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Not Attending the One Voice Awards

Liz Drury and her son William enjoying cocktails overlooking Canary Wharf.

This weekend I have been to the One Voice Conference in London. It’s a hybrid conference actually – part of it takes place online and then part of it can be experienced in person or online. I was excited to be one of this year’s speakers and my talk was all about the importance of keeping in touch with your clients to stay top of mind with them. I also talked about my experience of reaching out to previous clients during a quiet spell last year to find out why we hadn’t worked together for a while….

As a creative freelancer I always get a bit nervous when the emails stop coming and start to wonder if I’ve done something wrong…I’m very pleased to report that the answers my clients gave were nothing to do with me, and the reasons they cited were not things I have any control over. You can read all about this in a previous blog here.

On the Saturday evening of the conference a separate, but related event takes place – the One Voice Awards. I’m very proud to have been nominated for 5 awards over the years since they started in 2018 but I’ve yet to win one, and this year I wasn’t shortlisted for anything. 

I could have still gone to the Awards of course – plenty of my friends were nominated and I was excited for them, but I decided not to. The reason was, my son came up to London from Portsmouth for the weekend to share my hotel room so he could go out and meet up with some of his friends who are in the Irish Guards. I decided that if I skipped the Awards, he and I could go out and spend some quality time together on Saturday evening. I still had the Friday night to have fun with my voiceover buddies, while he was off drinking with his mates!

I’m so glad that I did. We had a lovely evening together – dinner in a 16th century Thames-side pub, watching the sun set over the City while we waited for a ferry, and cocktails on the terrace overlooking Canary Wharf. Beautiful memories to treasure.

On Sunday morning my colleagues were tired and hungover and I’d had 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep!

Right at the end of the conference it was announced that a guy who has been an integral part of the team behind One Voice, and present at previous events making sure things ran smoothly, had died very suddenly of a heart attack a few days prior. He was only 41. It just shows you never know what’s around the corner.

It was then I knew I’d been right to skip the Awards this year and spend time making memories with my son, rather than attend an event that I can always go to again next year. Life is so precious and you never know when it may be cruelly snatched away.

I’m also pretty sure we had nicer food for less money…..!

Rest in peace Johnny.