I'm sure you've heard that I attended WPPI in Vegas last week. I've been hoping to attend this event for a couple of years and was so psyched to be able to attend this year. I talked Casey and Amy into going with me and we started making plans.
My first worry was whether or not Henry was going to be okay in Georgia while I was in Las Vegas. I think I talked about that more than the cost or the flight or the convention! Turns out he was totally fine! Played with Papa and Nana, Daddy, Gramma and Caroline and Quinn and Grampa, and didn't think twice about me!
For those of you not familiar with WPPI, WPPI stands for Wedding and Portrait Photographers International. They have been hosting a HUGE convention and trade show for the last 30 years. And, if I'm not mistaken, it's been in Las Vegas every year.
Our plane ride there was uneventful. Casey isn't too fond of flying, but has traveled a lot, so Amy and I got to follow her lead through the airport and all the way through checking in at the hotel. Once we entered the hotel/conference center (MGM Grand), we didn't leave the place until we went home on Wednesday!
Overall, my experience with WPPI was all-together not what I was expecting. I was expecting to learn tons, meet a whole handful of new people and check out the trade show (after all, it's the biggest in the country!). What really happened was this; we waited in line (a lot), I didn't really learn much (should have taken Masterclasses) and the trade show was AWESOME!
Jasmine Star, one of my favorites, was a platform speaker on Monday night and we waited in line to see her for 2 and a 1/2 hours! Yes, I know, we're crazy :-) She was given a 900 seat room and I have no idea how many people were turned away at the door. We also had to wait in line for a long time to see Tamara Lackey, whom I didn't know anything about prior to Tuesday morning, but we enjoyed her presentation quite a bit. We sat through a few other sessions, but Tamara and Jasmine were they only ones notable :-)
The food selection at the MGM Grand was pretty terrible. There was a food court with McDonald's, Nathan's Hotdogs, Pizza, and Asian Fresh. All of it was over priced and the lines were very long. Or you could go to some really fancy restaurants like, Emeril, or Seablue for $56 a plate. I ate a lot of apples and peanuts. Next year, I think I might check a bag full of food so I'm not tortured by the selection of overpriced, greasy food. The absolute worst thing, though, was that all soda was $3.00 per drink. Even a 12oz can was $3.00. Really?! Who thinks that ok?
The MGM Grand also charges for internet. $14.95 per 24 hours of use. Needless to say, we didn't buy internet. We just went without for a few days... And for some strange reason, using our phones to check Facebook or email drained the power so fast that we had to charge our phone twice a day. We would see people just randomly plugged in to the wall while talking or surfing. Had to be something weird with the MGM Grand....
The trade show. I had a blast seeing all the vendors that I use. I played 20 questions with vendors that I didn't know, but wondered about. I fell in love with the albums from Asuka. Their print advertising doesn't do their albums justice. I should have figured that they were beautiful when I found out that Michelle of Pinkletoes Photography uses them, but really, in person, so gorgeous.
Nothing else super exciting stands out in my mind. The plane ride home was not fun. We flew through a storm in Alabama that made flying feel like a really bad, really loud roller coaster ride. Yuck.
Thanks for reading! I have some very pretty photos of Haley coming up next!