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Belfast is growing at a serious rate of knots and IFEX was my biggest event this year to date. With new hotels going up and conference spaces being created every month now, Belfast is the place to be. One of the latest spaces is the new Titanic Exhibition Centre on Queens Island. Basically, its a super massive tent right next to where they film Game of Thrones. IFEX took place here and called Belfast home for 72 hours.

What this big tent enables is growth. Trade shows like IFEX need a lot of room to host their exhibitors. Its a big deal to be part of IFEX as it only takes place every 2 years. It took place over 3 days over the last week of March and it was my job to cover every part of it. No mean feat considering there was over 200 exhibitors and thousands of visitors through the doors!

As well as the main trade show, I would have to cover two other internal events and areas. Salon Culinaire was a purpose built stage at the back of the main hall that would allow chefs from all sectors of the industry and all levels of experience to participate in a wide range of competitions. The second part to the IFEX show was Meat@IFEX, an expo that would host all things butchery and meat. Meat@IFEXwas so large that it had it’s own separate tent, in which I would also have to cover the World Butchery Championships.

So main trade show, cooking competitions, world butchery championships, awards photos and other various requests. No pressure!

My challenge from the client who hired me to shoot the show was at the end hand over 600/700 edited images. In the final folder I had to include shots of the public, exhibitors and their stands, product and food photos and anything else that I could spot in between all this. This trade show was like nothing I’ve ever covered before. I spent well over 24 hours on site over the three days and took over 5000 raw photos. I managed to stay on top of the workflow by editing the photos taken each day that evening. Sleep was not a priority over these 3 days but I loved the hustle from start to finish.

As well as the final edited images that I would have to upload and hand over I was asked if I could provide images on an ad-hoc basis. These were required for press and social media purposes. The press pictures had to be edited on my Dell XPS laptop as I had to control the size of the final JPEG as well as embed captions. Any pictures required for social media could be downloaded and directly edited on my phone and thanks to 4G I could send them on directly to the people that required them.

To read more about IFEX check out the main conference website.

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