Darren and I just returned from the WPPI wedding photography conference. It has been 6 years since we last went and a lot of things have changed. In the past, the conference had always been at the MGM Grand Las Vegas, but this year was the first time that they had it at the Las Vegas Convention Center. It was nice to have all the exhibitors all under one roof, but since not everyone was staying at the MGM Grand, it felt like everyone was just doing their own thing and it was much more difficult to get together with fellow photographers.
For photographers who have never been and are thinking of going next year, here are some tips for you:
- Depending on your goals and objectives, there are a lot of classes, shoots, parties plus a 3-day trade show all crammed into one week. It’s impossible for you to attend everything, so select the ones that interest you.
- There is also a lot of walking to do, be sure to wear comfortable shoes… your feet will thank you at the end of the day!
- The closest hotel to the convention center is the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino. WPPI has a special room block there and it’s super convenient.
- All the parties and events are at different resorts and hotels. If you plan on going to a bunch of them, it’s actually cheaper to rent a car than getting Uber/Lyft or taxis.
- Be sure to make room in your luggage for all the brochures and pamphlets you are going to pick up at the trade show.
- Download the WPPI app on your smartphone prior to heading to Vegas. All the class schedules, expo map…etc. will all be at your fingertips.
- Don’t forget your business cards. Even though we can all connect on social media, it’s always nice to exchange business cards with your contact information all in one place.
- Bring some energy bars in case you have back-to-back classes or shoots and don’t have time for lunch.
- Food and vendor machines are expensive at the resorts and convention center. Stock up at a grocery store for bottled water and snacks.
- Be sure to allow yourself enough time to get to your classes.
- Vegas weather can be quite extreme – warm and hot during the day and cold and freezing at night, so wear layers especially if you are going to do a shoot in the desert.
Hope this is helpful to you. See you there next time!