The time has finally come — the WPPI Conference + Expo is here! It’s my first time attending the show, and I couldn’t be more excited to check out the expo floor, some classes and to network with other photographers.

As a first-time attendee, here’s what I wanted to do to get the best out of my conference experience.

Three Types of Classes

There are loads of classes at WPPI. They’re broken into three groups — platform classes, PLUS classes and master classes.

Platform classes

These are 90-minute sessions that don’t require any pre-registration. They’re offered on a first-come, first-served basis, so get there early! In terms of types of classes, this is where you’ll likely spend most of your time. The nice thing about these is you can come and go as you choose, so if you’re not getting what you need out of a certain class, you can easily go next door and check out the next one.

PLUS classes

These full-day classes are much like you’d expect from a workshop. These classes do require pre-registration.

Master classes

These are two-hour hands-on sessions that are limited to 50 participants. Think of these as mini-workshops; these require pre-registration as well.

Hit the Expo Floor

The expo floor is HUGE and has several vendors that you know and love (Canon, Nikon, Sony, Panasonic, Olympus, Sigma, Tamron, etc.). Take out some time to visit them, but don’t forget about the smaller vendors too (Gifhyyy, Fundy Designer, Phoxi Tog, Illuminati Instruments and more).

The expo provides you the chance to visit with vendor representatives, check out the latest gear and more. Chat with vendors about what they have planned for 2018, and how they can help you with your photography. They are people who love photography and want to help.

The expo opens daily at 10 a.m.

Partake in the Special Events

Every day, multiple special events are offered to participants — everything from a Fun Run to #WPPIStudios, where you can try out gear before you purchase it. A complete list of special events is available on the WPPI website.

Walk the Strip with Photowalks

Most photowalks require pre-registration, but you’re here in Vegas — why not check out the strip? There are a ton of photowalks you can partake in; check out or the WPPI Mobile App for more information and to register.

Network with Other Photographers

You’re in a really big hotel full of photographers, so here’s your chance to network with them. Get to classes a little earlier. Introduce yourself. Meet some people on the expo floor. Talk business, creative ideas and more — you never know who you might run into!

Check Out the Rest of Vegas

You’re in one of the visually stimulating cities in the country, so go explore it! Go beyond the conference. Explore places like Red Rock Canyon or Hoover Dam. Re-create the Ocean’s Eleven scene outside the Bellagio with all the new photographers you meet. The possibilities are endless!

And don’t forget — come hang out with the Photofocus team for breakfast on Tuesday!