coronavirus notes from the flying voiceover

VO_Atlanta_LogoMost everybody in VO knows that I am on planes…alot. Travel is part of my marketing life just like voiceover always has been a part of my life.

I’ve traveled through most of the major modern health and terrorist challenges America has faced over the past 2-3 decades.

I go to two or three big conferences each year. Many of them during prime cold and flu season.

On many trips, I see my VO pals for lunch or dinner.

Cars, planes, trains, hotel rooms & people…germs everywhere. Sometimes I get sick (not yet, knock wood). Maybe you do too? Imagine that.

Oh, and I live with three little germ factories too. I love ‘em.

I respect the reasonable concern about the Coronavirus…but for most us, health-wise the virus would be manageable…based on the stated, published insights of real medical professionals.

So watching people, groups, events, financial markets and even countries go quite nuts about the Coronavirus has been kinda disappointing.

Unless your health is compromised by age or special disease states…the Coronavirus will be only an unpleasant flu. Not enjoyable but far from deadly. Yet panic has reigned and that panic is causing bigger problems.

While basic hygiene and thoughtful, simple behavior will help keep us all healthy, people aren’t emotionally handling this virus very well.

My point?

As everything does in this blog, my point about this virus comes back to voiceover.

Peter K. O'Connell Moderates Voice-Over Agents Panel VO Atlanta 2016

VO Atlanta 2016’s Voice-Over Agent Panel. L-R Peter K. O’Connell, audio’connell Voice-Over Talent (Moderator); Erik Shepard, Voice Talent Productions; Jeffrey Umberger, Umberger Agency, Tanya Buchanan, Ta-Da Voiceworks; Marci Polzin, Artistic Talent; Susie De Santiago, De Santi Talent and Ralph Cooper, Capital Talent Agency./i>

Soon voiceover event producer Gerald Griffith is set to host VO Atlanta, a voiceover conference in like it’s 8th year now. I’ve been to VO Atlanta twice…I even accidentally hosted a voiceover agent panel once, because….Jeffrey Umburger.

But Coronavirus is causing what I imagine is a big business headache for small business owners like Gerald and hundreds of (small business owning) event producers like him right now.

It’s small business guys like Gerald who really take it on the chin in situations like this…there are many of these event producers who are in a no-win situation because of this darn bug. Gerald’s got hundreds of people coming to Atlanta…two hotels involved, I think…untold airfares booked, hotel fees charged, food contracts signed, talent fees accounted for and no doubt some panicky sponsors whose checks have long ago cleared. Now Gerald and event producers like him have some tough business decision to make. Go or no go?

I don’t have any inside info on any of this regarding VO Atlanta…I’m not attending the show and I am not involved with it in any way. But I know business and I know event planning. So I have been quietly praying (on behalf of all the small business “Geralds” out there) that each event producer has a good event disaster insurance policy.

For event planners, it would seem the Coronavirus scenario now before them is a business nightmare that I envision being second only to what faced the event and travel industry with the Legionnaire’s Disease outbreak I remember from the 1970’s. Two different health situations yet both impactful to the event and travel industries.

I gotta say…I’m indifferent about the financial impact on the attendees or sponsors of a possibly cancelled VO Atlanta (if it comes to that whether by a personal attendee’s decision or if the event calls off). The financial impact of a cancelled VO Atlanta on those folks will likely be annoying but absorbable (unless they financially over extended themselves – and then, they made a bad business decision…we’ve all been there, done that). Costly yet that’s the risk inherent in owning a small business.

The financial impact on an event producer, however, could be significantly more overwhelming.

Do me this favor, keep a good thought for those who have taken the biggest financial risks in these scenarios….the event producers out there.

We hope they have insurance, we hope their risk is manageable and we hope they will be financially OK with whatever decisions they have to make.

For them, the panic of the Coronavirus I think is like the (hopefully never realized) unpredicted Category 5 tornado bearing down on our  neighborhoods…and we cannot get out of its way.

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3 Responses to “coronavirus notes from the flying voiceover”

  1. A voice of reason! Thanks for posting!

  2. “ I respect the reasonable concern about the Coronavirus…but for most us, health-wise the virus would be manageable…based on the stated, published insights of real medical professionals…

    Unless your health is compromised by age or special disease states…the Coronavirus will be only an unpleasant flu. Not enjoyable but far from deadly. Yet panic has reigned and that panic is causing bigger problems.”

    Over 100,000 KNOWN cases in the U.S., over 1,500 dead – and not just in so-called “high-risk” groups – and the numbers keep climbing, hospitals creating make-shift morgues and describing the impact of losing so many people on a daily basis as a war zone, people who have survived this saying it’s MUCH worse than the flu and to take the warnings seriously and the REAL medical professionals are saying stay put to flatten the curve and slow down the spread of this highly contagious virus.

    Care to revise your comments?

  3. Why hello back Brian.

    I’m fine thanks, and you?

    I can’t be COMPLETELY sure but I’m going to guess that you disagree with my comments. That’s cool.

    I’m going to assume you already know I’m not an expert on this virus as I have already assumed you are not either.

    No one reading a voiceover blog…or anything else other than a blog from the CDC really should expect expert information on COVID-19…and even the CDC is building the plane as they fly it.

    Nor do I live in an imaginary panacea, unaware that the information is constantly evolving.

    My blog is a post of my thoughts and observations on that day…my perspective. Which can elicit debate and discussion.

    The impact of this virus at the post’s first writing is less than it is today and it will be yet more difficult medically, financially and emotionally in the days to come on you, me and everyone.

    The unknown is terribly unsettling.

    I don’t care to change change my comments from my original writing but I do want to change for the better everything we are all having to endure.

    For you and those who are important to you, I wish you safety, health and peace. Actually, I wish that for everyone. Always have.

    Best always,
    -Peter

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