We've been on the road for a week and headed home this morning. Going through my notes from each day while in NYC I'm thinking about those of you who simply don't get it. I'm talking about photographers who could have made it here, but rationalized their way out of the trip. So, before you decide on whether or not to go to IUSA in January or WPPI in March here are some things to think about...
Events Outside the Convention: Just because the main attraction is the convention doesn't mean that's the only thing to do. Best example for PPE this week was Shoot NYC. Hasselblad started it four years ago and this year they went over 3000 registrations. It was free, ran for two days and gave serious photographers a chance to attend some outstanding workshops running throughout the two day event. Even better was how organized they made it. Plus, it was just a few blocks away from Javits, giving attendees time to attend the PPE Trade Show as well.
Networking: For me personally it was a banner trip, catching up to old friends and getting time with new ones every day I was here. Your network is critical to building strength into your business. You don't need to take the journey of building your career and your brand by yourself. Most important of all, you can't build your network if you're watching the parade go by when you should be in it!
New Products and Services: I had a blast this week catching up to some of the companies I admire most and seeing what was new. Yes, many of them are partners in the SCU project, but that doesn't mean I have enough contact with the staff at each company. You won't stay on top of what's new if you're on the couch at home.
Together we stand, divided we fall! It's an old quote, but it's so accurate in this industry. Attending a national show like this can help you focus on what's really important in building your business. Every day you're hanging out with thousands of artists, who just like you are dealing with the same challenges of marketing, business, technology and building their skill set. Together there's a remarkable feeling that's simply in the air. It's so supportive knowing everybody is dealing with many of the same questions you're facing each day.
Meeting the icons: At a really great convention you get a chance to meet and even more important, talk with the icons, those photographers you admire the most. I was like a little kid this week catching up to photographers I've admired for years and while many of them are close friends who I talk now and then, actually being with somebody and talking with them face to face is a totally different experience in building relationships.
Time with vendors: Every product you use in your business has somebody behind the scenes to help you expand your skill set. Sure, you can talk to them on the phone, but meeting them face to face and being able to leave a show having actually met them makes a huge difference in the quality of the building blocks of your network. Don't forget to include the manufacturers of the products you use in your network. They've got some amazing depth in their experiences in imaging and they're available to help in so many different ways.
Okay, so I've beaten you up for not coming to NYC and hopefully given you some things to think about for future shows. Here's the great thing about this time of year...you've got two months to finish off the year as strong as possible and then 2014 kicks in. The first quarter of the year is loaded with opportunities for you to grow. It's critical to your growth as an artist and business person to attend as many shows/conventions as possible.
Next stop IUSA - see you in Phoenix in January.