Can you believe WPPI is almost here? I am sad to have had to cancel my appearance, due to some unexpected medical issues, but I'm sure you'll have a great time regardless!
Now is the time to prepare for the insanity that can overwhelm you if you aren't careful. To make sure you are prepared, I've made a list of 10 ways to get ready to have the best event of your business career!
1. Don't overwhelm yourself. This is so important, especially if this is your first year. There is always something to do, someone to visit and something to buy. Partially, this is because it's in Vegas which is the true city that never sleeps, but also, the schedule is constantly jam packed. It can be tempting to sign up for a class in each block and plan to spend hours wandering the trade show as well as plan on hitting up some Vegas sights. The truth of the matter is, even if you didn't need more than 2 hours of sleep a night, there is no way you can successfully manage that schedule. Take a deep look at the schedule and plan out what classes you would die if you don't attend, plan out when to eat and don't forget to plan in lots of walking time!
2. Plan smart clothing choices. As mentioned above, there will be a lot of walking. There will also be a variety of temperatures to be had! This year, the event is in March instead of February so I'd imagine the weather outside the hotel (even if you only go outside to get from the airport and to it again) will be a bit warmer than previous years. It will also get really cold in some classes and freezing in others. Make sure you pack comfortable shoes (or at least foldable flats if you insist on wearing heels) and lots of layers. Fun accessories are always a plus as well, especially because they will be great conversation starters when in line for classes. And don't forget to bring at least one fun dress or party outfit!
3. Be the outgoing version of yourself! You will most likely find yourself in line often. Waiting for food, for classes, for the elevator, etc. It can be tempting to try to be someone you are not. In fact, you will find yourself far more memorable and satisfied if you are yourself, but just a bit more outgoing. Introduce yourself to your neighbors. Be prepared to talk about the photography you specialize in, where you are from and your ideal session. Some friends you meet now may be next years roommates or even speakers!
4. Bring business cards. If you don't bring them, you will constantly wish you had. There is not much that is more awkward than having a wonderful conversation with someone and then having to scramble and try to write down their name and email address on a scrap of paper only to return home and never be able to find it. Investing in a business card case that is attractive, durable and easy to open will be lifesaving!
5. Leave room in your suitcase. It can be so tempting to stuff your suitcase full with clothing and accessories that you think you need and then find that you don't have enough room for the giveaways, deals and tons of information you will be receiving. It can end up being a major surprise expensive if you end up having to ship a box home or buy another suitcase just to get everything back to your house!
6. Don't keep everything! Every class you attend will have flyers on your seat. Every event will have cards and coupons. Every single vendor will have a pile of things to hand out to attendees. Heck, the very moment you register the first day you will receive a big bright yellow bag full of papers. Before packing to head home, going through the piles and piles of paperwork is a good thing to do. You do not need coupons for products you aren't interested in and flyers for things you've tried already and didn't like. So place it in a pile to be recycled and leave it in Vegas. Some things you get in Vegas must stay in Vegas.
7. Budget. Vegas is well known to be a city where you always end up spending more than you plan. To combat this phenomenon, make sure the budget you prepare is realistic both with what you want to purchase as a business owner and what you can afford. You want to make sure that you also keep the receipts for everything purchased, from the taxi ride from the airport to your morning coffee to the new camera bag you purchase. Every single receipt will help you when the taxes come around.
8. Charge it. The hallways of the MGM Grand are well known for it's lack of cellphone service. If you have a smart phone especially, be prepared to charge it whenever you can. Bring along a wall charger to plug it in when you have a free moment or you can also utilize the charging stations that are placed around every so often.
9. Hydrate. I cannot even begin to stress this enough. Especially if you are planning on going out at night and/or not use to desert weather. You will not be much use to friends or your business if you get dehydrated. Bring a water bottle and plan to refill it whenever you can. Of course, this means you should be ready for bathroom breaks , but it will be worth it.
10. HAVE FUN! Oh yes, it must be listed. It's surprising though because so often it is forgotten. Yes, you are going to learn a lot and meet some fantastic people but don't forget to take some time for yourself and enjoy your trip to Vegas! Whether you get a massage, tour the strip or just treat yourself to a fancy dinner you want to make sure that fun is involved! You will have a blast, if you let it happen!