Photoshop World 101

Hi, it’s Janine again. Today I’m looking at Photoshop World itself, as it’s experienced by an attendee.

1. RELAX, IT’S GOING TO BE JUST FINE

You’ll receive all the information you need when you sign in. The NAPP staff are experienced pros, and they’ve got this down. The whole thing is well organized, and the friendly, efficient staff will be glad to answer any questions you have. Their focus is on making this the best conference of any kind, ever.

2. CHECKING IN

Just before your preconference workshop, or the day of the keynote, you’ll go check in and receive your conference materials. Don’t forget to bring your badge (which you should have received it by now, if not, call NAPP at 800-738-8513). You will get your conference schedule, any special passes you need, your badge holder, a bunch of other goodies, and the “phone book”–your copy of complete notes for almost all the classes. You’ll need your badge for admission to the classes and the Expo.

When you check in, you might want to sign up for Dinner With a Stranger Thursday night. If you don’t know anyone at Photoshop World, sign up for a communal dinner at select restaurants, and meet fellow attendees. I think I might do this just to get that red “I’m a Stranger” pin!

3. PRECONFERENCE WORKSHOPS

If you signed up for a preconference workshop on Wednesday  (some are sold out, but others still have space available), proceed to the location. You cannot switch to another workshop, you must go to the one you are registered for. We’ll have some reports from the pre-cons here on the blog. (I’m in the Moose/Joe photo safari–if you’re there, come and say hi!)

4. KEYNOTE ADDRESS

This kicks off the conference, and it’s one of the most fun events. All the Photoshop guys and gals are involved, it’s a huge production, and it’s very funny. There are awards, practical jokes, free t-shirts thrown to the crowd, and Adobe usually has a big announcement. There’s a big crowd outside before the doors open. Yes, it’s fun to get in first and be down front. But if you’re not, don’t worry, most of the action is shown on big video screens. Just find a seat that ‘s not behind a pillar or something else blocking your view.

5. THE CLASSES

You can go to any class you want. If you decide after a few minutes that the class isn’t for you, no problem, just leave quietly and slip into another class. There is usually water available at the back of the class (and coffee in the morning) but they might run out, so bring your own to be sure. It’s fine to eat in class. Wifi is not available in the classrooms (but it is available in the halls). BE SURE to fill out an evaluation (in the back of your class book)  for any class you take. NAPP takes these evaluations very seriously, they read every one.

6. HELP DESK LIVE

Peter Bauer leads the team for this desk where you can ask a real expert your Photoshop question. Located outside the Expo Hall, this is a great way to get an answer to that question that’s been bugging you.

7. PORTFOLIO REVIEWS

It’s too late to sign up now, but remember this for next year. You can sign up for a free portfolio review by some of the best photographers around. They’ll look at your portfolio and tell you what’s working and what’s not, and how to best  present your work. I’ve done this and it’s invaluable–you’re getting advice from the best of the best–and it’s free.

8. AFTER HOURS PARTY

Thursday 10/1, 8-11pm. House of Blues. This party sold out long ago. Rock out with Scott Kelby’s band, Big Electric Cat, have a buffet dinner, enjoy a drink or two and generally party with your fellow attendees. Next year buy a ticket early. If you want to be the first in, the line outside the door generally starts at least an hour early.

9. THE ART OF DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY

Friday, 10/2, 7:15-9:15pm. If you want inspiration, this panel discussion is worth the price of the conference. All the greats, talking about their passion for photography.

10. MIDNIGHT MADNESS

Friday 10/2. This is Photoshop World Uncensored. Very limited seating (you’ll need to line up for tickets), the one thing you’re guaranteed is that you won’t learn anything about Photoshop! The Photoshop Guys are here, there are donuts and t-shirts, contests and lots of humor. Past sessions have included Scott and Matt’s trip to In-N-Out burgers.

11. THE EXPO

Open all three days of the Conference, the Expo has software, hardware, services, all the things that you want to know about. There are classes, demonstrations, discounts, and sales. Be sure to visit your camera company’s booth (hey, Amy at Canon!) to try out lenses and get the latest news. Get your book signed by your favorite author. Usually the Photoshop Guys film an episode of Photoshop TV with a live audience. For the latest in giveaways and deals, follow Nancy on Twitter @NAPP_News (you should anyway, for the latest on all things NAPP). Here’s a tip, bring a distinctive tote bag for shopping. Otherwise, you’ll have the same plastic bag as thousands of other attendees–very easy to misplace or pick up someone else’s bag. You can find me by my BRIGHT pink tote bag.

12. CONFERENCE WRAP-UPS AND GIVEAWAYS

10/3 3:45-4:45pm After it’s all over, there’s a closing ceremony with some cool giveaway prizes. Don’t forget to turn in those evaluations!

That’s a quick guide to what will happen next week at Photoshop World.  Sounds overwhelming? Well, it is, a little. But it’s a great time, and I can’t wait.

Janine Smith is a writer and photographer in Los Angeles. She is @JanineSmith on Twitter and http://janinesmith.com on the web.