WPPI 2019 is just around the corner! Regardless of if you are just starting out as a photographer or are a seasoned pro, there is always so much to learn and do at WPPI every year. If this is your first time attending WPPI or if you just want to maximize your WPPI experience, then this blog is for you! Keep reading to learn some of my tops tips for WPPI.
Don't Be Afraid To Attend WPPI Alone Or Attend Classes That Your Friends Aren't Attending
Thousands of photographers descend upon Vegas for WPPI! You will be able to make new friends wherever you go! Don't be afraid to go to WPPI alone if none of your photographer friends can make it. I promise you that you will make new friends and have a great time! This also holds true for the different classes. Don't feel like you need to attend the same classes as your friends who are at WPPI. Choose classes that work best for you and your business and meet up with your friends during your downtime.
Choose Your Classes With Your Business In Mind
WPPI has some of the best photography speakers in the world and there is so much to learn! I know it's easy to see one of your favorite photographers and want to take their class but you will want to choose your classes with your business in mind. Think about the weak spots in your business and what you want to improve. Those are the things that you should look for when you start choosing your classes. You won't want to attend a class that is about something that you already excel in as a photographer and small business owner. Attending classes that are your weak spots and where you want to improve will really help maximize your learning and help you revolutionize your business. Even though it's tempting to go see your favorite photographer speak, if it's a topic you already excel in then you will get more out of attending a different class.
Don't Miss The Expo
Not only is there so many classes and photo walks to choose from at WPPI but there is also an expo that is jammed packed with so many amazing vendors! Build some time into your schedule to make sure that you are able to experience the expo floor. You can see so many great new products and features and some booths even have a few presentations or speakers there as well. There is also a shooting bay at the expo where you can try out some new equipment.
Leave Some Room In Your Schedule For Downtime
Make sure you add some padding to your schedule so you can add in things that may come up or so you can take a little breather. Go grab some lunch with some new friends, get some air and walk around the strip, or take a quick nap. Adding in some room will allow you to have some flexibility with your schedule for anything that may come up and will allow you to stay fresh.
Remember To Get Some Rest
WPPI is packed full of classes, shoot outs, parties, and networking so it is easy to stay up all night or pack your schedule to the brim. You obviously want to go to everything that you want to do but be sure to get a good night sleep as well (if not every night at least for the majority of the nights!). You don't want to be falling asleep in an early morning class or zone out where you aren't learning at your maximum potential so try to at least get some rest while you are at WPPI!
Bring Your Camera And Come Prepared
As a photographer, this is probably a no brainer but make sure you bring your camera along! Even if you didn't sign up for a photo walk or shootout, you will still want your camera with you. Exchange some headshots with a fellow photographer, get some inspiration on the strip or the desert, or just try out some new equipment on the expo floor. Bring along a notepad or laptop so you can take notes on everything you learn during the different classes. Have your business cards with you so you can continue connecting with all the new friends you met at WPPI after the conference.
Don't Forget To Network
It is so easy to network and make new friends at WPPI! Photographers and vendors from all over the world attend WPPI. Take some time to talk to the people around you at the expo, in your classes, or while you are waiting in line at Starbucks. You may find a new friend or learn something new!
Take Part In WPPI After Hours And Other Events
I know I just said to remember to rest but you also want to take part in some of the other events WPPI has to offer. There is a party every night of the conference that takes place at a different club. Feel free to have a drink, unwind, and party with some of the new friends that you met at the conference. You don't have to go to every party or stay out until the 1am end time but adding in some fun is always good too! There are also other events at WPPI like the print competition. The print competition has live judging so even if you don't enter the competition, watching some of judging can provide some valuable insight as well.
Dress Professional But Comfortable
You probably don't want to show up to the classes in sweatpants or your pajamas even if you did stay out at the after hours parties until 1am! Business casual is usually the standard of dress for the conference but you want to make sure you are comfortable. Conferences can vary in temperature so bringing along a sweater or jacket and dressing in layers can help you stay comfortable in every room. There is also a lot of walking that is involved so you will want to make sure you wear comfortable shoes so you don't have achy, tired feet at the end of the day. The after hours parties do have a dress code as well so you will want to make sure you pack the appropriate attire.
After The Conference, Implement What You Learned
Once WPPI is over and you arrive back home, your learning and work doesn't stop! Obviously take some time to relax and be with your family when you get back home but don't just put your notebook full of notes in your desk and forget about it. Attending a conference is only part of the learning and improving your business process, you will want to put what you learned into action. A notebook full of notes won't help you if you don't start utilizing them!
I will be speaking at WPPI 2019 all about How To Get Published and Stand Out In Your Market! If you're a photographer, you can get a FREE expo pass or 15% off a Platform or All Access Pass at the link below. See you in Vegas!