Ventura, California is nice this time of year (well…ok…all year).  60°F…a little foggy till mid-afternoon, then sunny and pleasant.

That was the backdrop for an early-afternoon “whale-watching” boat outing off the coast of California.  We saw the Channel Islands, and oil drilling platforms, but no whales (although the guides went out of their way to tell us that, technically dolphins WERE whales, and yes, we DID see dolphins).

No matter, the boat was just backdrop for conversation.  Of course conversation.  We all talk for a living.

You may recognize some of the peeps in these pics.  I know about 2/3rds of them by first name, and the others I’m getting to know quickly.

A few of us were overtaken by the swells and lost our lunch.  But every single one who got green behind the gills was smiling later. 

After the boat was lunch in the park with In ‘n’ Out Burgers.  After that was the first formal meeting of the day.  Faffy herself (unconference founder Amy Snively) offered welcoming statements, encouragements, and basic rules.

She reminded us of our…well…our destiny here.  That despite doubts, ego, or perceived mission, we would find the REAL reason for our presence at FaffCon4.

The bigger group divided into three…sitting in a circle to quickly answer two simple questions:

A) What brought you here?
B) What do you hope will happen?

You might guess that the answers coalesced around some main themes:  a chance to learn, a opportunity to give, the desire to bask in community and relationship.

Some had specific goals in mind:  marketing, technology, time-management, business challenges.

The evening culminated in a session sponsored by VoiceBank (the main sponsoring presence of FaffCon).  VoiceBank’s VoiceRegistry Platimun members were asked to read to the live audience, and be critiqued on the spot by a member of a prominent Los Angeles-based talent agency.  The kind of feedback VO’s NEVER get on their auditions.

It may sound corny, but through it all, it’s the slaps on the back, the intimate conversations, the hallway musings that make this event.  Seeing Cliff Zellman (with me in this pic) makes me smile.  I talk to him on FaceBook, Twitter, and email.  Here, I can shake his hand, pose for a cheesy photo, and look him in the eye to ask how his family is doing.

My answers to the above questions:  That social media is foreplay…and that I came to Ventura to seal the deal.  That I take joy sharing in a community of like-minded souls.  And that I hoped to find inspiration (and maybe some marketing tips) along the way.

Watch for a summary Storify story on our collective tweets on Derek Chappell’s blog.

‘S’been a long long day…my thanks to my wife for driving here this morning.  I’m operating on about 3 hours sleep in the last 24…so it’s off to bed, so I can soak up as much as possible tomorrow.

Thanks fellow Faffers.

CourVO

Comments

comments