Today I want to share with you some tips and experiences I’ve been fortunate enough to accumulate after going to WPPI every year since I started my career as a photographer. The Wedding and Portrait Photographers International (WPPI) puts on a must-go-to convention for its members every year in Las Vegas. It’s the event every photographer looks forward to and it’s the event you don’t want to miss regardless of your level of photography expertise. Here are some tips I’ve acquired throughout the years that you may find helpful when visiting Sin City.
First, don’t miss it! It’s an investment in your future and continued education. You can go to Vegas.com’s Travel Deals page and take advantage of some savings there to make the trip less of a financial burden. Nevertheless, any dollar spent will most certainly come back in the form of knowledge or connections made through the countless networking opportunities during the show days. Try to stay as close as humanly possible to the classes and trade show area. It’s a great advantage to be able to go to your room and drop off some gear you just bought, or even freshen up before your next networking engagement.
It is physically impossible to see everything and listen to every speaker. As a previous speaker, attendee, and major procrastinator, it is best to familiarize yourself with the speakers and master classes BEFORE the morning the show starts. Use the WPPI app to fill up your day in visual way so you can see where you need to be and where you have a few gaps for some networking, fun, or even a little gambling–after all you are in Las Vegas.
Despite the early rise necessary for some classes, every single year my wife and I and staff, dine with friends we only see during WPPI or even escape at least one of the nights for some night fun. We try to pick something new every year. If you don’t know what to do or are overwhelmed with the choices, check out Vegas.com’s Deal Page for things to do.
One you actually manage to get up, my number one morning suggestion for people is to find a way to get some breakfast away from the crowd. Thousands and thousands of people all looking for breakfast at the same time will make you either A: be late for your first class or B: late and “hangry” after leaving the line late and without breakfast. Get creative and plan ahead. Trust me on this one.
Wear something smart. The convention space is pumping cold air to cool 13000 people. Sometimes you go to a platform with 2000 attendees and sometimes you go to a small room with 200 souls all exhaling hot CO2. Wear smart layers that you can take off and it’s not a heavy piece to carry once walking around the convention floor.
While walking around, don’t miss the awards exhibit. That’s the greatest source of inspiration in the entire convention in my opinion.
You are most definitely going to feel inspired there. Knowing this fact, schedule a shoot during your down time, shoot something you’ve never shot before. Tell your clients in social media that you’re going to be there and maybe they want to shoot something. Below are a few examples of a few shoots I’ve done there while visiting WPPI. Enjoy, learn lots and share your knowledge with others.