WPPI, the Wedding & Portrait Photographers International, 2016 is coming next week! This is really my favorite event of the year and there are a bunch of special events you won’t want to miss. In addition to Sue Bryce’s keynote, you can get a jump on what’s new in technology at the annual Launch Pad event Saturday night, party like a rockstar Sunday night at the opening night party at the Hakkasan nightclub conveniently located inside the MGM Grand hotel, and begin their day Tuesday by participating in WPPI’s Fun Run benefiting Steve and Tamara Lackey’s charity, “Beautiful Together.” Attendees can also watch live judging of this year’s  Honors of Excellence Print, Album & Filmmaking Competition.

Here is a list of stuff you’re not gonna wanna miss out on. Seriously, I’ll be there, so should you!

Special Events

Launch Pad

Saturday, March 58:00-10:00 p.m.

This is a chance for attendees to see the latest in imaging technology and accessories before the Expo floor opens on Monday morning. Launch Pad includes numerous exhibitors eager to share their latest products and have one-on-one conversations with attendees. For those who have a schedule filled with seminars and Photo Walks, Launch Pad is a great way to see the new tech and gear on the market before classes begin. Open to all registered attendees.


Annual Honors of Excellence Live Print, Album, and Filmmaking Competition Judging

SaturdaySunday, March 5-68:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.

(Sponsored by Moab & GTI)

Live Judging of The Annual Honors of Excellence Competition is perhaps one of the most unique educational tenets of WPPI. Imagine a portfolio review where each of your images is reviewed by a panel of five expert photographers in the wedding and portrait industry. Not only will you be able to hear the critique of your submitted images, but you’ll also get to compare your work to your colleagues’. You’ll learn about the judging process — what components of imagery, composition and lighting are given precedence over others and how your colleagues are earning their points in the Honors of Excellence accolade program. Becoming such an integral part of the revision process will give you the insight needed to enhance your print and film work. Open to WPPI attendees with a Full Platform or VIP Expo Pass.


Opening Night Party at Hakkasan

Sunday, March 6 – 8:00-10:00 p.m.

(Sponsored by Canon & Bay Photo)

After Hours at Hakkasan

Sunday, March 6 – 10:30 p.m.-1:00 a.m.

(Sponsored by Chimera)

WPPI’s annual Opening Party is a great way to kick-off the Expo. Hakkasan nightclub will set the scene for a night of drinks, glitzy photo opps, and dancing to the house DJ. Join your colleagues, WPPI speakers, and industry guests for the event of the week. Attendees are welcome to stay past 10 when doors open to the public without cover charge (21 and older).  The dress code policy is business casual and is strictly enforced. Open to WPPI attendees with a Full Platform or VIP Expo Pass. Open to all attendees at 10:30 p.m.


Late Night at XS (at Encore)

Monday, March 710:30 a.m.-12:00 a.m.

(Sponsored by Chimera)

Party the night away at XS at Encore. Complimentary entry to everyone with a WPPI 2016 badge. All attendees must have a valid 21-and over ID and adhere to the dress code: no sneakers, work boots, athletic wear (women/men), sandals, shorts or hats (men only).


WPPI Fun Run

Tuesday, March 87:00-8:00 a.m.

(Sponsored by Endurance Magazine)

Start the day with a brisk run with your friends for charity. This year, the annual WPPI Fun Run will benefit “Beautiful Together,” founded by Steve and Tamara Lackey, which improves the quality of life for children waiting for a home. Take photos as you weave through the streets of Las Vegas for a great cause and submit your photos for a chance to be featured on the WPPI website! Meet up at the MGM Conference center – at the WPPI Concierge Desk near the glass doors that lead to the Marquee Ballroom.


Keynote Presentation – Amp Up Your In-Person Sales

Tuesday, March 8 – 8:00-10:00 p.m.

(Sponsored by Canon, Animoto & Triple Scoop Music)

Sue Bryce will reveal how she’s revolutionizing in-person portrait sales, and how you can boost your portrait business with confidence. “Two years ago I was looking at a printed order and I had a revelation: we are not a digital generation, we are a now generation,” she says. “As an educator, I had to change the way photographers were selling. No more online galleries and no more shoot and burn—enough. We need to return to our roots as professional photographers. We need to print our work, and value this legacy we are capturing.” This revelation gave life to Sue’s Reveal Wall—printing her top package and having it finished and ready to go at the sales session—and since then, hundreds of photographers are significantly changing their income with magnetic and tactile in-person sales that have emotional impact and instant buying power. Open to WPPI attendees with a Full Platform or VIP Expo Pass.


After Party at Omnia (Caesar’s Palace)

Tuesday, March 88:00 p.m.-12:00 a.m.

(Sponsored by Chimera)

Show your WPPI badge and use the exclusive, expedited entry line. Save up to $50 on the cover charge with your WPPI badge and enjoy headliner DJ Calvin Harris. Must have a valid 21-and over ID and adhere to the dress code: no sneakers, work boots, athletic wear (women/men), sandals, shorts or hats (men only). Open to all registered attendees.


Honors of Excellence Award Ceremony

Wednesday, March 96:009:00 p.m.

(Sponsored by Sony & Triple Scoop Music)

The most prestigious event of WPPI and annually for wedding and portrait photographers, the Honors of Excellence Awards ceremony is the finale of the conference and attracts over 1,000 photographers to celebrate both emerging and established photographers. Join us as we celebrate the end of another great week and amazing photography. Guaranteed inspiration for all who attend. Open to WPPI attendees with a Full Platform or VIP Expo Pass.