The one aspect about attending expos is that you’ll unquestionably walk away from the event with bags full of goodies from companies practically begging for you to take samples of their products or that you took yourself because everything was free and everyone else was doing it. Either way, it was all well received from my end.
Unable to attend last years Photo Plus Expo in New York, I requested the day off in advance to be among the many photo enthusiast to walk the floor this year. The chatter amongst the overflowing crowd was that the entire expo was much smaller in size this time around but as compact as it seemed, the excitement of being amongst people under one roof who shared the same passion for photography was thrilling.
What’s the Photo Plus Expo about? Well, consider it the MacWorld for the photo industry. It’s designed for professionals and advance amateurs where the latest advances on photography are introduced to the public. If you registered in advance, attendees were able to explore hundreds of exhibits for free and as well as attend over 100 photographic seminars that did require a fee but the insight gained I’m sure was well worth the expense.
Long lines for those that failed to register online.
I lost count of the exhibitor booths I visited but I recall distinctly the ones I was most intrigued in spending time with as well as uncovering some companies I was unaware existed but that I was equally impressed with. Here are the ones that stuck out:
MpixPro - Even though Fotmoto is the service that handles all the printing for photographs sold through my site, Mpix is the professional printing service that I’ve used in the passed and still occasionally use because of their remarkable quality and turnaround in delivering what you’re so eager to have. Almost 24hrs from placing an order, I’m dumbfounded when receiving the email informing me that my order has been shipped already. Their products are also far from just limited to prints and having seen first hand the stunning results of everything else that you can order through them, the likelihood that I’ll expand from just ordering prints is very high.
PogoPlug Pro - I was as lost with the name as you were when you read it. There was a considerable crowd around this booth and a lot of it stemmed from people trying to decipher what this product was and then being impressed with what it did. As it was explained to the admiring audience, the PogoPlug is a device that lets you connect any external hard drive and then access and share content through the internet.
The simplistic yet attracting banner that PogoPlug Pro had at their exhibit.
We were showed a demo in how you can make your videos, photos, files or even entire music library accessible online without any uploading required and everything was viewable through a web browser. All your files are equally accessible through popular devices such as the iPhone or iPad. You’re probably thinking this gadget is unnecessary because Dropbox delivers similar functionality but the big difference is there’s no uploading whatsoever involved with PogoPlug because the files you’re accessing are coming straight from the external hard drive you have it connected to and not from anything you’ve uploaded anywhere.
BlackRapid - Bottom line is this is a brilliant refined camera strap and it’s one of those accessories that makes you wonder why it took this long for someone to figure it out. Having tested it out in person, I was amazed how comfortable it felt having the camera hang along your hip in gunslinger mode. I don’t own one yet but I’m expecting to find it as a stocking stuffer this holiday. Rather than trying to explain the product, you’ll get more of an idea for it by watching the strap in action. There are several models to choose from.
Attendees overwhelmed with seeing all the great amount of companies exhibiting.
Blurb - This is that popular online service that’s developed a creative, easy-to-use method that turns anyone into a book publisher where they can share and sell their creations straight from the large Blurb Bookstore and you set your own pricing. You can upload your final book layout in PDF format or create it all using Blurb’s Booksmart software.
You’re probably thinking you already can do the same with Apple’s iPhoto software but having developed a few photo books of my own with iPhoto, I have to admit the print quality of Blurb’s books are far superior than I expected. The binding seemed stronger, the paper quality much higher and the cover very sturdy and well constructed. Blurb’s end products to me came across as more professional looking and that’s significant when you’re expecting for people to pay for your work.
Moo.com - I didn’t have to visit this booth for them to convince me how incredible their service is because they already have me as a faithful customer but I was curious in seeing the expression on people who were startled in discovering how awesome Moo products really are. Their business cards are the perfect alternative to traditional ones mostly because of how easily they can be subjected to being customized to your taste.
Expos are generally the best place for you to purchase products because companies have ridiculous discounts on them.
I carried my business card in the small cardboard case they were mailed in but I was charmed by this Classic Leather business card holder that keeps your Moos and even credit cards in tip-top shape. Normal price is $19.99 which is reasonable but there was a 20% discount if you purchased it on the spot and I couldn’t resist the offer. I love the classic Moleskine strap feature that keeps its content nicely secured.
My Moo business cards fit perfectly in the Classic Leather holder I purchased at the Expo for 20% off.
Nikon - This booth was perfect for having the chance to evaluate every lens you ever had a question about with most of them coming from the ones which are too expensive to afford unless you’re making enough money with your craft to justify the purchase. I became infatuated with the Nikon 85mm f/1.8 which I had never used before and at a retail price of around $450, this is one lens that will absolutely be added to my prime collection.
The entire expo last for 3 days but unless you booked seminars throughout the rest of the days or if you just want to stock up on more goodies, there’s no need to go back because I covered everything I was interested in seeing in 4 hours. Did I enjoy it? Without a doubt.