As we sit down to reflect on yet another experience at WPPI, we found ourselves in shock that it was already over. One would think that after five years of exhibiting at WPPI, the whirlwind pace wouldn't catch us by such surprise. Yet each year the conference seems to fly by even faster than the year before. Luckily, our experience at WPPI 2017 has left us with an overwhelming sense of accomplishment that we couldn't wait to share. Keep reading for our WPPI highlights and thoughts on another year at the industry's largest conference.
The Planning Stages
WPPI is typically a "must-exhibit" conference for us. Between the sheer scale of the conference, the engaged audience, and the massive exhibition hall(s), our investment in the conference has always been worthwhile. Prior to "the big announcement," we had no reason to assume otherwise and found ourselves brainstorming ideas for 2017 before we'd even attended the 2016 conference. When RangeFinder made the big announcement that they were moving WPPI to a new location in 2017, we truly weren't sure what to expect. The initial excitement quickly turned into uncertainty and concern surrounding an experience that had become so familiar. What would the exhibition hall look like? Would attendance decrease? Would the new location change the dynamic? We knew we needed to attend, but our strategy and direction had quickly changed.
Finally, with the busy holiday season looming and the conference only a few months away, we made the decision to stick to our roots. We knew success meant focusing on our key differentiators such as our products, service, and price point. With so many variables surrounding the conference, it was clear this focused direction would ensure another great year at WPPI. We also wanted to work toward our continued goal of being both a provider, and a partner, for our clients. This meant featuring our client's work on product samples (goodbye, stock photos), highlighting their experiences with our brand, and even adding a new element to our booth display--educational speaker sessions! With these ideas and goals in mind, we got to planning and created an exhibition display of which we are extremely proud to showcase (and let's be honest, show-off)!
One of our favorite elements from our 2016 booth was the sense of comfort created by our interior wall decor design. We loved creating the feel of an in-home or in-studio display and really ran with that for our 2017 design. This year's booth featured a 20' collection of all of our products, tables and shelving to showcase our table-top product line, and even an operational fireplace that served the perfect backdrop for our "fireside chats" (a.k.a. in-booth speaker sessions).
The In-Booth Speaker Sessions
We were very happy with the final display and loved seeing our vision come to life. Perhaps our favorite element of this year's booth was the in-booth speaker sessions. After a successful year with our Guest Blog Program, we knew adding an educational element to our booth would be valuable for all attendees that came to visit. Leading up to the show, we began recruiting CG Pro Prints Ambassadors who were planning on attending and wanted to offer their expertise to their fellow attendees. We were surprised and excited at the response to this opportunity and ended up featuring seven incredible photographers in our booth throughout the expo. Between a session on branding like Darth Vader (with confidence, not manipulation!), to tips on in-person sales and Lightroom workflows, these sessions offered something for everyone.
We'd like to thank our incredible speakers for offering to share their time and expertise at WPPI. Below are some of our favorite photos from the sessions. You can learn more about each speaker and their education session here.
In addition to the in-booth speaker sessions, we had the opportunity to feature even more of our talented clients within our product slideshow. The month before the conference, we launched a call-for-submissions for CG Pro Prints product photos, as well as headshots and testimonials to include with each product display. The response was so positive that we ended up needing to narrow down the entries and proudly displayed just under 50 images within the slideshow. The best part? We even got to meet some of our featured clients and took photos wthem next to their feature slide (see below). You can see the full slideshow here.
We always aim to showcase our newest products so attendees can experience them in-person. This year, we were excited to debut a product that hasn't even been launched yet and featured our Framed Fine Art Prints within the booth display! The prints were a huge hit and allowed attendees to touch, feel, and witness the quality of our upcoming offering throughout the expo. In just a few short months, we'll be offering Framed Fine Art Prints with a double-matte finish in three standard frame colors. These include Black, White, and Espresso which features a warm faux wood grain style finish. We do not have a launch date for these prints yet, but we look forward to offering them on our website as soon as all details are finalized. Thank you to everyone who stopped by the show to see our newest products and offer valuable feedback. You can see the black and white Framed Fine Art Prints pictured left (bottom left and top right).
Overall, we're happy to call WPPI another huge success for our company. With so much uncertainy surrounding the conference this year, it was a relief to realize the experience was even better than we'd hoped. We experienced increased traffic to our booth throughout the three expo days and ended up benefiting from, what in our opinion was, an improved tradeshow floor layout. Our in-booth speaker sessions added another dimension to our booth offerings and helped us drive even more traffic to our display. We also loved meeting so many current and prospective clients and hearing both the positive and constructive feedback from every single attendee who visited our booth. Now that we have the new conference layout under our belts, we're feeling confident and ready to start planning again for next year. As always, we want to thank RangeFinder for continually bringing the industry together and for providing such an engaged platform for so many industry vendors.
Although the location wasn't as "luxurious" as years past (we miss the MGM!), we can officially say we're fans of the new location at the Las Vegas Convention Center. We'll see you in 2018, WPPI!
Did you attend WPPI 2017? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!