National Harbor, MD—Imaging USA a premier photography conference, was held January 18, 2022 at National Harbor, Maryland. Photographers looking for the newest products and services could connect one-on-one with vendors as well as find exclusive discounts at the Imaging USA 2022 Expo at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center.
To help make the expo more accessible to photographers, PPA—the nonprofit behind Imaging USA—offered free passes to the trade show. The expo featured more than 100 of the industry’s most trusted brands. From cameras and gear to printing services and software, the exhibitors’ offerings covered everything photographers need to sustain a successful business. The free expo pass also included admission to the conference’s keynote presentations; mini-educational sessions on the trade show floor; and special photography exhibits.
Among the work displayed was that of Pete Souza, former White House photographer for Presidents Obama and Reagan. Souza is also this year’s recipient of PPA’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
In addition, the Imaging USA conference featured more than 80 speakers and networking opportunities.
Imaging USA 2022 Networking
Even before Covid-19, finding like-minded professionals to network with was challenging. That’s why Imaging USA 2022 offered photographers plenty of opportunities.
For example, the Networking Avenue provided attendees a chance to talk about photography as well as create some cool photos. The event took place January 16 in the Prince George Prefunction area. Moreover, it had three interactive shooting bays with professionally styled models; topic-focused networking areas; as well as a cash bar. Attendees were able to mingle, sip and shoot photos during a fun, informal event.
In addition, other networking opportunities were available between classes and events. For instance, on January 15 the New Members Meet and Greet, created specifically for new PPA members, was the place to chat with other photographers; ask questions of PPA staff; and learn about the benefits included in a PPA membership.
Furthermore, all certified photographers were invited to drop into the CPP Lounge to network with fellow CPs. The lounge was open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST during the three days of the show.
Another networking opportunity was in the Bridging the Gap Lounge. After class, attendees could head to the lounge in the Maryland Ballroom Lobby for speaker Q&A sessions. They also had a chance to win door prizes.
In addition to those lounges and events, conference attendees could build professional connections by visiting the Imaging USA Expo’s featured events:
- Stadium Club and Coaches Corner. School, sports and event (SSE) photography is a growing niche. With that in mind, the Imaging USA Expo featured brands that offer specialized services, products and equipment specifically for high-volume photography. This was a dedicated space for SSE photographers to gather and speak with vendors between classes. The Stadium Club was located on the expo floor all three days of Imaging USA. There were also free, 30-minute mentoring sessions.
- PPA Booth. Current PPA members could also visit the PPA membership booth in the Imaging USA Expo. There they were able to speak with staff and learn more about member benefits. The membership booth was open during expo hours all three days of the conference.
“Creating a great image is only half the battle of being a professional photographer. In addition to technical skills and creativity, you need the ability to adapt your business to an ever-changing industry. Easier said than done, right? Luckily, Imaging USA has a full schedule of classes to help you do just that,” PPA announced.
The Bridging the Gap classes at Imaging USA taught photographers how to move forward in business with confidence, support and financial know-how. These classes were for all working photographers who want to grow sustainable businesses. Bridging the Gap sessions focus on:
- What has changed in the photographic industry.
- How to attract the right photography clients.
- How to overcome your business fears.
- What it takes to conquer in-person sales.
- What clients’ expectations and needs are.
Attendees gained a new perspective on entrepreneurship as well as fostered a success-oriented mindset with these classes. The sessions were led by photography industry insiders, marketing professionals and sales gurus. Moreover, the diverse collection of viewpoints gave attendees several perspectives on how to succeed in business on their terms.
After checking in, attendees could visit the registration area to print a badge. In addition, they could let fellow photographers know how they’d like to socialize. They could grab a sticker for the badge in the registration area and let friends know if they were ready for a hug or if a fist bump was preferred.
Of course, per county guidelines, all attendees (regardless of vaccination status) had to wear a face mask in public indoor settings. This included classes, the expo, restaurants, bars and meeting spaces.