There are so many options out there to educate yourself on photography and business. Do you take a class? Workshop? Attend a conference? It can make your head spin trying to make a decision!
You might be wondering are photography conferences worth it? All the time, expense, and possible travel? We would say a big resounding yes! Conferences can offer you a lot. But you want to make sure you choose one that best fits what you are wanting to focus on. They come in all shapes and sizes! Here are four reasons why you should attend one at least once:
Education: Obviously, this is a big reason to attend! One thing that conferences offer that workshops don’t is the chance to learn from multiple industry leaders. Workshops are great when you want that specific one-on-one intensive education from someone. At conferences, you’ll be able to learn about a variety of topics from handling clients, marketing, new techniques, finding your voice, or just gaining an overall new perspective about your business.
Community: Let’s face it, being a photographer can get lonely at times. We don’t have co workers that we can socialize with throughout the day. A lot of times our “co workers” are those that we’ve connected with online in Facebook groups. Conferences can offer you a chance to meet face to face with people you may know only online and make new industry friends in the process.
Reset: After a busy season, creativity can sometimes take a hit and leave you feeling burnt out. A conference could be just what you need to get a refresh and gather some inspiration from others. You can see what new trends are taking place, find a new perspective of photographing your clients, or even find a new technique to try out! There are so many ways to get your creative juices flowing. Hearing someone else speak passionately about their craft could be just what you need to get motivated again.
Expo: Most conferences have a great vendor expo!Especially at larger conferences like what WPPI. While going through the expo can be overwhelming, the key is to make list ahead of time of what you are looking for in your business. It could be a new album vendor, a new kind of camera strap, an online gallery company, print companies, a new studio management program, etc. Then make it your mission to stop by and see what the companies are all about. Having the chance to see or touch the products is a great advantage to going to the expos. Plus you can see what they hottest new items are!
So what exactly is out there? Here’s a quick list of 2018-2019 conferences:
PUSH Conference (going on now!) July 9-11th, 2018 Greencastle, IN
The Portrait Masters September 4-7, 2018 Phoenix, AZ
ShowIt United November 4-7, 2018 Tempe, AZ
Midwest Gathering November 7-8, 2018 Detroit, MI
PhotoPlus Expo October 25-27, 2018 New York City, NY
Imaging USA January 17-22, 2019 Atlanta, GA
ClickAway February 8-10, 2019 Dana Point, CA
PhotoPro Expo February 21-25, 2019 Covington, KY
WPPI February 25-March 1, 2019 Las Vegas, NV
SYNC March 1-4, 2019 Destin, FL
Reset March 22-24th, Lexington, KY
Mystic Seminars April 8-12, 2019 Miami, FL
ShutterFest April 23-24, 2019 St Louis, MO
So how do you pick? Get into your groups on Facebook and ask around! Tell them what you’re looking for and get feedback from others on why they liked it or felt like it wasn’t for them.
Have you attended any of these? What was your favorite? Is there a conference we left out that you think we should add?
Want to get your business organized? Try Iris today!