- Dry Air - if you have problems with dry skin, asthma, or allergies, they will be even more noticeable in the middle of the desert, so bring plenty of lotion, inhalers, eye drops, and antihistamines to combat the problems that come with dry air. You should also keep a water bottle handy to keep your body hydrated from the inside out - it will help prevent your body from creating its own forms of moisture, like mucus.
- Dramatic Temperatures - because there's no moisture in the air, the outside temperature can drop 30-40 degrees between the high and low for the day, and indoor temperatures can vary greatly from room to room, which means that layers are essential for remaining comfortable no matter what temperature situation you find yourself in
- Smoke - Vegas is generally a smoker's paradise, and while the Casinos and Hotels do their best to ventilate and provide clean air, you still will not get very far in Vegas without encountering second hand smoke. You may want to bring a little Febreeze to freshen up clothing items that may be worn multiple times, and antihistamines will help prevent the smoke from making you sick
- Best Dressed - since much of Vegas is about the glitter and glam, many of the hotels and locations have a high-end, night-out feeling. This means that you'll want to dress up a little (think business casual) pretty much everywhere you go. You don't have to go all out during the day, but when evening strikes there's definitely a night club vibe that could make you feel underdressed if you're just sporting some casual daywear
- Long Walks - since most Vegas blocks are nearly a mile long, that means it can take 15-30 minutes just to get to one other casino on the strip, and often it can take that long just to walk through one casino. Comfortable walking shoes are an absolute must, unless you plan to pack plenty of pain medication for sore feet and legs!
When it comes to WPPI, here are some things that will help you be prepared for anything:
- Business Cards - you will be meeting people left and right and the best way to remember them is to get their business card. I would also suggest writing a few notes about that person ON their business card after you've spoken with them to help you remember details when you transfer those cards to your address book or need to reference a conversation you had but can't remember who it was with. Bring plenty of your own cards to hand out to others so that they can remember you as well!
- Journal - rather than keeping random pieces of paper for each presentation or idea session, I would recommend a moleskin or some other kind of journal to help keep everything in one tidy place so that you can easily reference the ideas later on. After each session, I would recommend summarizing and making bullet points of any action steps that you'd like to take in the coming year based on what you just learned.
- Battery Chargers - make sure you have a way to charge your cell phone and/or camera batteries when you're away from your hotel room, since it's highly likely that your hotel room is going to be much too long a walk for you to return that critical phone call when your battery decides to die because it's trying so hard to pull a cell phone signal through several tons of casino or resort architecture.
- Have a Game Plan - Visit my previous post on How to Plan for a Great Convention & Tradeshow Experience: http://photolovecat.blogspot.com/2008/12/how-to-plan-for-great-convention-trade.html
For more great tips on how to prepare for WPPI, please visit these other blogs below!
Chris J Lee's WPPI Survival Guide Series:
Joe Photo's Five Tips:
Rachel LaCour's Survival Tips:
Becker's Schedule & Tips:
Anne Ruthmann is a lifestyle & wedding photographer from Boston, MA. She spent 10 years practing marketing & management in corporate and non-profit businesses before pursuing her passion for photography as an independent small business. She loves helping others find creative and low-cost solutions to business problems. Follow her on Twitter to see her daily adventures and thoughts.