View Full Version : Imaging USA 2012 Report

01-19-2012, 01:04 AM
PPA Report
Just some thoughts on PPA's imaging. I have been to many. Maybe some of this will be seen by those that can make the changes. I think it was one of the better Imaging Conventions.

The bad first---I had very few.

The distance between classes in the convention center. I know this may not be able to be helped because the convention centers cannot always help this. But if they can keep that in mind.

Lighting in the rooms that kill the projector images. Almost every program I was in, it affected the screen images. This should be an easy fix and a needed fix.

I wish the convention centers had more of a food choice for breakfast and lunches and open early enough for the times we will be there for class. They should be open 45 minutes before the start of classes. Also, it would be nice if they could have more stations so that there are not long lines.

The climate inside. I am sitting here with a soar throat and could not sleep because of it. What happens is that it is colder outside and for some reason these venues, (at all PPA Imaging over the last few years since it moved to winter time) feel like they have to over compensate. I see this at malls sometimes. When I walk in and others too, and the heat is like a wall, and it actually makes you sneeze..... The best thing they can do, is keep the temps at about 65, then when everyone gets seated, they can adjust. But everyone is dressed for the cold anyway, they have walked and warmed up. No need for it to be 75 with the dry heat pouring on you. Ditto for the trade show and the Parties. When the vendor is dripping on his paperwork, while talking to you, it is hot. Last night at the parties, so many commented on how hot it was. This can be taken care of now for next convention.

Ok the Good. Where to begin, because other than those few problems, everything was good.

Better classes this year. We need to get new speakers and not have so many recycled speakers which is what looked like happened. If they have spoken the last two years, maybe it is time to find someone new to switch them out. But I enjoyed every class I went to this year. And others told me they did too. I have only heard of one class that was less than stellar by about 5 or 6 people. That is pretty good odds considering. Not every class is going to be great.

Volunteers and Staff. The unsung heroes of the convention. They work hard, they were so nice. They were so helpful. They are there early and they stay late. Every staff and volunteer person I talked to was so nice. Please tell each staff member and volunteer "thank you" because they sure deserve it.

The registration could not have been easier on site for replacement badges or what not.

I am glad that we have been finding cities with so much to do in them. That makes for a great convention also. And not having to drive 10 miles to get to those places is something to think of for every convention. For me we could have it in Austin, San Antonio, and New Orleans every year. I also liked Nashville in the Gaylord.

The people/friends. This is the best part. Everyone should be going to PPA most every year. You meet people you see every year. People I trust, to give me good information. They make the time fun. Give great help even after the conventions. And some become lifelong friends, that are more than just photo-friends.

That is pretty much it. I say PPA hit it out of the park. Only minor problems from the attendee point of view. But the reasons for going far outweigh, did I say FAR, not going.

Where did I go wrong? What was your experiences?

01-19-2012, 01:20 AM
I agree Tim, but only have good things to say about this year. Last year I stayed directly across the street from the convention center in San Antonio and still had to walk a flippin' mile to get to the nearest class. This year we stayed two blocks away and I still feel as though we walked less.

Every class we attended this year was just downright AWESOME! I also agree that mixing up the speakers from one year to the next would be a great idea!

OH, I do have one small complaint... I wish there were more seating at the parties. We usually end up as wall flowers sitting on the floor with our food LOL. I know that's a hard thing to predict or plan for, but at least a small allowance for extra seating would be nice because we are certainly never alone along the wall hehehe...

01-19-2012, 01:29 AM
What were some of the best programs this year?

01-19-2012, 01:33 AM
Cindi, they did have to prepare for the food, so maybe tables too. I do understand there are so many people and may not have enough for tables and people. But we just gave up our seats to others that came in later.

And not to be misunderstood, Not sure if you did. :) But I am talking about the distance in the convention center between classes. If you were pass the little food place by the tradeshow, then had to get out of class, go to the bathroom, get something to drink or eat, then haul over to a class on the other side of the Starbucks, You never got a chance to take a breath. LOL.

01-19-2012, 01:34 AM
Gottcha Tim.... I thought the distance was much better all the way around this year...

01-19-2012, 01:36 AM
What were some of the best programs this year?

William Branson was good. The video programs were really good. Rachel and Clark Marten of course were really good. I hear Rod rocked it. And Blair Phillips was super but I could not attend it.

01-19-2012, 01:51 AM
Great report Tim. Open minded reviews such as this helps to make the next ones even better.

My favorite was the final class on how to use certification in your marketing. I have several new ideas to implement now.

My only complaint would be New Orleans traffic. It was quite scary.

01-19-2012, 02:00 AM
Thanks Greg.

I forgot the APP, best thing yet. Now, this is what another member said that they should make the evaluations be part of the app.

01-19-2012, 05:15 AM
Thanks Greg.

I forgot the APP, best thing yet. Now, this is what another member said that they should make the evaluations be part of the app.

That would be a great idea. I'm all about saving paper plus the feedback would be instant.

On a side note... Wouldn't this be a Imaging report as opposed to a PPA report?

01-19-2012, 02:49 PM
I am with Tim about the lights washing out the projector screens, you could still see the screens ok, but it left something to be desired. I assumed it had something to do with safety/fire code or something of that nature. My hotel had a killer breakfast set up,so I didn't notice the lack of breakfast choices. If they had somewhere to grab a slice of pizza on site for lunch that would have been ideal for me personally:D But there was plenty of time to walk over to the Riverwalk,where there was a great variety good food, including pizza slices.

With the exception of the long march down to the awards ceremony, I found the way the classes were spread out preferable to the convention center set ups that have all the classes centrally located. When you have all the different classes all pouring out at the same time into the same narrow hallways, it can create some uncomfortable bottlenecks. Walking is just something that comes with the territory at these things and some convention centers can get cramped at times, so It is best to just roll with it.

As a fellow floor sitter I would also vote for more dining tables and maybe some more of the smaller tables to set your drink on. Maybe some chairs along the walls would be helpful.

I know exactly what you mean about the drastic change in temperature that often happens going in and out of these kind of venues, but because it was so much warmer in NOLA I didn't experience this effect nearly as much as the last 3 shows that had the colder weather. I am also greatfull when the classrooms are not too hot. You can always put on another layer if it gets too cold, there is only so much you can take off if it is too hot.

The program quality is top notch, but I wish there was a better way to determine what level a program was before hand. The program descriptions are helpful, but don't always give you a great idea of the level they are aimed at.

The chats with old friends and new had to be the highlight of the convention.

It would be nice if we could do something to minimize the waste with all the unwanted brochures we get in our goody bags. I know there were only 3 or 4 brochures that I kept and all the rest were thrown away.

If there were some different precon classes added to the first two days of precon I would appreciate that.

Arthur Rainville's class was the best I attended this year.

Phoenix and New Orleans IUSA events were just the ticket for me location wise, the probability of warm weather is always a priority for me in January.:)

01-19-2012, 02:59 PM
That would be a great idea. I'm all about saving paper plus the feedback would be instant.

On a side note... Wouldn't this be a Imaging report as opposed to a PPA report?

Great idea about the app for evaluations ( or at least linking to online evaluations like we had in past years)it is too difficult to fill,out the evaluations fairly in the final minutes of the session.

Yes, a thread title revision would be helpful for IUSA report on this message board.

01-19-2012, 03:26 PM
I forgot to mention what I consider to be one of the greatest aspects of Imaging. The print exhibit. It gave me the chance to study a wide range of photographic excellence from all over the world up close and personal.

I'm not sure how to word this but I was very impressed with the senior members present. I'm referring to the ASP members, Master Photographers, Past Presidents and others that had so much bling around their necks it made them walk with a hunch back. Every one I spoke with showed true concern in answering the many questions I approached them with. As many of you know I carry the Loan Collection book with me to collect signatures from the artists whose work was included in the collection and the response I received from this was 100% positive. One senior member even laid on the floor to sign my book because no table was handy. He took my autograph collection very serious so he did what he had to do in order to make his signature look good in my book. It's people like this that make me proud to be a part of the PPA.

01-19-2012, 04:01 PM
As a first time Imaging attendee, I will say this was AWESOME! I would encourage everyone to attend if given the chance. The app was great. I was disappointed that the favorites did not show times, but it was easy enough to just go to the listing for the full day, and look for the starred items. Might be nice to be able to numerically rank the favorites. Many times I had 2 or 3 sessions starred, so that I knew they were of interest. But then I had to remind myself which I considered to be the highest priority.

I also attended a couple pre-con classes and again, was blown away by the amount of information presented. In particular, I attended Ann Monteith's SMS Business Basics for Portrait Photographers, and Jack Davis' one day class on Lightroom. Both were incredible.

01-19-2012, 04:16 PM
I agree about the recycling of speakers/class subjects. I wish there were classes that were geared towards those that aren't beginners.

My favorite class (although I didn't attend too many) was Larry Peters. He gave great pricing info and went in depth with it. It was something I haven't seen yet at Imaging.

I wish the CPP test wasn't during a class. I had a couple of classes I really wanted to attend and couldn't.

And my favorite thing at the Expo? Wacom's new tablet. I WANT.

01-19-2012, 04:38 PM
PPA or Imaging it is all the same to me. But on the pro4um some suggested it would be nice to have a lot of out of the industry speakers as well. This was what was so good about Senior Portrait Artist was the out of industry speakers.

01-19-2012, 06:16 PM
PPA or Imaging it is all the same to me. But on the pro4um some suggested it would be nice to have a lot of out of the industry speakers as well. This was what was so good about Senior Portrait Artist was the out of industry speakers.

That's a cool coincidence. I'm talking with an artist now about about putting together a program geared toward inspiring photographers. I think the idea would be refreshing.

01-19-2012, 08:43 PM
One suggestion would be to have a shuttle to all recommended hotels. We reserved our stay at the Embassy as it was listed as a recommended hotel. The night of the degree awards, the only shuttle was to the Hilton and Double Tree that I was aware of when it was pouring.

If a vendor isn't there, on the centralized map, make a notation of it. A friend was looking for Adobe and they weren't there.

I didn't make it to many classes, as I really just wanted to relax and see the new items that were out there. I've been going for the past 6 years (didn't make it to San Antonio) and the walking was what I expected.

Also, I second speakers from other industries.

01-20-2012, 12:43 AM
This was my first time to a convention. I must say I think it KILLED. I LOVED it. Classes were awesome. Every single person I ran into in New Orleans (except for my hotel problem) was a doll. I think the locals were prepared for us and hit the hospitality out of the ballpark. 99.9% of the vendors were exceptional. Barely mention what I was thinking and I had something free or nearly that in my hand. I shipped 30 pounds of literature and other stuff home. Met exceptional people. I didn't have problems with temperatures in classes or on the trade show floor, and by the time I got to the parties, seating was not a problem, not that I stayed seated long, anyway. :) I must say that if this is the type of convention that is usually thrown, I will be a long-time devotee. I was missing New Orleans as soon as I stepped on the plane to go home.

01-20-2012, 02:20 AM
It was a great convention! Loved the city of NOLA. The walking didn't bother me at all.
We were talking/reminiscing on the plane on the way home and noticed there isn't a 'keynote' speaker anymore. Last time I saw one was in Phoenix a few years ago (Anne Geddes)...it was fantastic and I'd love to see another special speaker event like that (even if it's a non-photographer but maybe biz-related).
The lack of ample seating at the parties was a big disappointment - I ended up eating on the floor both nights.
Otherwise everyone was sooo nice...and hats off to the volunteers! My goodness they work hard!

01-20-2012, 02:01 PM
Agree with Cassandra and many. No keynote was disappointing to me, as I remember David Hume Kennerly, Ford's Presidential Photographer. Maybe Jay Maisel was keynote. I was not present for Anne Geddes. Such keynote program is important to absorb!

No matter where we are, PPA or regional or local, the down-lights on a projection screen is of concern to me. The engineers, architects and maintenance people do not understand our visual nature. The outsourced lighting/sound people need to prepare each facility....

I had been to New Orleans for the 2005 Imaging and once before that, came to this two days before, and thoroughly enjoyed my time. Once traveling, I think it's important to combine time for whatever.

Trade show can be very overwhelming, but it's very nice to have so many vendors all in one place. I also missed Adobe booth, but their speakers such as Julianne Kost, well-deserving of her award, should be at every convention! She is not to me missed! I learned a long time ago to look at layout & info ahead, and that first time in trade show, I make a walk-thru to see an overview, make mental notes where to return.

This is first year of the IUSA app, and I referred to it often. I happened to chat with one PPA staff member who was happy to hear feedback. I'd love to be able to add my notes on the calendar concerning who is speaking at a vendor booth space. Are we aware if they will read feedback here? Some staff does.

It is a good thing: many vendors were very conscious of minimizing paper, and only had one sheet or card to give out; I think those that scanned my badge will email brochures. To the dismay of a few, I intentionally minimized the paper I picked up, to not add to my luggage.
I liked the PPA bag, and will use it grocery shopping; several vendors also had some great re-cycling re-use bags! Thanks to them!

YES, the volunteers did a great job. I volunteered during the Atlantic City Imaging 2002, and understand, if only somewhat as times change. I've been props & talent chairs both regionally & locally, and can say that what I observed was all superior.

Barbara's team was superior. Please continue.....

01-20-2012, 05:49 PM
Well, having never been to NOLA, I enjoyed myself immensely. I spent Friday walking around the French Quarter taking snapshots, took a carriage ride where I learned alot of NOLA history, and overall played tourist for the day. Everyone I met was extremely nice. Saturday was spent setting up the Print Exhibit, which was a great time in and of itself, and met with a wonderful group of OurPPA forum members afterward. For me, walking thru the Print Exhibit over the course of the conference with several different people, and discussing the prints was actually the biggest and best learning experience I had. Plus sitting down and talking shop one on one with a friend who shared her sales techniques was probably the best "class" I had. I really enjoyed the fact that there are now classes specifically for CPP's, and the marketing one was really good. Overall, Imaging was a hit again this year.

My two complaints would be this...As for the parties, I was also one of the people who ended up eating on the floor for the first party. More tables are definitely needed.

My second complaint is not really a complaint so much as a request regarding speakers/material for next year (or the following, if Atlanta speakers and topics are already picked). We currently have the topics broken out into categories such as Portrait Track, Wedding Track, Adobe, Sports, etc. It would be nice to see a further break-down within those categories along the lines of Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced, so that if we don't want to attend a Beginner class, we wouldn't end up sitting thru part of it and then walking out. And it would be nice to see a few more Advanced type classes offered. With more "real" world discussion topics. I don't always want to hear about the "rock star" photographer who went from $500 sales to 6 figure sales. How about topics with more realistic numbers? Those are just a few of my thoughts.

Thanks to all the volunteers who make Imaging such a success each year!! Keep up the good work!!!