Yesterday the WPPI conference wrapped up in Vegas. This was the second time I had visited the trade show, although the first time was a couple of years ago when it was at a different (less efficient) venue. Here's a few of my thoughts about the trade show and the event, although I did not attend any classes so I can't comment on those.
If you're a wedding or portrait photographer there's no question that this is the event aimed at you. All the top names in that industry were there, speaking both at booths in the trade show and in classes. The atmosphere seemed to be very high energy, and let me tell you, these people know how to party! It seemed like there were always several sponsored parties to attend. I heard a lot of people discussing how little sleep they were getting.
It was also interesting to note the younger average age and the high percentage of women compared to a show such as Photo Plus.
I spoke at the mpixpro booth a couple of times and once at OnOne Software, and it was great to meet many NAPP members and viewers of Photoshop User TV. Of course, as always I was asked one of two questions quite a few times: "where's your Canada shirt?", or "where's Scott and Matt?".
One of the more interesting moments was when I dropped by the Colorati booth to chat with owner Leon Sandoval. Leon is a long-time NAPP member and I remember him talking on the NAPP forums a few years ago about launching his business. (Colorati provides post-production services for photographers). Leon told me that he gives full credit to NAPP and what he learned as a member for being ready to start his own business. It was great to hear a success story like his.
As I walked around I couldn't believe how many booths were selling albums and photo books. There seemed to be so many... just now I checked on the WPPI page and there were 38 of them! I can't help but wonder how all of those companies stay in business, particularly since there seemed to be a lot of the same album products over and over again. I guess photographers pick their favorites and there - somehow - is enough business to go around.
Several NAPP members came up to me and said that they thought that Photoshop World was much better organized and run than WPPI. That was very gratifying since we don't hire a convention company to run PSW, we do it all ourselves.
They sure don't waste a square inch of advertising space at WPPI. Everywhere you walked there were lit up sponsors signs, signs on the windows in the hotel hallways, signs up the escalators, and even in the food court. It was a little overwhelming at times.
Here's a couple of products that I picked up that I'll be taking a look at (after Photoshop World)
A very interesting app that puts a great inerface on Actions. It takes whatever Actions you have, purchased or home-made, and makes it very easy to set up batches with specific images and multiple actions. Can't wait to try it.
An interesting hardware keypad to help you fly through editing in Photoshop and Lightroom. For a keyboard shortcut junkie like me, this looks very interesting.
There are a few more things that are buried in the depths of my briefcase, but eventually I'll find and talk about those too.
Now it's off to Minneapolis for the Maximum Photoshop Tour tomorrow. Bye bye Vegas, until Photoshop World in September....