’s a really big conference.

"It's not about what you know. It's about what who you know knows and how what you know can help who you know."


And no, this is not about the box of pregnancy tests that was found in the bathroom after the event (legit).


It’s about how one networking event can lead to many others, if you let it. VO Atlanta is a huge event, with around 1,000 attendees. No matter how many people you meet, you can only have a handful of meaningful conversations each day, and that’s fine. It’s also fine to be intentional about who you converse with. I had my sights set on meeting fellow Atlanta dwellers, because I knew I needed closer accountability in this glorious voice acting career.


Since VO Atlanta, I have attended at least 6 other get-togethers (off the top of my head) with fellow actors or voice actors. Many of these are people I met at the conference as a result of intentional planning--I focused on audiobook sessions, and as such, quickly began seeing recurring faces in the sea of people.


Conversations lead to accountability, and maybe even jobs. If you’re intentional.


Before it was all said and done, we had agreed that we would meet about once a

month. Having that kind of accountability has been hugely helpful over the last month. I’ve even had a few auditions sent my way through those channels, and was able to send one out myself to fellow audiobook narrators! That just felt pretty darn cool.


I realize in all of this that I am, indeed, turning into my father. Watching him as a kid, it seemed like he knew everyone in town. Now I realize, he just liked talking to people, and he intentionally sought out scenarios where he could do so. Of course, he had a furniture business, which is definitely the easy way out, am I right? Everyone needs a place to sit so everyone is a potential customer. Yep, he had it easy…but I do wonder why he had boxes labeled “Tax Sh?!” stacked precariously in the garage...


The takeaway? It’s not about what you know, it’s about what who you know knows and how what you know can help who you know.


All this to say, anyone wanna grab a cup of coffee? Or a zoom call, for you folks far away?  




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