Here's my point...all year long you should be spending a certain amount of time active in social media. I'm defining social media as everything you're doing on the Internet that involves you communicating with clients, other photographers and the manufacturers. It's primarily Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn. I'm not suggesting how much time you should be spending in cyber space...you know when it's obsessive, but it's not just about what you write, but what you read from other photographers as well.
When you attend a great convention you have a chance to actually meet the people you "talk" with all year long on the Internet. It adds a new dimension to the conversations and builds stronger friendships.
Yesterday was opening day of PhotoPlus East and here are some of the highlights that made it so worth the trip.
- In terms of meetings throughout the day, I met with five different manufacturers. Four were companies I've worked with before and one will be relatively new for SCU later this year yet.
- I headed over to the show with Bryan Caporicci and Rob Nowell from SproutingPhotographer.com. While I've spent some quality time with Bryan over the last year and you've actually been introduced to SproutingPhotographer through "Weekend Wisdom" and several guest posts, Rob and I had only met via Skype video calls.
- I finally had a chance to meet Eric Valind in person. His book on portraiture is outstanding and he's also done several posts. He was speaking in the Tamron booth, part of an all-star lineup they've set up throughout the show.
- We were able to grab lunch with Sandra Kehoe from Breathing Color Inc. and talk about everything from future products and paper quality to the challenges of getting consumers to understand the value of printed images vs. getting a jump drive.
- In travels around the show we caught up to Michele Celentano, Neal Clipper, John Ianelli, Michael Grecco, the crew from Resource Magazine, Sandy Puc, Scott Wyden Kivowitz, Matthew Jordan Smith, Scott Kelby, Kayce Baker, Jason Groupp, John Rettie, Jackie Tobin, Steve Rosenbaum, Paul Fishkin, Calvin Hayes, Karen Hart, Jim Morton, Frederick Van from TWiP, Rich Harrington, Gene Mopsik, Chris Corradino, Becker, Vanessa Joy, Kevin and Clare Kubota, Julieanne Kost and Bob Rose. My apologies for anyone I missed.
- I caught up to the Hasselblad crew and it was great seeing them back in the show with an impressive booth.
- Over in Panasonic's booth it was really busy! I had a chance to talk with Suzette Allen, Rick Gerrity, Rob Knight, Giulio Scorio and Dave Surber. They all have workshops and special programs they're doing and Dave has a new "Big City Hustle" I'll be able to share with you next week.
- I was able to catch up to Mark Rezzonico and Sarah Strid from Profoto in their conference room.
The "fruits" of the day involved new projects for 2015, extensions of some current activities, even an outrageous new contest I'll be able to share with you in December, but this was only the first day of the show. I came back to my room at the end of the day exhausted, but totally charged for what the new year is going to bring.
At the same time, I picked up on a lot of great conversations between other photographers about ideas in marketing, blogging and even technique.
...and that's why you can't sit home on the couch when there's a major convention going on. No matter what your specialty, your degree of expertise or the challenges with your financial well-being, every convention is an opportunity to recharge your battery and bring at least one new idea home from your trip.
It might be too late for you to attend PPE, but on the horizon is Imaging USA, WPPI, Shutterfest and a host of regional and state conventions. As I've written before, you can either be on the sideline and watch the parade go by or you can participate and be right in it!
So, where am I going to catch up to many of you next?