Weddings and Portrait Photographers International Conference and Expo
Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, NV
Feb 5-9, 2017
I attended the WPPI conference and expo in Las Vegas earlier this year. It is the largest international conference for photographers that specializes in weddings and portraits. Much has changed since its humble beginnings back in the 80s. Today, the conference has grown to over 12,000 people and has relocated to a larger venue to accommodate the growing number of attendees.
I came to hear industry leaders give insight on best practices and lessons learned. Award winning international photographers such as Sue Bryce and Me Ra Koh spoke at the show. They inspired the audience with their motivational speeches while Peter Hurley and Roberto Valenzuela provided their tips on taking the best photos. One can not walk away from the conference without feeling challenged to step up their game.
Roberto Valenzuela speaking at the Canon booth
At the expo, I met with many vendors. It was advantageous to have the top vendors all located under 1 roof because here is where I was able to compare products and services almost side by side. Although there were many of the big equipment companies present, there was also a staggering amount of print services and software vendors taking up space in the other big hall. One of the highlight I enjoyed at the show was the Canon Power of Print booth. Attendees were able to print 2 images. I walked away with a 19x13 photo on metallic paper. Just show up with an image preferably saved in TIFF format in a USB memory stick or SD card.
Miller's Professional Imaging Booth
The workshops were very informative. It is a good way to learn new skills or enhance existing skills to bring them to the next level. Because of the small sizes of these classes, it is a good way to network with like minded individuals.
- Register early as there are limited seats available in some of the classes.
- Save money by becoming a WPPI member if you plan to take a lot of classes. I broke even after signing up for 4 classes.
- Wear comfortable shoes. Many people emphasis this point as the conference hall is large and you will walk around a lot.
- Wear clothes that make you feel comfortable and warm as the rooms tend to be very cold.
- Take advantage of the parties and events
- Don't sign up for early classes if you plan to party all night long
- Stay at a hotel close by because you might want to drop items you bought, printed or won off
- Line up early at the Canon Power of Print booth because the lines tend to get long (approximately 30 -60 minutes long) after the first 10 minutes of the show opening.
Where to stay (close-by):
The Westgate Resort is the closest accommodation and is adjacent to the Las Vegas Convention Center. Although I stayed close by at the Hilton Grand Vacations, I thought that the short 9 minutes walk was exhausting after a long day. There are several Marriott brand hotels close by. Book them early as I tend to notice that they are usually the first to be sold out.
Where to eat (in the convention center)
Food options are limited at the conference. There are two hot food vendors outside of the main hall was Sbarro and Nathan's. Inside of the hall, you can find sandwiches and hot pretzels.
I'm looking forward to the next show. There are many good workshops and it is recommended that you reserve them early as the class sizes are somewhat small (some up to 25 people) and can fill up quick.