voiceover social announcement feature

The Voiceover Social has new owners!

Helen and I are very proud to be able to announce that we’re taking over running The Voiceover Social.

That’s the short version. Read on for more info…

What is the VO Social?

I do hope that everyone involved in VO in the UK knows what The VO Social is, but for those of you who don’t, or who don’t live on our small island in the North Atlantic I’ll need to explain what the VO Social is and go into its history a little bit.

The Voiceover Social (or VO Social) is mostly just that. Just a place where voiceovers can gather in person over a beer or two (other drinks are usually available) and chat. It started in Manchester in 2015 and has grown steadily, so now there are 10 local groups spread out over the UK that meet. Most meet 4 times a year and are open to all people involved in the voiceover industry in some way. If you want to know more about The VO Social click here!

Why we like The VO Social

We have both been very regular attendees at VO Social North (Manchester’s meetup) since Nic Redman and Leah Marks set it up.

In fact, we were both at the very first social (even though Helen wasn’t working with many voiceovers at the time). A few weeks before the first meet I was a little bit silly and I’d fallen off a cliff and broken my ankle. Knowing we had an upstairs table reserved with a downstairs bar I took Helen along so she could carry my beers for me while I navigated the stairs with my crutches. She then gate-crashed a few more events I was attending until she decided that she actually quite liked voiceovers and wanted in on her own right. So she started doing branding and websites specifically for VOs.

Nic and Leah’s need to meet people in their new city tapped into a need felt by most voiceovers from time to time, in that it can be a lonely business. We work on our own and even though we do speak to colleagues and clients fairly regularly there are precious few opportunities to meet face to face. This newly born idea gave people that chance to get out of the house and talk with people who understand our work/lifestyle and can lend a sympathetic ear or a ‘HURRAH!’ when needed. Over the years we’ve been attending we’ve met some excellent people and the line between colleague and friend has become increasingly blurred.

A few pics from past VO Social North events

So where are we now?

The VO Social has become more than just a social gathering. It’s spawned a podcast – there are currently 63 episodes presented by Nic and Leah and with a whole host of industry experts lending their know-how – Helen and I have popped up from time to time as well. We will be taking the podcast on as new presenters, but more of that in due time.

It has also been the home of The Voiceover Career Planner. We’re not taking that on as neither of us is organised enough to whip other people into shape.

And we can’t move on without reminding you all that Nic and Leah won the UK One Voice Conference Inspiration award in 2022 (I think) in recognition for their work with VO Social.

All in all a great body of work. A daunting legacy and big boots to fill. Helen and I were hugely honoured when Nic and Leah approached us about taking over running The VO Social from them.

Why we said yes

Why they asked us to take it on is for them to explain (here’s their announcement email), what I can do is tell you why we thought we could.

The announcement livestream

I don’t want to sound too big for my boots if I say that an awful lot of UK voiceover types know who we are. And so (hopefully) they know that we share a lot of those ideals that made Nic and Leah set up The VO Social in the first place. The Voiceover Social will continue to be as open and welcoming as it has always been. I hope people will know that despite neither of us being voiceovers we are committed to seeing the industry go from strength to strength. I hope it is evident – not just from our interactions with the people we’ve met, but also from our blogs on this website – that we care not just about the nuts and bolts of how to put a studio or a website together, but also about the person who that studio or website is for.

I firmly believe that The VO Social has offered a few moments of sanity and silliness to many attendees and helped us all feel connected, and that is too precious a thing to lose.

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To infinity and beyond…

So what’s next for The Voiceover Social? You can’t take something like this on without some sort of plan for the future.

In the short term we need to find our feet with it all and get the podcast back in production –  expect a new episode in the spring (you can subscribe to the podcast here!)

Longer term we would like to see more groups pop up around the UK (and beyond…!) so more people can benefit from getting together.

We are committed to keeping the local meet-ups free of charge to attend and will do our best to support not only the current organisers of the groups, but anyone who wants to start up a new one (hint hint… I’m looking at YOU!).

We’re also planning a National Voiceover Social Event! At the moment we’re thinking the first one will be in Manchester in January 2025. Nothing much else happens in January, so we won’t be clashing with other events. And Manchester is not only where we live but it’s fairly central in the UK with great transport links, so it’s relatively easy to get to. This one won’t be free to attend as we will have to hire a venue and will run into other expenses, but we have plans in place to make it as affordable as possible. In the meantime we are planning an online national social on January 26th 2024, so keep your eyes on the socials for more info and come along – this one will be free! I know we’re all still a bit Zoomed out, but it would be great to see all your lovely faces.

So that’s our big news. I hope you’re happy with it, we’re both pretty darned excited to be announcing all of this. It’s been mildly frustrating trying to plan things whilst having to wait until the official announcement before we could approach people and ask them things. But now it’s going to be all systems go! We would love to hear if you have any comments or suggestions about what you’d like to see from The Voiceover Social in the future, so please drop us a line if you have anything to say.

Where to find The Voiceover Social

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