Are you going to WPPI? This is a question one photographer or film maker might have asked another several weeks ago. Professional and avid amateur photographers/film makers know about Emerald Exposition’s WPPI (Wedding & Portrait Photographers International) Conference & Expo, the largest photography-related event of its kind in the U.S., held last week at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center.
WPPI is where experts in all aspects of professional photography or film making are available as speakers and teachers either as part of WPPI’s comprehensive conference or on the show floor during mini-seminars that are part of the expo.
Conference topics are the meat of WPPI and gave attendees many choices of subjects. Among them were “How to Manage 100 Weddings a Year,” “Multiple Realities of Location Lighting,” “Speed Posing for Tight Timelines” and “Building Your Story with Audio”. The expo portion of the event was free to many attendees or was available at a nominal cost of $35. An all-access pass which included the conference was $350 for WPPI members and $599 for non-members.
Like many of the estimated 13,000 attendees at the expo, I brought a camera…to an expo featuring cameras. My purpose was to make a video about the show, but other attendees seemed to want to try their camera skills with the many models that are part of each show.
Before the WPPI show, Emerald Expositions said this about the show attendees: “The majority of attendees will be full or part time photographers and half of attendees earn more than half of their yearly income from photography alone. 36% of attendees also own their own studio, and almost half of those expected are women. Attendees plan to spend on average $18,500 with exhibitors in the coming year as a result of attending – that’s nearly $131.7 million.”
WPPI was in total a five-day event from February 25 to March 1, though the expo was only four days. Like many conventions in Las Vegas, WPPI was an opportunity for building new relationships and renewing friendships, In addition to the conference and the expo, a number of after-hours opportunities for fellowship (and fun) were offered as well. Nightclubs on the after-hours agenda included JEWEL Nightclub at ARIA, OMNIA nightclub at Caesars and LIGHT Nightclub at Mandalay Bay. The official WPPI after Party was held Thursday night at Hakkasan at MGM.
I didn’t attend the after-hours events, but I did attend the expo and my video is attached.