WPPI 2020: Navigating Your Way Through

February 3, 2020

By Arlene Evans

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Flashing lights, bells ringing…oh wait, it’s not the December holiday season, it’s February at WPPI in Las Vegas and all that racket is coming from the slot machines! If you’re looking for pool time and warm weather while you’re in Vegas this time around, this is not that trip. But if you’ve decided that you need to get to the next level with your education and brand growth, then WPPI is the perfect place to be (Feb 23-27, baby!).

Hoofing It
First off, it’s a given that you’re going to have sore feet, so leave the flip-flops at home and instead pack your most comfortable walking shoes or sneakers. Once you’re at Mandalay Bay and navigating your way through all of the amazing vendors on the trade show floor, you’re going to be getting in your 10,000 steps for sure. And don’t forget about making your way over to the Conference to tap into the over 150 Platform and Master classes.

Get Your Eighties On
Before you arrive, though, dig deep into your closets to find what you need to get your ‘80s look on for the opening party! The Spazmatics will be there to get everyone up on their feet and dancing. And, of course the annual Awards Ceremony should not be missed, whether you’ve entered the competitions or not. 

Food, Budgets and More
Don’t forget to load up on bottled water and protein bars and snacks, as well as vitamin C and Airborne. Fortunately, there are pharmacies and convenience stores located nearby on Las Vegas Boulevard, so avoid the overpriced mini bar when you can! 

While you’ll most likely want to stick to a budget, there’s also a broad range of dining possibilities—from coffee and sandwiches to all-out, high-end gourmet dining experiences—in and around Mandalay Bay itself. There’s the hotel’s own Bayside Buffet (as well as the Luxor hotel’s food court nearby), the Ri Ra Irish Pub, Kumi Japanese Restaurant + Bar, House of Blues Restaurant + Bar, Strip Steak by Michael Mina, Libertine Social, Aureole and so much more before you even leave the building. Just make sure to call in advance for reservations at the fancier restaurants. 

Programming Notes
We’re proud of the programming we have for you this year, with a mix of new (about 40) and familiar faces bringing you the best education in photography. There are now five days of amazing classes, including two panels where you can join the discussion about diversity in photography as well as how women are navigating an industry more and more that used to be dominated by men.

The Annual Print, Album and Filmmaking competition’s live judging is going to take place at Mandalay Bay this year (Feb. 23-24), so there’s no excuse not to be there! Learning from our amazing judges is a unique and educational way to give you new ideas and inspiration when you get behind your cameras again.

The WPPI staff has been working for 11 months on the show and it truly is a labor of love. Please come up and introduce yourself if you see me at the show. I’d love to hear about your WPPI experiences. 

Arlene Evans is the conference producer for WPPI. Previously, she was head of the photography channel at CreativeLive, and before that the Director of WPPI. Email her your feedback: arlene.evans@emeraldexpo.com

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