Imaging USA first-timer questions...
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  1. Default Imaging USA first-timer questions...

    So i'm finally buckling down and going to my first big photographers' conference/seminar. Since I've never really been to one like this I need some tips. For instance:


    What do you bring? I plan on bringing clothes and stuff, yada yada (except for one or two sets of 'fancier' stuff for the nice dinners), but I'm also bringing a small amount of camera equipment and my laptop. Any tips for this or anything in general? I've heard the best deals at the EXPO are at the end of the last day. I plan on buying a lens, a filter, perhaps a meter, and a few other trinkets. I'm going to wait and see what the prices are there, but I don't want to buy on the first day if the last day is cheaper. Also, do most vendors accept debit/credit, or should I bring a checkbook?

    Any other tips or suggestions would be appreciated!

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Schaumburg (Chicago 'burb), Illinois
    Posts
    1,688

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    Before you leave for Image, make a list of items you want to purchase. There is a lot of temptation to purchase things you don't need or can't really use. Also you want to know how much the items on your want list normally cost at via your normal channel. That way you know if you are really getting a deal. Some places may be giving a deal off their normal prices but are still higher than other places. I usually don't purchase anything until the last day either. But I do shop around to see what interests me. Personally, I can't recall any vendor not accepting a CC for payment.

    Make sure you bring comfortable walking shoes, a notebook/pad of paper to take note and a pen/pencil. Also bring lots of business cards to exchange with vendors and other photographers you may meet.
    Regards,
    Howard Kier, CPP Weddings, ABI, MBA and DAD
    Magical Moments Photography

  3. Default

    Thanks for the info, Howard! It was very helpful, especially the tip on bringing business cards...I never even thought of that.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Central New Hampshire
    Posts
    2,322

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    YES, business cards, for the door prizes some vendors may have - easier than taking time to write one's name and address.
    George Hawkins
    Cr. Photog.

  5. #5

    Default

    Good thread...any more advice guys? I am a first timer too.
    Did you miss me?
    Andrea Chapelo, CPP
    www.chapelophotography.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    793

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    I recommend doing a once around the room for the trade show the first day, with the map, marking places that you want to go back to see and/or buy from.

    Bring lots of business cards and a BIG notebook to write in at the classes.

    I never bring my camera equipment (no time for it really, and I learn better by listening than fiddling with settings) but to each his own.....

    Laptop of course...

    AND, I suggest bringing a rolling bag of some kind to the tradeshow, like a carry-on size suitcase on wheels. This allows you to gather all the info and miscellaneous freebies the vendors give out WITHOUT having a sore back and dead arms at the end of the day. You will end up with a lot of stuff, so its best to know that and just prepare.....

    Also, what I did last time was bring a box of those energy meal bars with a bottle of water for lunchtimes because it is SO PACKED at every place for lunch that if you don't race your way back to the next class you may not get in or may have to stand at the back. I found it MUCH nicer for me to skip "lunch" and go to the next class early.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Petaluma, CA
    Posts
    5,479

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    Spend an extra day and see America! We do this every year so that we can take in the sights of towns we would normally not even think of visiting. We do our "shoots" then, in a more relaxing way.

    One thing to do: When going to the trade shows, most of the vendors will extend the show specials for at tleast a week after the show. I would recommend that you actually don't buy at the the show, too many chances of getting caught up in the "special deals" and you can bargain yourself into bankruptcy. I find that unless you specifically have items to purchase, and you've done all the homework as to how much of a deal you can get at IUSA, It's much better to go back home and ground yourself so that you don't get too caught up in the emotion of a buying frenzy.

    Go to as many social events as you can. The PPA charities on Saturday Night is a marvelous opportunity to meat many of your "celebrety" photogs who grace the pages of PP Mag and Rangefinder. Definitely the two parties and if you have a close relationship with your lab, they often will treat you for dinner on the non-party night (Monday Night). Or get to gether with some of the OurPPA gang, they're already cooking up some get togethers as we speak.

    Make sure you go through the print exhibit. If you want to get a real good idea as to what the best of the best is in the world of photography, this is it. One thing I do is look at the general exhibit first, then go through the loan images. You will see why the judges picked the loan images (in most cases, as there are some I think they miss from time to time )

    Go to Tripadvisor.com and search out all the different restaurants in the Tampa area to visit. They are very reliable.

    Go to the awards ceremony on Tuesday night. It will be absolutely inspiring to see everyone get their degrees and I think Frank Chricchio is getting a long over due Lifetime award! Then the Kodak Party follows!

    Most of all, have fun! I look forward to this every year and it is worth every penny to get away from my studio and chill after the holiday season....come to think of it, we really did chil in San Antonio last January
    Michael Gan,M.Photog.Cr. CPP,
    Meritage House of Photography

    If your business depends on you, you don't own a business-you have a job. And it's the worst job in the world because you're working for a lunatic... You can't close it when you want to, because if it's closed you don't get paid. You can't leave it when you want to, because if you leave there's nobody there to do the work. You can't sell it when you want to, because who wants to buy a job?
    —Michael Gerber
    http://www.meritageonmain.blogspot.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Rome, Italy
    Posts
    3,882

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    Wow, Naomi! You should write for Fodors or the Michelin Travel Guides!

    I've seen brides at wedding shows use labels with their name and info for drawings, etc. Should I do this or will I look like a giant dork?
    STEFF (not StePH)

    Stephanie Millner Cr.Photog., CPP

    main site | destination pets | blog | facebook | fan page

    Ah, to live like the Italians... with extremely little to do.
    12.01.09 - Viva la Roma!

  9. #9

    Default

    Great tips Noami and Michael. Thanks! BTW Naomi I like your new Avatar
    Did you miss me?
    Andrea Chapelo, CPP
    www.chapelophotography.com

  10. #10
    andiegoodman
    Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stephanie Millner View Post
    Wow, Naomi! You should write for Fodors or the Michelin Travel Guides!

    I've seen brides at wedding shows use labels with their name and info for drawings, etc. Should I do this or will I look like a giant dork?
    Actually, Stephanie, it is a great idea and was getting ready to suggest that. When you make up your labels, put your name, studio name, address, phone and email address. So much easier than writing all that info all the time and much cheaper than business cards.

    Take those (the cards) for other photographers and give the vendors a label.


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