[This is an old post, but the wisdom still applies!]

In about 48 hours I’ll be heading off to my 10th Photoshop World and I am stoked! I love Photoshop World. It is the best combination of tradeshow and training event for Photoshop, Photography and Lightroom that I have ever been too. The staff is dedicated, the trainers are the best in the business and leading vendors in the industry show up to wow us with their wares. On top of all that this one is in Vegas. Yeah, I know you love it or you hate it, but you’ve got to admit there is no place else like it.

I’ve learned a few things over the years about how to make the most of the time you are there and wanted to share them with you all. Here’s my top 10:

  1. Plan ahead. Thanks to Dave Cross this is easier than losing your paycheck at the blackjack table. Download his Photoshop World Planner PDF and you are a step ahead of the pack. [Updated: There is also a link to the Photoshop World App included on Dave Cross’s page]
  2. Speaking of the pack. Get to your class as early as possible to grab a seat. Popular classes can become standing room only and trust me when I say you will be on your feet quite enough as it is. Depending on the room layout and size don’t expect there to be a table in every room. If you are bringing your laptop you might want to be very strategic and even scope out rooms ahead of time so you’ll know what to expect when you get there. Bonus tip: Bring a sweater or don’t sit under the vents if you get chilled easily!
  3. Bring a backpack, courier bag or tote to carry your stuff. The workbook alone is bigger than the New York City phonebook, so once you fill up on vendor swag and goodies you’ll wish you had something to put it all in.
  4. Bring water. Las Vegas is in a desert after all. Water bottles in the convention center and hotels are expensive. Take a walk down the strip to a convenience store and stock up. Stay hydrated!
  5. On the topic of hydration, the air is very dry, air conditioned and you will be glad handing, hugging and chit-chatting more than you probably do in a given day. I highly recommend hand sanitizer, cough drops, eye drops and even that saline nasal spray stuff. Las Vegas sucks more than your wallet dry. Keeping yourself well lubricated (no, not just with alchohol, which also dries you out BTW) will allow you to be at your best. You didn’t just pay all that money to fly to Las Vegas to get sick now did you?
  6. OK, since I am already sounding like your mom I’ll say one more thing. Wear comfortable shoes. Seriously! You will be on your feet and walking walking walking all day and well into the night. Yes, I’m gellin!
  7. If you need help, get lost, or heaven forbid … are not having a good time at the show, please grab one of those nice people in the black STAFF shirts and talk to them. The folks at NAPP are the nicest bunch of dedicated folks I know. They will happily do what they can to help you out, but they can’t if you don’t let them know. They may look busy (and they are) but don’t be shy they really do want you to have a great time.
  8. Keep your eye on the Photoshop World Blog, where you can find some great up to the minute information about the event as well as some sage advice from past experiences.
  9. Use twitter to get as it happens news, tips and a feel for what else is going on at the show. You can’t be everywhere at once so here’s what I do, using Tweetdeck, set up a search column for #PSW (the hastag for Photoshop World) so you can see a steady stream of PSW related tweets. Make sure you are also following NAPP_News, LayersTV_RC, bradmoorephoto, davecross, planetphotoshop, terrylwhite, rhedpixel, peachpit, and (me) Lightroomers (to name a few) to hear tweets from folks likely to be tweeting away all week.
  10. OK, you weren’t able to shell out for the full conference but just happen to be in the neighborhood? No problem! Pick up a free Expo Hall pass! Yes, free! This pass will get you into the vendor Expo area which is full of free training opportunities and cool live demos from various vendors.

Hope to see you there! I should be easy to spot. 🙂

Thanks to Don Ricklin for the photo taken at Photoshop World Boston
Thanks to Don Ricklin for the photo taken at Photoshop World Boston