February 08, 2012

  Hey guys, its Spanki. Today I want to give you a few tips on classes and what to do while you are there. I know if you are planning on going you have booked your flight and hotel room and most likely have already looked at the scheduled classes trying to figure which ones you should go to. Me too. Last year I looked at the classes and was drawn to the ones that were teaching what I felt like I was struggling with at that moment. Which happened to be "all things business". I didn't go to one class on lighting, technique, or anything "camera" related. I attended 2-3 classes a day for 4 days in a row on pure business... wow, O.V.E.R.L.O.A.D! My mind was reeling with thoughts, ideas, and had major motivation. As awesome as that is, I think I took in so much that I got overwhelmed. This year my plan of attack is to change it up a little and go to a few classes that are all on different topics. Hopefully that way I can take in a little more and make sense of what I am hearing. I would also like to mix it up a little, once we would all get to the room at night and start talking about what we heard, I felt like I missed out on some good classes just because I hadn't "heard of" the speaker. This year I am going to classes that are more "out of my realm" maybe something I am not so sure about, possibly a few speakers I have never heard of before, I want to cover a few topics but I might take less classes this year too. All the info was amazing from the speakers, but some of the info I got just from hanging out with new friends was priceless too. I am going with a plan, but I am going with full understanding my plan can change. Just because I pre-registered for a class doesn't mean I have to go, I can change classes, I can decided not to go at all, that is fine too! That leads me to what to expect with who you are going to meet. Please, please, please go into this week ready to meet new people. We made friends, then we made friends of friends, then we made friends of friends of friends... can you see where I am going with this? We went there last year knowing 2 people that were going to be there, we would run into their friends, over and over again, and created out own little circle of friends. Like so much so, the last day we were there we met with 2 girls for a goodbye lunch and it was heartbreaking to know we grew so close over the past week and they lived across the country! But that is what it is about. Developing relationships that will carry you longer than just that one week. Bring your business cards, you will be handing them out every chance you get. Not to push your business but to push YOU. I will never forget, we were in the trade show, exhausted, hungry, and in desperate need to just sit down. There was the cutest little pregnant girl sitting alone so I sat down and struck up conversation and today I can say she is one of my best friends whom I can not wait to hug again this year! She has followed me on my journey and I have followed her on hers. The lines were too long and not a table was left open at lunch time, we grabbed some food and went and sat on the floor in the hall with a group of ladies, later that evening we met up with them again and stayed up until 4am talking and laughing. Those are the times and memories you will not want to pass up. So, have a plan but be prepared to throw that plan out the window and just enjoy every minute you are there. You never know, you might end up meeting one of Hong Kong's leading photographers too! ;) I hope this helps you to have expectations, but to remember at any given moment (or whenever there is no lunch tables open) don't let it stress you, plan B is sometimes the plan that was meant for you to take!

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