We made it! 2023 is winding down, the busy season is almost over, and your holiday sales are starting to run, generating a big revenue push to close the year strong. Now is a great time to reflect on all the wins your volume photography studio enjoyed over the last 12 months, map out next year’s activities, and consider ways you can take your business to even greater heights in 2024!
As you fill out your calendar for next year, don’t forget about trade shows! If you’ve never been to a trade show, the experience will blow you away. It’s a priceless opportunity to immerse yourself in all things photography while being surrounded by like-minded industry professionals. Getting a glimpse into our profession's current state and future roadmap will motivate you to innovate and grow your business.
Will attending trade shows benefit your studio? We certainly think so! In this blog, we’ll explain what a trade show is, why they’re valuable, and introduce you to the biggest photography shows in the country so you can decide which ones you’re interested in attending. Plus, we’re sharing where you can find the PhotoDay Team—we’re excited to sponsor and participate in multiple shows this season!
What is a Trade Show?
Trade shows have many names, including trade exhibitions, conventions, conferences, expos, and trade fairs. They are huge events where companies and professionals from a specific industry, like photography, gather to network and showcase their products, services, and innovations that will benefit others in the industry. It’s like going to a theme park, but all the attractions are photography-related. Everyone there is as excited about photography as you are, and you get ultimate exposure to the tools, technologies, tips, and trends that will help you grow your volume photography studio.
Companies set up booths to display products, distribute marketing materials, and engage with attendees to help you understand how their equipment, software, workflow, or storage system will save your studio time and money.
On top of that, there are educational presentations, workshops, and seminars with some of the biggest names in the business who are eager to share their expert insights and knowledge with you.
Taking full advantage of a trade show can improve and expand your studio’s efficiency, creativity, and capability. Plus, you might make some new best friends.
Why Should You Attend Trade Shows?
Trade shows offer a unique environment to explore new opportunities for your business, network, and gain exposure to the latest photography trends. There’s no other setting for you to learn this much in such a short amount of time.
Here are some of the ways going to a trade show will benefit your studio:
- Networking Opportunities: Trade shows encourage everyone in the industry to gather in one place by providing numerous formal and casual opportunities to get to know each other and develop crucial contacts. Some trade shows offer specific networking dinners or events. It’s no secret that an extensive network of colleagues and vendors is invaluable! You can share tips, seek advice, and pool knowledge on technologies and trade secrets as you take your studio to new heights.
- Brand Building: Trade shows present opportunities to grow your brand both in the photography community and with potential clients. The connections you make could lead to future business opportunities and partnerships! Consider using your social media platforms and blog to document all your exciting experiences at the trade show. Your willingness to innovate your studio and service offerings will be very attractive to existing and potential new clients.
- Experiencing the Latest Industry Trends: Trade shows are where vendors and industry manufacturers feature the latest technology, software, and equipment. In-depth conversations with creators and hands-on experiences with the newest tools, software, products, and printing technologies could uncover the means you need to level up your studio’s efficiency and image quality.
- Educational Opportunities: Workshops, seminars, and presentations by industry experts are priceless and will likely provide the most significant return on your investment. Learning new techniques, business strategies, and best practices from established industry veterans will directly impact your studio’s planning, execution, and growth.
The Best and Most Important Trade Shows for Volume Photographers
Attending trade shows can be a significant investment. There are travel and registration costs, and you are eliminating potential picture days from your calendar. Attending the right shows is crucial so you can leave feeling like the benefits were well worth the cost.
If you’re having difficulty deciding which shows are the best fit for you, PhotoDay has you covered! Our experts have compiled everything you need to know about the top trade shows for volume photographers. We have provided the dates, descriptions, and educational opportunities for each, but feel free to visit the shows’ websites to learn more about how to register, what vendors will be in attendance, cost, and more!
If you’re curious about a specific trade show and want input from past attendees, we suggest joining the Team and Volume Photographers Facebook Group. If you’re a PhotoDay user, join our PhotoDay Users Facebook Group. Both groups are full of members with first-hand recommendations who love to help out a fellow photographer by sharing their experiences!
- Dates: January 24th - January 27th, 2024
- Location: Las Vegas, NV
- Description: SPAC is the largest annual high-volume school and sports photographer conference! They bring together social events, education, and networking all under one roof.
- Class Overview: https://spac-usa.org/speakers/
Take a sneak peek at some course offerings:
Sports 101 & Sports 202 with Jay & Carinna Boatwright
Additional Registration Required. Limited Space.
One of the challenges facing both veterans and those new to volume sports is picking the best set of ingredients to use in their recipe for success. Jay and Carinna Boatwright of SmaX Photography and TeamDSP’s Dave Stock and Maris Naegeli will share their choices of software (PhotoDay and Blueprint) and equipment and the logic behind their selection. More importantly, the focus of this session will be how they combine these and other ingredients to match the tastes of their respective target markets: select teams, sports leagues, and middle and high school teams. Main areas of emphasis will include indoor and outdoor lighting setups, the use of both natural backgrounds and greenscreen, and picture day and post-photo shoot workflows. The Boatwrights are sponsored by PhotoDay.
PhotoDay is also hosting a Side Show breakout session.
Take your business—and profits—to the next level with PhotoDay and LVL Up Imaging. Learn how to streamline your next school picture day with Mario and Tom Muñoz (LVL Up Co-Founders) as they showcase their innovative single-light system, which guarantees:
- Beautiful, soft, and consistently perfect lighting
- Improved image quality SOOC
- Simplified post-processing steps and seamless extractions
- Compact portability (it even fits in a sedan)
- Easy 5-minute set up on location
When it comes to image-first selling, outstanding photos = awesome revenue. PhotoDay’s modern online marketplace, time-saving workflows, AI-driven knockouts, and powerful marketing tools make LVL Up and PhotoDay the perfect combination.
Stevie Williams (PhotoDay Customer Success Manager) will demonstrate PhotoDay Capture’s game-changing workflow while attendees receive FREE headshots from these award-winning photographers, plus a LVL Up discount code. Discover how PhotoDay and LVL Up can revolutionize your studio!
Other course offerings at SPAC 2024:
- AI Transforming Industry Panel
- How to Prepare an RFP for School Contract Bids
- My Secrets and Strategies for Pricing Cheer, Gymnastics, & Dance Photography
Be sure to stop by and say hi to the PhotoDay Team at Booth 401!
- Dates: January 28th - January 30th, 2024
- Location: Louisville, KY
- Description: Imaging USA is the premier photography conference! Connect and learn with fellow photographers to help excel your business. Learn skills to grow your business and spark your creativity along the way.
- Class Overview: https://imagingusa.com/schedule
Take a sneak peek at some course offerings:
Portraits Gone Volume with Jason & Jo Marino
Join Jason and Jo Marino of Strada Studios as they delve into their transformation from successful luxury portrait photographers to creative pioneers in the volume school portrait and sports industry. Discover their key business insights, upscaling techniques, innovative tech and tools, practical takeaways, and inspirational success stories about how to seamlessly blend quality and scale in your business. The Marinos are sponsored by PhotoDay.
Maximizing Sales + Image Quality for Online Volume Sales with Mario Muñoz
Don’t miss the chance to learn from Mario Muñoz of LVL Up Imaging and Muñoz Photography! Acclaimed photographer and co-founder of the innovative LVL Up Studio System, Mario will share how to maximize both revenue and image quality specifically for online volume selling. Mario is sponsored by PhotoDay.
Other course offerings at Imaging USA 2024:
- Purpose-Driven Photography: Unlocking the Secrets to Building a Purposeful and Profitable Business
- Great Clients Are Made Not Found
- Think Like a CEO: Know Thyself and Master Your Business
- Being Profitable in High Volume Sports – Process, Technique, Tools, Sales, and Marketing
- Photo-Activism: Photography With Purpose
Be sure to stop by and say hi to the PhotoDay team at Booth 1311!
- Dates: February 22nd - February 25th, 2024
- Location: Orlando, FL
- Description: SYNC is the largest High School Senior and Youth Sports photography show on the East Coast! Discover a blend of inspiration, education, and, last but not least, FUN! While at SYNC, you will be able to uncover the latest equipment and technology to help your business grow!
- Class Overview: https://www.syncrocks.com/speakers1
Take a sneak peek at some course offerings:
Dance: From Start to Finish with Rose Coleman
Want to grow your dance photography business? Learn what it takes to get new recital studios, photograph different age groups, how to sell to clients in 2024, and maximize your backend workflow with technology. PhotoDay Capture has changed the game, and you need to be using it! Take your business to the next level with Rose. This program is jam-packed with volume tips and tricks. Rose is sponsored by PhotoDay.
The Power Inside Your Portrait with Jake Carr
Join us as Jake shares his newfound secret to self-confidence. Learn how to create your own momentum and unlock the mental toughness you need to take your business and personal endeavors to the next level. Key takeaways include techniques to improve self-confidence, the hidden value of the portrait process, and reframing your mindset. Jake is sponsored by PhotoDay.
Shoot to Thrill: Creating Stunning Volume Sports Portraits with Next Level Lighting Tools with Jason & Jo Marino
Join The Marinos for an exhilarating photography presentation that will revolutionize how you approach volume sports portraits! Learn the tips and tricks Jo and Jason learned as high-end portrait photographers and parlayed into dramatic, engaging volume sports portraits that not only captivate viewers but also sell like crazy. The Marinos understand the importance of efficiency and speed and will share the tools they use to achieve stunning results without sacrificing productivity. Whether you're an aspiring volume sports photographer or a seasoned pro looking to refine your craft, this presentation is for you. Key takeaways include lighting techniques, enhanced composition and posing, efficient workflow strategies with PhotoDay and AI culling and editing, and post-processing for impact. The Marinos are sponsored by PhotoDay.
Youth Sports Photography for the Win with Jay Boatwright
In this program, the discussion will be about strategies and practices that Jay and Carinna Boatwright use for their growing studio in Atlanta, Georgia. Whether your goal is to improve your skills for local high school athletes or you want to run an organized shoot of 100+ teams in a day, Jay will share his strategies for success! The Boatwrights are sponsored by PhotoDay.
Be sure to stop by and say hi to the PhotoDay team at Booth 15/16!
- Dates: July 30th - August 2nd, 2024
- Location: Detroit, MI
- Description: ClickCon is a photography and videography conference highlighting innovation, creation, and collaboration! At the conference, you can attend practical, on-location classes (not in a classroom) hosted by some of the best speakers from all over, as well as visit with the top vendors. Experience the hands-on conference today!
- Class Overview: https://clickcon.us/classes-photowalks/
Take a sneak peek at some course offerings:
- Indoor Portrait Lightpainting 101
- Creating an Aligned Business that Feeds Your Soul (and Family)
- The Evolution of a Dancer & How to Capture Them
- Creating Drama with Emotion through Light and Motion
- LVL Up Your Portraits: Mastering the Light
- Creating the Perfect Session Day Workflow
- The Art of Sports Photography: Lighting, Shooting, Editing
- Connecting with Your Client
- Create or Disintegrate: Infuse Your Dance Photography with Artistry
When planning the next growth phase for your studio in the coming year, consider the wealth of information and opportunities trade shows have to offer. There is no substitute for the top-tier education, exposure to new ideas and technologies, and excitement you’ll feel being surrounded by photography lovers like yourself. The few days you set aside will pay huge dividends for your studio. Attend as many as you can and enjoy the results!
PhotoDay is proud to support many of the photography trade shows crucial to the continuing education and support of photographers like you. We’re excited to attend and hope to meet you there!