I am barely 24 hours removed from the end of my PhotoCon 2019 experience as I write this. I am still processing everything and am on the edge of exhaustion.
PhotoCon: What Is It?
I was unable to be fully invested last year. The trade show was the focus of my experience. Getting to meet Peter Hurley was the highlight. I was not planning to attend this year until I saw that Stacy Pearsall was going to be presenting. This made PhotoCon 2019 a no-brainer.
Brief, Honest Assessment
The presenters I heard were good. Stacy Pearsall was, as expected, excellent. I do not think I have completely digested how her presentation has impacted me. There is a lot to process.
I only have two regrets when it comes to presenters. I couldn’t make Michele Celentano’s presentation. I’ve seen her give a keynote before and it was very good. The other regret is that I missed an opportunity to skip a presentation block and work with some of the models provided. Instead, I sat in on a good speaker talking about a topic geared more for beginning photographers.
That leads me to the real opportunity for improvement: Information. The printed schedule and online schedule conflicted multiple times. Even the staff working the event were confused at times. Neither format gave more than the speaker and a title. There was no indication of a recommended experience level or what, specifically, was to be covered. The bulk of available, useful information about the event was not on the website at all. For example, parking was only discussed in detail in a Facebook video. The opening night photowalk had multiple leaders with vastly different participant numbers so that it appeared you were either in a large crowd or a very small group.
I am hopeful that there is a followup survey to encourage participants to offer their two cents in a more formal manner. It can only help. Overall, the speakers met or surpassed my expectations. The rest fell a bit short, mostly due to communication issues. For me, future attendance will rely primarily on the quality of speakers they are able to draw.