Photographing conferences are always quite an experience. Planners put a lot of work into getting the best vendors and attracting the best attendees! If you’re looking to find a conference, Eventbrite is a great place to search for events, since many planners register their events on their site.
Once you find the conference you’d like to attend, you should keep a few things in mind to make the most out of your experience. Here are four tips that you don’t want to overlook.
1. Network, network, network! This may be the most beneficial part of conference attendance. When else will you have the chance to be in a place where everyone shares your same interests and passions? Connecting with other photographers is definitely easy at conventions, and you should take advantage of that. Go out for lunch with other conference attendees, ask questions about their recent works and their future projects. Don’t forget to ask for their business cards and add them on LinkedIn. If you see a strong connection with some of your new conference friends, consider attending future conferences together!
2. Bring a snack and a drink. Be prepared for long sessions and workshops. If you’re the kind of person that can’t handle a long speech or a panel, make sure to have some bars or snack with you. Snacks are usually provided by the venue that hosts the conference, but you know if that specific snack that refuels your energy, so make sure to buy some in advance. Also, don’t forget to bring some water with you (especially with all the networking you’ll be doing!).
3. Bring a recording device. Some workshops or panels will interest you more than others. Rather than writing notes for the entire time, just bring a recording device with you. You can download an app on your smartphone, or use one recorder like in the good old days. If you’re using your phone, make sure to bring a phone charger with you!
4. Talk to speakers. Depending on the size of the convention, it may be harder to get to them than your peers. However, you want to go home after at least having a chat with the most interesting speaker you heard from. If possible, learn in advance what their schedule looks like after the conference. If they plan to spend the night at the convention, try to meet with that person even for a few minutes, or if you see the opportunity, grab a drink at the hotel bars. Face to face talk is the most genuine way to make a connection and learn more about what you love.
5. Take awesome photos. Always think of the planner point of view, what they can use when promoting future events. Shoot general images that can be used for promotion material as well as high-quality portrait of each speaker!
What’s the best conference you’ve ever attended? What advice do you have for attendees?
Tsafrir Melamed Photographer McKinney, TX United States