The annual pilgrimage to WPPI begins again! Starting on March 3, the grand conference center at the MGM in Las Vegas will be filled with photographers from across the globe who will be partaking in seven days of education (much of which is FREE for WPPI members) from the best instructors in the world, attending awesome parties and a working a trade show featuring top gear from vendors from all over the industry and the world.
Needless to say, there’s a lot to do and see at WPPI, and to help you make the most of your experience, Director of WPPI Jason Groupp has put together a must-read survival guide. Don’t board your flight without reading these tips!
1. Plan your week
This means setting your times up in your calendar on your phone with alerts, as well as making a hard copy because your phone will die at some point. Be sure to give yourself extra time to rest, eat and get to where you need to go, of course. It’s Vegas, kids: there’s a line for everything and nothing is close by. If you don’t make a schedule in advance, I promise you will get derailed in the first hour upon arrival, and you don’t want to be packing your bag saying, “Where did that week go? I forgot to do so much!” You’ve been warned!
2. Stick to your plan
This goes for everyone, myself included. A good plan is only the start; you’ve got to see it through. I can’t tell you how many times I was heading somewhere and ran in to a few friends who said, “We’re getting coffee, join us!” Remember, you’re here to learn, discover and yes, network, but there’s lots of time for that when classes are not running, and the trade show is open.
3. Go buy some water!
Seriously, it’s not that far out onto Las Vegas Blvd. There’s a bunch of stores, including a CVS and Walgreens just down the street. Get some breakfast treats, too. For some reason I’m a sucker for strawberry Pop-tarts. I only eat them once a year during WPPI, but that sugar rush seems to help shake out the cobwebs from the night before.
4. Leave those new shoes in your room
It’s not worth the pain!
5. Make 10 new friends
Make it a goal! You are here to learn, but also expand your network (after classes, of course). It can be intimidating approaching people you don’t know but the WPPI family is a friendly one, I promise! If we don’t know each other, I’d be happy to be your friend; only 9 to go now!
6. Make dinner reservations early in the week
Reservations for dinner go quickly in the MGM and while you can book online, I have found that picking up the phone and calling can work if the online reservation system says it’s full. And don’t forget to ask your new friends to join you!
7. Download the WPPI App!
The app is awesome. It has the most up-to-date information, a really convenient trade show guide map and room numbers for all the classes. It also allows us to communicate with you on site for great show specials, as well as any major changes. The app also allows you to give feedback for EVERY class you attend. I read EVERY comment and rating. If I may ask a big favor of you guys, please, please, please fill these out! I can’t be everywhere, and your feedback helps more than you can possibly imagine.