An Overflowing Cornucopia of Vendors & Exhibitors at WPPI 2024 

January 26, 2024

By Abbey Pleviak

Photographers old enough to remember Toys ‘R Us stores know the excitement of the WPPI Show Floor. There is virtually nowhere else so full of the toys photographers want to get their hands on. One can literally explore for hours and days among aisles overflowing with cameras, lenses, camera accessories, lights, printers, print products, business and marketing tools, software, apps, props, wardrobe, and more.

At the fully-styled shooting bays – equipped with models, gorgeous backdrops, pro light setups, and recommended camera settings – photographers also can play as they experiment with all they’ve been learning at WPPI, capturing stunning folio-quality images. 

The Show Floor will also have a podcast stage, folio reviews for WPPI Platinum Conference pass holders, and educational stages at vendor booths, and a WPPI stage with demos and talks. Right now, you can get amazing deep discounts on WPPI passes with Full Conference Passes (usually $199) available for only $99 and Show Floor Passes (originally $49) free! You just can’t beat that – especially considering that vendors typically offer awesome deals only for conference attendees. (Get the codes to grab those passes right here.) 

Photographers can add to their portfolios when they use the professionally styled photo booths on the WPPI Show Floor. © PWP Studio Corporate Event Photographers

Make Connections that Count 

At a recent WPPI Live on the WPPI Rangefinder YouTube channel, host Elena S Blair buzzed with excitement when she put her focus on all things related to the Show Floor at WPPI.  

She says, “[The WPPI Show Floor] is where you get to go in and actually touch the paper from your print lab. This is where you get to pick up all the different cameras. Put them in your hands. Try out a lens. See if you like it. This is where you’re making that connection.” Elena says when someone asks her to recommend a lens or other gear, she says to try it out first. What someone else likes might not work for you. The same goes for everything in your business. You should love the gear and products you use. It’s a big investment, and you want to get it right. 

The Show Floor is the place to get to know the vendors whose equipment and gear you use. Building those relationships can make your daily business run smoother and can lead to bigger things, like teaching opportunities and ambassador relationships. © Abbey Pleviak

Elena also says making face-to-face connections with the vendors you work with is vital. When you know your reps personally and can contact them directly, it makes troubleshooting any issues that come up so much easier. 

Photographer Chloe Ramirez, who was a guest on the WPPI Live, also emphasizes the value in vendor relationships, saying “Being a business owner, being a photographer, can be an isolating business. We don’t have co-workers. We have friends in the industry. We don’t have tech support. We have brands that we can lean on. For me, aligning myself with these brands who are supportive of my business and supportive of my art is the most invaluable to me.”  

This year, Chloe, who has previously taught at the Nikon booth on the Show Floor, will be leading a WPPI seminar for the first time. It’s called Dynamic Posing for Couples: Embracing Movement and Direction

Michele Celentano teaches on the Canon stage. Right now, you can get access to the Show Floor for free, and that includes educational content appearing at stages like this on the WPPI Show Floor. © PWP Studio Corporate Event Photographers

The Pathway to Ambassadorship Starts on the WPPI Show Room Floor 

Another guest on the WPPI Live, destination wedding photographer Michelle Harris spoke about how her experience on the Show Floor of WPPI led to her becoming a Sigma ambassador. When she first attended WPPI in 2019 as a speaker, she visited the Sigma booth to have her many Sigma lenses cleaned for free. They struck up a conversation about what she was teaching, and she got the card of a marketing manager. After following up three or four times over a year, they invited her to teach a class at their booth on the Show Floor. As soon as she got off stage, they invited her to become an ambassador. They had been keeping their eye on her all year, and her class on the Show Floor was her audition. Michelle says, “I literally can thank WPPI for my relationship I have with Sigma.” 

Elena emphasizes the point that photographer associations with big brands don’t just fall from the sky. She says, “You have to make a place for that connection to happen, and it happens at WPPI.” 

At WPPI this year, Michelle will be teaching Mastering Moments: Posing and Prospering Throughout the Weddings Day. Elena will be teaching Fine Art School Portraits: Everything You Need to Launch a Boutique School Photography Business

Nikon Ambassador and celebrity photographer Matthew Jordan Smith teaches on the Nikon stage on the Show Floor in 2023. © Abbey Pleviak

Who and What to Expect 

With over 80 vendors in attendance, there are just too many to list. Canon, Nikon, Fujifilm, Sony, Adobe, Adorama, Tamron, Profoto, Aputure, Sigma, GraphiStudio, Photo Flash Drive, B&H, Panasonic, ReTouchup, Tavern, Now Candid, and Capture One will all be there. In addition to the WPPI stage, you can find education at several of the major vendor booths. Check out the schedules at each of them and at the podcast stage. As Elena says, “You want to pay attention to what’s happening on the Show Floor, too. It’s kind of overwhelming, but it’s overwhelming in the best way.”  

As a side note, Elena strongly recommends attendees to book a room at the Mirage before they sell out! She says not only does it maximize your networking opportunities because you’ll be right in the center of all the action, but it’s also so convenient to be able to pop up to your room for a 20-minute breather if you need it. And, if you stay a little later than you plan at one of the four big parties, it’s so easy to get home again! If you book your room before February 8, you will automatically be entered into a contest to win a free suite upgrade.  

WPPI is from March 3 – 7 at the Mirage in exciting Las Vegas. With 66 mind-blowing seminars, one epic keynote, four nights of parties, five after parties, 80+ Photo Walks, 40 Shooting Bays, 80+ exhibitors, two Master Summits and The Portrait Masters Summit, it is the premiere conference for learning, shooting, and making incredible industry contacts from all around the world. 

Get your Full Conference Pass or Show Floor Pass right here

Photographing Love by Kristina Wikle
The Newborn Series
Family Lifestyle Photography by Elena Blair