Wetpixel Quarterly staff members Michaela Brockstedt, Adam Lau and I arrived in Las Vegas this afternoon and headed directly to the convention center to set up the Wetpixel booth.
Michaela and Adam at the Las Vegas Airport
DEMA is always a whirlwind of activity; this year, the schmoozing started before we had even gotten our luggage. Stephen Frink and Liz Johnson of Seacam USA and Jenny Collister and Meghan of Reef & Rainforest hung out with us while we waited for our baggage to come out of the magic baggage dispenser (it took a full 30 minutes—I was betting that some Vegas advertising lobby had paid off baggage handlers to work one-handed so we could have bright signs and video flashed at us for longer in the airport).
Stephen Frink and Liz Johnson of Seacam arrive in Las Vegas for DEMA
The show floor on set-up day was a strange combination of calm and chaos. It was nice to be able to walk up to a familiar face and have a chat without wading through a gaggle of booth visitors, but with booth setup as the ultimate goal, meetings were brief.
Freeman folk, setting up at DEMA 2008 in Las Vegas
Here are just a few of the people I bumped into today: Andy Sallmon of TUSA/Sea & Sea, Joe Holley of Marine Visions, John Ellerbrock and Pamela Metz of Gates, Blake, Norma, and Jean of Aquatica, Dan Baldocchi and Paul Barnett of Light & Motion, Ruth and Robbie of NCUPS, Frank, Mark and Mike of Worldwide Dive & Sail, Fred Bavendam, Ryan Canon of Reef Photo & Video, Jae Lee of Patima, Steve Philbrook of INON America, the Fisheye guys, Scott Jones of DiveNewsWire, and others I can’t remember right now.
This year’s DEMA features an Imaging Pavilion complete with stage for presentations
The Wetpixel booth isn’t very complicated, but it still took us 2.5 hours to get everything in place; more than half of the time was spent tracking down show personnel and trying to get the tables and chairs that we ordered. I’m amazed that any of this actually works; everyone seemed to be dealing with some sort of failure!
Don’t piss Michaela off! :)
Most people seem to be taking today to rest, although I’m told there is a DEMA party somewhere. There were no doubt many sleepless nights in preparation for the next few days, and if we don’t take tonight to relax, we may regret it.
Adam and Michaela hang out at the booth. They’re probably waiting for me.
There has been no sign of our Brit booth-mates. We hope Peter Rowlands and Alex Mustard arrive safely, and look forward to seeing them tomorrow!
Matt Segal, Wetpixel administrator extraordinaire, also arrives tomorrow. I look forward to seeing him get carded as he tries to get into the show.
Come see Wetpixel at booth #3049!
P.S. Here’s a sneak preview of our new Wetpixel t-shirt (organic cotton) for 2008. They will be on sale at our booth during DEMA, and will be available for mail-order starting next week. :)
photo: Adam Lau