FAQs - Imaging USA 2018

FAQs

San Antonio FAQs
What's the parking situation at the convention center?

Here are some of the parking options for Imaging USA attendees. We recommend NOT renting a car because parking fees can really add up. Instead, we suggest walking from one of the Imaging USA hotels to the convention center. For a parking map, additional parking information and driving directions, visit the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center website.

Grand Hyatt Garage
Off Market St. (Bowie @ Market) MAP
Rate: $10.00 first hour with $5 each additional hour up to $29 maximum per day.
Phone: (210) 451-6464

Convention Center Garage    
850 E. Commerce (corner of Commerce & Bowie Streets) MAP
Daily flat rate: $10.00
Event flat rate: $11.00
Daily Parking Information: (210) 207-8266
Parking Space Reservations: (210) 639-1191

Riverbend Garage
210 N. Presa (corner of Presa & Market Streets) MAP
Flat Daily Rate: $16.00
Event/Weekends: $16.00 - $20.00
Phone: (877) 717-0004

Tower of Americas Parking
801 Cesar Chavez Blvd. MAP
Monday-Wednesday Flat Daily Rate: $8.00
Thursday-Sunday Flat Daily Rate: $11.00
Special events: $11.00
Phone: (210) 223-3101

*Please note that unless stated otherwise, there is NO in and out at these parking facilities.

How do I get from the airport to my hotel to the convention center?

We recommend a shuttle bus service from the airport to the hotel. Check the airport ground transportation page to see which service to use before you arrive, as some do require a reservation. You can also rent a car, but we don't recommend it because parking costs will add up fast. We recommend walking from one of the official Imaging USA hotels to the convention.

What's the weather going to be like in San Antonio?

On average, the weather in San Antonio is comfortable during January. Daytime temperatures are warm and rain is light, despite the cloud cover. The average high is 63 and the average low is 47 degrees Fahrenheit. That's 17 degrees and 5 degrees if you're a Celsius buff!

Where can I grab lunch/dinner?

There are several restaurants in the area including Ruth Chris Steakhouse, IHOP, Tony Roma's, Blimpie, Subway and Denny's. To find these places and more we recommend East Commerce Street.

Where's the nearest drugstore?

The Rivercenter Drug Store just under a mile away from the convention center at 849 E Commerce St, San Antonio, TX 78205.

Should I Book My Hotel Room Through a Third-Party?

No! It has been brought to our attention that there are multiple third parties claiming to represent Imaging USA offering Exhibitors/Attendees "assistance" with hotel bookings. These third parties are aggressively cold-calling and spamming companies whose names appear on ImagingUSA.org. Please be aware, these third parties are NOT IN ANY WAY AFFILIATED with Imaging USA. Please book your hotel through the links/phone number on the Imaging USA Hotels page. PPA is working through the proper channels to put an end to the poaching and apologizes for their deceptive behavior. Here are some of the scams we've heard about that you should be aware of:

  • No one will contact you directly to book your hotel room or offer you a "special discounted conference rate" or “can save you $30.00 off your room rate".
  • If you receive a phone call from someone wanting to speak to the "tradeshow coordinator or the person who is handling Imaging USA that your company is attending in January", it is a scam and they are not affiliated with Imaging USA.
  • If someone emails you claiming to be from Imaging USA's Exhibitor Department, and the email is not from a PPA address, do not share any information with them. The company is not affiliated with Imaging USA.
What's there to do in San Antonio?

San Antonio is a vibrant city with warm southern hospitality and exhilarating attractions- its home to Sea World, Six Flags, the amazing Alamo Plaza, and so much more! There's something fun for everyone. Check out this list of some of the top things to do in San Antonio! You can also take a walk around and explore fine dining and shopping options. We know you'll find something great to do!

General FAQs
Why should I stay at the host hotels?

Three big reasons!

1. Keep your registration fees low!
By staying at the official Imaging USA host hotels, you're helping to keep registration fees down! The hotel provides complimentary meeting rooms for Imaging USA if, and only if, we meet the required minimum guest rooms in our hotel contract. Otherwise, Imaging USA must pay for meeting rooms as well as for each room we fall below the minimum—and registration fees will go up! So stay with us and save!

2. Networking opportunities!
By staying at the host hotels, you're at the epicenter for everything Imaging USA. Social and networking opportunities abound, and you don't even have to go anywhere to find them. They're all right here!

3. Save on transportation!
If you're not staying at the host hotels, chances are good you'll have to spend some money on a taxi or parking to come over for some of the events. Why incur extra expense? Stay here and be at the center of it all.

Staying at one of the official Imaging USA host hotels is the best and easiest way to get the most out of your time at the convention. We encourage you to continue to reserve a room and stay at one of the contracted Imaging USA hotels: Marriott Rivercenter (headquarters), Marriott Riverwalk, Grand Hyatt and the Hilton Palacio del Rio.

What's up with those # things?

Those little # things are "hashtags" in social media speak. It makes it easier to search your tweets, Facebook posts and Instagram photos. The official hashtag for the conference is #ImagingUSA. Use it to get on the TweetWall or possibly retweeted by @ImagingUSA.

Can I ask you a question? (We get this question a lot.)

Of course you can! Anyone in an orange button-up shirt (well, those affiliated with PPA anyway) can answer just about any question you have for us. If they don't know the answer, they know who will and will happily point you in the right direction.

How can I stay connected before/during/after the conference?

Join the conversation on social media! We're on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (all @ImagingUSA) and we'll be sharing photos, tips and giveaways as we get closer to the event! It's also a great way to interact with the speakers or connect with fellow attendees! (Oh, and use #ImagingUSA with your posts. You didn't forget already, did you?)

Is there free WIFI?

Yes, complimentary WIFI will be available throughout the duration of the show at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center.

Are there FedEx or UPS drops near the convention center?

Yes! There is a UPS and FedEx store inside the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center to handle any of your shipping needs. You can always bring an extra suitcase for your awesome deals on the Expo floor (it'll save you shipping costs in the long run)!

When is the CPP test?

Sunday, January 8: 1-3pm
Monday, January 9: 1-3pm
Tuesday, January 10: 1-3pm

Location: Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, Room 008, River Level

Will I have time to work during Imaging USA?

Imaging USA is a sun up to sun down (and then some) kind of affair. Your best bet is to turn your out of office reply on to manage clients' expectations and return messages when you have a moment.

What can I do if I get sick or have an emergency?

The closest hospital is University Hospital, located at 4647 Medical Dr, San Antonio, TX 7822980. Always call 911 if you face an emergency.

Who organizes Imaging USA?

Professional Photographers of America (PPA) is the guiding force behind Imaging USA. More photographers get into the industry every day, but few know how to run profitable businesses and many don't know where to turn for support. That's why PPA started its first convention in 1880 (that’s right, more than 130 years ago!), and that's why we continue to host Imaging USA every year.

Created and led by professional photographers, PPA is the largest photography non-profit in the world and assists 28,500 photographers through protection, education and resources for their continued success. To see how photographers can Be More, visit ppa.com.

Where will Imaging USA 2017 be held?

Imaging USA 2017 will take place January 8- 10, 2017, in San Antonio, Texas at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, 900 E Market St, San Antonio, TX 78205. Pre-convention classes will be held January 5-7, 2017.

Where is lost & found?

If you've lost or found something, swing by the Special Services kiosk at Registration. The Registration area is in Main Lobby, Street Level. You can also call the convention center lost and found at 210-207-7773.

When and where is Imaging USA after San Antonio?

Imaging USA will be in Nashville, January 14-16, 2018! More details will be announced later, but you'll be able to register for the next year's conference onsite while in San Antonio!

Should I Book My Hotel Room Through a Third-Party?

No! It has been brought to our attention that there are multiple third parties claiming to represent Imaging USA offering Exhibitors/Attendees "assistance" with hotel bookings. These third parties are aggressively cold-calling and spamming companies whose names appear on ImagingUSA.org. Please be aware, these third parties are NOT IN ANY WAY AFFILIATED with Imaging USA. Please book your hotel through the links/phone number on the Imaging USA Hotels page. PPA is working through the proper channels to put an end to the poaching and apologizes for their deceptive behavior. Here are some of the scams we've heard about that you should be aware of:

  • No one will contact you directly to book your hotel room or offer you a "special discounted conference rate" or “can save you $30.00 off your room rate".
  • If you receive a phone call from someone wanting to speak to the "tradeshow coordinator or the person who is handling Imaging USA that your company is attending in January", it is a scam and they are not affiliated with Imaging USA.
  • If someone emails you claiming to be from Imaging USA's Exhibitor Department, and the email is not from a PPA address, do not share any information with them. The company is not affiliated with Imaging USA.
Are there any refunds if I need to cancel my registration?

There is a $25 administration fee for cancellations received by Dec. 7, 2016; no refunds after Dec. 7, 2016. $35 service fee for returned checks.

What do I need to bring to take notes? Do I need a laptop?

For sessions and the Expo, bring your conference badge, business cards, note taking materials (laptop, tablet or pen and paper), reusable water bottle and personal items like cell phone and wallet. We encourage you to bring your camera.

Note taking is heavily encouraged; you'll need a place to put all of the inspirational things you come across whether it's a notebook, a tablet or a laptop! The classrooms are set up with rows of chairs, but no tables, so tablets, smartphones, or good old pen and paper might work easier than a full blown laptop. The Imaging USA app will also allow you for some great note taking options. Plus, you'll also get an Imaging USA notebook at the registration area perfect for taking notes.

Any ADA Accommodations?

All San Antonio convention hotels and the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center agree to use good faith efforts to assure compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and its regulations and guidelines. For special requests, call PPA’s Events Department at 800-786-6277.

Volunteer FAQs
What would I be required to do?

As a Convention Committee Volunteer Worker, you would be asked to:

  • Attend the Mandatory Orientation Session, which will be held on Saturday, January 7, 2017 at 6:00 p.m.
  • Assist with two Convention Programs each day-Sunday, Monday and Tuesday (and/or pre-convention programs)
  • Attend the Daily Briefing each day to stay up to date on any changes in programming. The daily briefing is held on Sunday and Monday at 12:15 PM and includes a luncheon each day and Pizza dinner will be supplied on Saturday.
What would my daily duties as a Convention Committee Volunteer be?
  • Support Imaging USA Convention Committee and event staff.
  • Support Imaging USA speakers with program set-up, etc.
  • Check badges of attendees at classroom doors.
  • Assist with speakers' props and / or their print displays.
  • Hand out any material as requested by the speaker(s).
What are the benefits of being a Convention Committee Volunteer Worker?

Aside from having the opportunity to see some of the finest photography speakers in the world in action and building friendships with other photographers on the Convention Committee Team, you will receive:

  • All Access Complimentary Convention Registration ($323 value)
  • Two PPA Service Merits
  • Daily luncheons
  • Access to the volunteers lounge
  • Imaging USA shirt
Is There a Dress Code?

Yes, there is a dress code for all Convention Volunteers and Staff. It is as follows:

  • Long-sleeved Orange Oxford Shirt (Two will be provided to any first time volunteers and must be returned on the last day of Imaging USA).
  • Black Slacks-No jeans or shorts, please.
  • Close toed, comfortable shoes—i.e. walking shoes, etc.
How do I apply to be an Imaging USA volunteer?

Download, complete and submit the Volunteer Application form.

Prepping for the Trip FAQs
Can I bring my camera?

Well… duh! Heck, we encourage you to. Not only can you get hands-on learning, but snap some photos of the conference and share on our social media sites! Just use @ImagingUSA on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Why should I stay at the host hotels?

Three big reasons!

1. Keep your registration fees low!
By staying at the official Imaging USA host hotels, you're helping to keep registration fees down! The hotel provides complimentary meeting rooms for Imaging USA if, and only if, we meet the required minimum guest rooms in our hotel contract. Otherwise, Imaging USA must pay for meeting rooms as well as for each room we fall below the minimum—and registration fees will go up! So stay with us and save!

2. Networking opportunities!
By staying at the host hotels, you're at the epicenter for everything Imaging USA. Social and networking opportunities abound, and you don't even have to go anywhere to find them. They're all right here!

3. Save on transportation!
If you're not staying at the host hotels, chances are good you'll have to spend some money on a taxi or parking to come over for some of the events. Why incur extra expense? Stay here and be at the center of it all.

Staying at one of the official Imaging USA host hotels is the best and easiest way to get the most out of your time at the convention. We encourage you to continue to reserve a room and stay at one of the contracted Imaging USA hotels: Marriott Rivercenter (headquarters), Marriott Riverwalk, Grand Hyatt and the Hilton Palacio del Rio.

Should I Book My Hotel Room Through a Third-Party?

No! It has been brought to our attention that there are multiple third parties claiming to represent Imaging USA offering Exhibitors/Attendees "assistance" with hotel bookings. These third parties are aggressively cold-calling and spamming companies whose names appear on ImagingUSA.org. Please be aware, these third parties are NOT IN ANY WAY AFFILIATED with Imaging USA. Please book your hotel through the links/phone number on the Imaging USA Hotels page. PPA is working through the proper channels to put an end to the poaching and apologizes for their deceptive behavior. Here are some of the scams we've heard about that you should be aware of:

  • No one will contact you directly to book your hotel room or offer you a "special discounted conference rate" or “can save you $30.00 off your room rate".
  • If you receive a phone call from someone wanting to speak to the "tradeshow coordinator or the person who is handling Imaging USA that your company is attending in January", it is a scam and they are not affiliated with Imaging USA.
  • If someone emails you claiming to be from Imaging USA's Exhibitor Department, and the email is not from a PPA address, do not share any information with them. The company is not affiliated with Imaging USA.
What's the dress code at Imaging USA?

Dress code for the classes & exhibits is just plain comfortable. Maybe not your pajamas, but no need to get all fancy for us. The main thing is to wear the most comfortable shoes you own. There is so much space to cover that you'll need to be kind to your feet to survive all three days. Oh, and you'll need your badge to get in every day so don’t forget it!

As for the Welcome Party, people usually wear what they wore during the sessions and Expo. The only real place where you'll want to wear your fancy pants are for the Award & Degree Ceremony and Grand Imaging Awards. Since the closing party happens after the Grand Imaging Awards, many people attend it in their dressed up attire.

Where can I find a roommate?

Flying solo for Imaging USA but looking to share the cost of a room? If you're a PPA Member, head over to theLoop's Imaging USA community. Not a member? Check out the PPA forum for Imaging USA. There are always plenty of people looking to find roommates and save money!

Onsite Registration FAQs
When is Registration open?

Attendee Registration is open in the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention, Main Lobby, Street Level:

  • Thursday, Jan. 5: 8am–6pm
  • Friday, Jan. 6: 8am–6pm
  • Saturday, Jan. 7: 7:30am–7pm
  • Sunday, Jan. 8: 7am–7pm
  • Monday, Jan. 9: 7am–7pm
  • Tuesday, Jan. 10: 7am–4pm

Exhibitor Registration is open in the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention, Main Lobby, Street Level:

  • Friday, Jan. 6: Noon–5pm
  • Saturday, Jan. 7: 7:30am–7pm
  • Sunday, Jan. 8: 7am–7pm
  • Monday, Jan. 9: 7am–7pm
  • Tuesday, Jan. 10: 7am–4pm
What does an Expo Only Pass give me?

There are hundreds of exhibitors to visit and explore, and we don't want you to miss a thing. An Expo Only Pass gives you access to the tradeshow/Expo portion of the convention as well as to the International Photographic Competition Exhibit area for all three days. Feel free to come back and make the rounds. This is like the Mall of America for photographers, so one day won't be enough to scout all the stands. Please note that it does not include entry into the parties, nor classes. Feel free to upgrade to an All-Access pass onsite, at Registration, or by phone by calling PPA's customer service at 800-786-6277.

What if I lost or forgot my badge?

Hold on tight to your badge. You'll need it to access the classes, expo, party and more. If you lose your badge, there is a reprint fee of $25 for the first badge reprint and $50 for each additional reprint. Stop by the main registration area for assistance.

What does an Exhibitor Badge give me?

There are two types of badges given to exhibitors:

Exhibitor All-Access Badge: This gets you just about anywhere. You'll be allowed all of the privileges of an All-Access Pass (parties, classes, etc.) as well as on the Expo floor before the official opening hours to set up and to tear down your booth.

Exhibitor Only Badge: This gets the badge holder access to the Expo floor before official show hours, as well as during set up/break down to get ready for your 10,000+ visitors. Please note that it does not include entry into the parties, nor classes. Feel free to upgrade to a full-access pass onsite at Registration or through the official Imaging USA primary point of contact at your company.

What does an All-Access Pass give me?

An All-Access Pass gives you just that—All Access! You can attend all of the classes, visit the Expo at your leisure and attend any of the awesome after-parties.

Where is Registration?

Pre-Con registration will be located at the Marriott Rivercenter, 101 Bowie St, San Antonio, TX 78205 3rd floor

Main Registration will be at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention, Main Lobby, Street Level. There will be signage, you won't miss it!

Imaging USA Expo FAQs
Are there any tradeshow freebies or specials?

Oh yes! There will be tradeshow freebies and specials from many of vendors and exhibitors, but that's up for each exhibitor to decide. We will find out about the deals at the same time you do, but we'll make sure to broadcast to the masses when we find out through the app's notifications and through social media. That's one more reason to download the app and follow us online @ImagingUSA!

Is there a list/schedule of the Expo floor speakers?

There is, but we don't get it until the day before the conference! There will be physical copies of the list at Registration and, once more, you'll be kept in the loop if you follow us on Facebook or Twitter @ImagingUSA: there we'll get you the up-to-the-minute scoop!

When is the Expo open?

The Expo is open daily:

  • Sunday: 11:30am – 5pm
  • Monday: 11:30am – 5pm
  • Tuesday: 11:30am – 3:30pm
Where is the expo located?

The expo is located at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, Exhibit Hall 3 & 4, entrance is located near registration, Main Lobby, Street Level.

Speakers & Classes FAQs
When is Pre-Con Registration?

Pre-Con registration is at the Marriott Rivercenter, 101 Bowie St, San Antonio, TX 78205.
It will be located on the 3rd floor near the elevators.

Thursday: 8am – 6pm
Friday: 8am – 6pm
Saturday: 8am – 6pm

There's more than one class I want to see right now! Are they being recorded?

None of the classes are recorded. Copyright protection is a big issue for photographers and instructors alike. Additionally, providing streaming or recording service would shoot your registration fee through the roof. So until the technology allows us better levels of protection at a very affordable cost (PPA is a nonprofit!), we're holding off on that option.

Can I only attend classes within my specialty?

Your call here! You surely can, but we actually would strongly encourage you to take at least a class or two (or three!) outside of your specialty. You'll be truly amazed at what you can learn and be inspired by!

What's a pre-con class? How much is it?

Pre-con classes happen before Imaging USA officially starts. For an additional fee, you can attend small group specialty classes on a wide range of topics, meaning you'll really get to dig into these topics with more one-on-one attention from the instructor. There are even a few Hands-On pre-con classes where you'll get to practice the skills you learn in class through photo shoots led by the instructor. Space for pre-con classes is limited, so register today! Here's a list of pre-con classes and prices.

Parties & Special Events FAQs
What's at the Welcome & Closing Parties?

The Welcome & Closing Parties have food, drinks and entertainment! Dance the night away with your fellow photogs–but don't forget your camera.

What is the Award & Degree Ceremony at Imaging USA and who can attend? What's the dress code?

The Award & Degree Ceremony takes place Tuesday night and is like a fun graduation for all of your fellow photographers earning awards and degrees from 2016. This is a free event to the public, so attendees can bring guests to enjoy in the celebration! The attire is formal, we're talking your fanciest pants.

What are the GIAs and who can attend?

The GIAs are the Grand Imaging Awards. The best of the best from 2016 will be honored at the event. They take place on Monday night and highlight the merits and achievements of your peers, including the winner of the International Photographic Competition. The 2016 Medalists, Diamond Photographers of the Year, and all the elite Loan Collection artists will be honored and new winners will be revealed in each of the competition's image categories.

Where do I buy tickets to the parties?

The tickets may be purchased in advance at the Registration area or before each party at check in.

How much are tickets to the parties?

The tickets are $60 per party for the Opening or Closing Party. But they're free if you have an all-access pass!

 

 

Gallery 2017 Videos