WPPI Announces Schedule of Events for Photography Convention in Vegas

Wedding & Portrait Photographers International (WPPI) announced its schedule for its 2012 Convention, which starts tomorrow, Feb. 16, through next Thursday, Feb. 23, in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand Conference Center. The trade show component of WPPI starts on Monday, Feb. 20.

Trade show for wedding and portrait photographersUpcoming special events include the second annual Launch Pad new products preview, the third annual Photographers Ignite presentations, the Sony Party, Canon Reception and the Nikon sponsored 32nd Annual WPPI 2012 Awards Ceremony.

“The education at WPPI consists of more than a 150 classes taught by the sharpest professional photographers in the business today. Beyond the top-notch educational offerings available during our annual Convention, WPPI is also known as the premier event where photographers look forward to networking with colleagues as well as being the ideal venue to make new friends in the industry that can last a lifetime,” said George Varanakis, WPPI’s Show Director and Publisher. “And this year’s special event lineup provides attendees with the perfect nightly social events to wind down their intense days of classes and trade show discussions with exhibitors.”

WPPI Launch Pad
Sunday, Feb. 16
, 2-5 p.m., Studio Rooms A & B outside MGM Grand Garden Arena. Attendees will get a sneak peek at the latest and greatest products from WPPI’s exhibitors before the trade show opens. WPPI’s Launch Pad will be open to all media and all WPPI attendees. Snacks and Refreshments will be served.

Photographers Ignite
Sunday, Feb. 19
, 7-11 p.m., MGM Conference Center, Level 3, Rooms 312-320. Hosted by Professional Photographer Kevin Kubota, Photographer’s Ignite will feature up to 15 experienced and upcoming photographers sharing their techniques, trends, ideas and inspirations in five-minute presentations related to photography as a profession. This entertaining event will be followed by an after party with drinks and live music.

Sony Party
Monday, Feb. 20, 8-10 p.m., MGM Grand Conference Center, Level 3, Rooms 312-320. Attendees are welcome to join WPPI and Sony – who brought last year’s smash hit Runway Fashion Show – for another WPPI special event.

Canon Reception
Tuesday, Feb. 21, 8-10 p.m., MGM Grand Conference Center, Level 3, Rooms 312-320. All WPPI attendees are invited to an ’80s-themed night of great music, entertainment, fun, and networking, all sponsored by Canon. The Canon Reception, an annual tradition, is always one of the highlights at WPPI.

WPPI Awards Night
Wednesday, Feb. 22
, 6:30-9 p.m., MGM Grand Conference Center, Level 3, Rooms 312-320. Professional Photographers Tony Corbell and Kevin Kubota will be emceeing the WPPI 2012 Awards Ceremony, a prestigious event that honors the winners of the Awards of Excellence Print & Album Competition along with four winners of the International Photography Competitions. Attendees will join WPPI and its sponsor Nikon for an evening of celebration, refreshments, food and what this event is all about, recognition for excellence in imaging.

For more information about WPPI 2012 and all of its workshops and events, visit www.wppionline.com/wppi-show.shtml. Registration for all WPPI 2012 classes, workshops, events and the trade show is open now at www.wppionline.com/show/register.shtml.

The Full Registration pass is $275 for WPPI members and $399 for non-WPPI members. These rates include one free guest pass, 90 Platform classes to choose from and admission to special evening events and the three-day trade show for wedding and portrait photographers. For information on class offerings and schedules visit www.wppionline.com/show/classes.shtml.

A Trade Show about Trade Shows: EXHIBITOR2012

A trade show about trade showsThere’s a trade show for just about everything, including one for trade shows called EXHIBITOR2012, which will be held at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, March 4-8. The show is geared toward exhibit and event managers looking for new products, ideas and solutions they can use when they plan trade shows for their companies.

In addition to the exhibit hall, EXHIBITOR2012 features a conference offering more than 220 seminars, workshops, field trips and Peer2Peer Roundtables in seven different learning tracks. Sessions include information on creative strategies, organization and time management, maximizing sales leads, social media, pre-show planning, case studies, a Graphics Boot Camp and more, grouped into seven main categories: Measurement and Results, Planning and Execution, Marketing and Communications, Corporate Events, Personal and Career, Exhibits and Experiences and Global (the effects of globalization on the trade show industry).

Whether you provide graphics for, or exhibit at trade shows, EXHIBITOR2012 might be worth a look this year. The show is hosted by EXHIBITOR Magazine, which reports that this year’s show has grown from last year.

“This is the second year in a row that we have needed to expand the floor plan to make more room for large exhibits. Already, more than 65 island exhibits have been sold for EXHIBITOR2012,” said Carol Fojtik, managing director of EXHIBITOR2012. “We had 53 island exhibits in 2011. This year’s expansion allows us to accommodate the needs of both large and small exhibitors who are now on our waiting list for space.”

For more information about the conference sessions and to register to attend, go to www.EXHIBITOR2012.com. If you’re interested in exhibiting, contact Jeff Naccarato at exhibitor2012@heiexpo.com or call 877-394-2114.

Directing the Coast Guard with Durable, Vivid Graphics

Printing trade show graphics

Printing effective trade show graphics is a real balancing act. They need to be durable for the length of the event, economical and high-quality. Plus, they usually need to be ready yesterday. Sure, that’s the case with most wide-format graphics, but it’s especially true for trade show and exhibit work.

Registration area graphic panelsBill Harriman, owner of Custom Signs & Graphix in Brooksville, Fla., just north of Tampa, is a seasoned pro who specializes in producing the best possible trade show graphics for his customers. Harriman launched the company with a vinyl cutter, right before large format inkjet printing came into its own.

Harriman has been through the entire evolution of the trade show market and now plies his trade with the latest printer technology from HP, four that run aqueous inks and one that runs solvent.

A good example of the quality output from Custom Signs & Graphix is a recent project Harriman completed for a Coast Guard trade show and conference in Orlando. The event needed a lot of graphic panels for the entrance, cyber cafes, directional signage for the conference component and a smattering of vendor booths.

Harriman estimates that he printed 150 panels, ranging in size from 22” x 28” to 4’ x 10’. All of the panels were printed on LexJet 8 Mil Production Satin Photo Paper, laminated with LexJet 3 Mil Gloss UV Premium Low Melt laminate and backed with LexJet RubberMount Clear Adhesive so they could be applied to Sintra at the show.

Trade show graphics printing with photo paper and a laminateFor extensive print projects like this one, Harriman says he’ll usually print the entire roll and then laminate it all at one time. In addition to the production processes Harriman has honed over the years, he says material choice is just as important.

“If I don’t like it, I don’t send it out. It’s a matter of using the best technology and materials. The materials I buy from LexJet are not the most expensive, nor are they least expensive. What they do is put the ink on the paper and make it look good,” he says. “I’m not interested in finding a cheaper product. I try to find materials that are economical and as close to the top-of-the-line as possible. That’s where your value is, and it’s what I’ve found with LexJet’s products.”

For the Coast Guard trade show, Harriman was after the perfect balance of economy and quality. He says the LexJet 8 Mil Production Satin Photo Paper finds that balance for this type of application.

“I had been using an older, similar paper. When this newer material was suggested to me, I was a little apprehensive at first about changing over since it’s important for me to have consistent performance from project to project,” explains Harriman. “When I tested it I found that it was consistent and performed far better. It dries almost instantly so it allows me to laminate right away. Plus, you can handle the material and not worry about keeping your hands off of it; it’s not super fragile like other papers.”

Maximizing Space at Conventions and Conferences

11th Hour Business Centers, based in Orlando, Fla., knows how to build the brand of both the sponsors and the company’s convention center/hotel clients at the myriad of conferences and conventions that come to town in trade show heavy Orlando.

Using floor graphics for conventions and conferencesThe trick, especially with high end properties, is to give visibility to the sponsors of the show while maintaining the look of the facility where the show is being held. This is particularly crucial when there are multiple shows going on at the same time and at the same facility where it’s easy to lose the both the message and the messenger in a hodge-podge of inconsistent signage.

“We want the graphics to be representative of the property and meet the needs of each sponsor at the same time,” says Mark Jacques, director of print services for 11th Hour Business Centers. “We design a lot of the work and we focus on keeping it simple and understated while ensuring we communicate the message the client wants.”

An important way to differentiate the message of each sponsor, while making it consistent with the environment of the facility, is in the strategic placement of signage and finding ways to optimize the available space. 11th Hour Business Centers does this through the judicious use of floor, carpet, window, wall and pole graphics.

“As always, the convention industry is changing and evolving. Today’s conventions are focusing much more on creating a full-blown theme to life for their conferences. Converting a hotel shell into a visual storyboard is where meeting planners are going. They want these themes focused and heavily branded to ensure that the message of the event is creatively and visually illustrated,” says Jacques.

Window graphics for conventions and conferences

A recent example was the work the company did for SPIE (an international society for optics and photonics) and its sponsors, pictured here. 11th Hour Business Centers printed nine sponsorship floor graphics on LexJet Simple Indoor FloorAd laminated with LexJet Floor Gloss Laminate.

“If they’re expecting a tremendous amount of attendance we steer them away from floor graphics where they expect lines and lots of people gathering in one place simply because all that traffic will obscure the floor graphics. Instead, we recommend main thoroughfares where there will be a lot of people walking but not all bunched together,” says Jacques.

For the entryway window to the show, Jacques chose to use Indoor FloorAd here as well. He says it sticks well and then comes off easily after the show. For SPIE, the window graphic was 98 in. x 160 in. printed in two pieces on the company’s HP 60-in. Designjet L25500 latex inkjet printer.

Columns and walls were wrapped with Photo Tex for a repositionable and easily removed graphic in lieu of typical directional and information signage. “With the solutions available to us we have the capability of having signage in a lot of different and unique places, some of which we swap out on a daily basis. We can go in and pull off today’s schedule and put up tomorrow’s schedule in a matter of minutes. Our clients rely on us because we’re keeping their image in mind as we place and install the graphics, especially when there are other conventions going on in the same area,” adds Jacques. “When we do installations at one of our properties we guarantee we won’t cause any damage to the property, and if we do we pay for it. That gives us a definite advantage because we stand behind it.”

Coveted Sunset Award to be Presented at Eight Upcoming Photo Competitions

LexJet is proud to honor and promote excellence in professional photography with its Sunset Award for outstanding photography and inkjet print reproduction at eight annual print competitions held by affiliates of the Professional Photographers of America and other regional professional organizations.

Photography competition awardThis year all five PPA Districts will include the Sunset award in their competitions. The Sunset Award winning image category is selected by the presenting organization (see specific categories below), and the winner is selected by the respective print-competition judging panel.

In addition to the beautiful Sunset Award trophy, the winner will receive a $100 gift certificate that can be used to purchase any of the products included in LexJet’s Sunset portfolio of inkjet materials for professional photographic printing and fine art reproduction.

An additional $300 gift certificate will be presented if the winning photographer purchased materials from LexJet in 2010-11 or used LexJet Sunset media to create the award-winning print. The following print competitions held in conjunction with the hosting organization’s annual conference will be awarding the 2011 LexJet Sunset Award…

PPA District Photographic Competitions:

Other regional competitions:

  • Plymouth Center for the Arts, Fine Art of Photography Regional Juried Photography Exhibition: Exhibition is April 1-30 at the Plymouth Center for the Arts, Plymouth, Mass. The Sunset Award will be presented to the winner of the Best Quality Print & Presentation category.
  • PhotoNorthEast: March 26-29, Woodcliff Lake Hilton, Woodcliff Lake, N.J. The Sunset Award will be presented to the winner of the Best Electronic Imaging category.
  • PPA of PA: April 3-5, Days Inn Penn State, State College, Pa. The Sunset Award will be presented to the winner of the Best Quality Print and Presentation category.

LexJet Supports the Beer Industry of Florida at its Annual Conference

LexJet will be on hand at the Beer Industry of Florida’s Annual Conference in Orlando, Nov. 3-4 at the Ritz-Carlton, Grande Lakes.

There’s a full slate of activities at this year’s event, including a Welcome Reception with an array of craft and specialty beers; a Breakfast and Business Session with presentations by industry experts like Jim Koch, founder of Samuel Adams; a lunch and golf tournament at the Ritz-Carlton’s Greg Norman Signature Golf Course; Company Showcase tables in the Registration & Hospitality Hall; and a Reception and Dinner featuring Harry Schuhmacher, editor of Beer Business Daily.

For more information, contact Heidie Nesset at 850-222-8960 x1 or Heidie@floridabeer.org. Also, call a LexJet account specialist and let us know if you’re planning on attending.