Imaging USA: Do it, and do it right.
Over 10,000 photographers will be heading to Atlanta in couple weeks for Imaging USA, the annual convention and trade show for the Professional Photographers of America. The core event is Sunday through Tuesday, with several pre-convention workshops and meetings happening in advance.
Imaging USA Tips to Make the Most of the Event
Having attended this (and other conferences) in the past, here are some Imaging USA tips to make the most of the event.
- Check out the Imaging USA schedule ahead of time and identify those educational sessions that sound like they’re of the most interest to you.
- Download the app for your iPhone or Android device. It’ll let you easily browse the schedule on the go and keep up with last-minute changes. Grab the download links here.
- After you’ve made that plan feel free to change your plans if opportunities come up.
- Don’t skip the trade show. It’s impressive (probably the largest vendor show I’ve seen at a photo conference). We all work with various vendors in the industry including labs, equipment manufacturers, and online service providers. This is a great opportunity to develop those relationships, ask questions, inquire about how they can better serve your needs, and see if they’re offering any show specials for something you need.
- That said, don’t buy stuff at the trade show just because it’s on sale. If there’s something you’ve been thinking about or planning for, by all means, take advantage of any deals you can get. But avoid the temptation to buy something just because it’s a good deal. No need to waste that money on gear that won’t be used enough to make it worthwhile.
- Use this opportunity to connect with people. Interested in meeting someone you’ve only “known” online? Reach out ahead of time and make plans to meet for a chat, a coffee, or a drink. Remember that not all connections have to be directly related to photography. A couple times I’ve organized a craft beer meetup for folks at Imaging. We chatted about beer. And photography.
- Don’t be shy about approaching speakers and other “famous” folks. You may only know them from their website or books or videos, but they’re at Imaging to help you out. Feel free to introduce yourself to anyone.
- One good way to connect with others: never eat alone. Meals are a great opportunity to network.
- Speaking of networking: don’t forget the business cards. Hand them out after you connect with someone. Don’t be that pushy one just throwing cards around left and right… no reason to give out a card to someone who will just trash it after the show (if not before). Only give out a card to those you want to connect with.
- On a related note: after the show, sort through the various cards and contact information you received. I like to do this on the flight home. Figure out who you want to follow up with, and make a plan to make those connections.
Attending a Big Conference as an Introvert
Introverts can do the big conference thing too! I’ve previously written an article about being an introvert at conferences. Check it out.
Connect With Me
I’m always interested in meeting Tech Photo Guy readers or other photographers. I’d love to say hi at Imaging this year. drop me an email and let’s connect.
Do you have other Imaging USA tips? Leave a comment below!