Attending a Kelby Training Live Seminar

So you’re considering attending a one-day seminar put on by Kelby Training Live (or you aren’t currently considering it but you’re curious). Here’s a quick run-down of what you can expect, and a few tips….

What to bring
Dress comfortably and bring something to put on in case it gets chilly. Convention Centers are notorious for (a) having large rooms that get chilly and (b) taking a long time for the temperatures to change.

Laptop? I wouldn’t bother unless you need it to check your email. The seminars are not meant to be hands-on, so there’s really no advantage to trying to follow along. Over the years I’ve seen the majority of laptop owners close their laptop during the first class and only use it during breaks.

Pad and pen. We provide very comprehensive workbooks with pretty much all the notes for everything being covered throughout the day, but you still may want to take a few extra notes here and there. I can’t speak for every instructor, but I know most follow the notes very closely and only occasionally throw out an additional shortcut here and there.

There’s usually some pretty great deals on books, DVDs and other products so you might want to consider giving yourself a “budget” (or getting one from your Boss) before you come – then you can look through all the options knowing how much you can spent.

Make sure you bring some business cards. You’re going to be spending the day with 400 – 500 Photoshop users from your part of the world, so you never know who you might meet and make a business connection with.

You’re on your own for lunch, and depending on your city there may be lots of nearby options for eating or nothing at all. Of course that’s outside our control and that’s why I suggest that ahead of time you check into the area around the convention center, or consider packing your own lunch and bringing it with you – you’re welcome to stay and eat in the seminar room. There’s one hour for lunch and often there’s a brief bonus presentation from a vendor, so plan accordingly.

Getting there
Needless to say, check and double-check the directions and leave yourself enough time to find the faculty and park. Most convention centers charge for parking and only rarely do they validate the parking to reduce the cost. Also, many conventions centers are pretty huge, and finding where the seminar can be challenging.
Tip:if you find a security person to ask for directions, ask them for the Photoshop seminar, the name of the actual tour, and Kelby Training. Usually one of these will ring a bell and they’ll be able to help you. Often convention centers have an in-house AV system where events are shown on TVs, so those can help.

Once you arrive
The doors to the seminar room open at 9 am, with the first class starting at 10am. You’re welcome to get there earlier – although anything before 8 am is pushing it a bit ? You’ll see a table and a sign for registrations but again, that doesn’t open until a little before 9 am. If you have an email confirmation just have that in hand and you’ll get your packet in no time flat.

While you’re waiting for the doors to open, take a look at the vendors who have tables as well as the book and DVDs that are for sale. Usually there are people like OnOne Software, B&H, Wacom and others there to show their products and answer your questions. You’ll also see booths for the National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP) and Kelby Training Live, so if you have any questions or are thinking of joining, these are the folks to talk to.
Tip: often at our seminars there are unique show specials if you sign up or renew your NAPP membership, so be sure to check those out.
Tip 2:
Many vendors have draws for some goodies so make sure you check out their table to look for entry forms.

Once you’re inside, most times there are two (or more) large screens, that show the instructor’s computer. Of course you can sit anywhere you want, but I would position myself close to the front of the room, closer to the screen than the instructor. As the instructor, as much as I like having people sit right in front of me I completely understand when the people sit near the projectors (hey, I would too!). Often the room is sold out, so please consider not spreading yourself over several chairs but leaving room for everyone ?
(If you have special needs such as requiring an interpreter, contact our office no later than two weeks prior to your seminar date to allow appropriate arrangements to be made).

As far as coffee, there is some available at the start of the day. Generally, when it runs out it runs out, so if you’re a coffee hound you probably want to check out nearby coffee sources.

The format of the day
The seminar is broken into 5 one hour sessions with 15 minutes breaks in-between, with one hour for lunch. We ask that everyone hold their questions until the breaks as there is tons of information to cover in each class. Instructors make themselves available as much as possible during the breaks and encourage people to come up with their questions. Please don’t be bummed if we don’t get to your question but we do follow the schedule as closely as possible and stick to these short breaks. And if you would, give the instructor a few minutes to wolf down their lunch before hitting them with questions ;)

To reiterate, this is not a hands-on day so following along on a laptop is not required and personally, I don’t recommend it. As I mentioned, you will receive a very detailed workbook with all the notes from each session. Occasionally the instructor will add a few notes here and there but generally you don’t have to worry about taking tons of notes all day.

(Mike Kubeisy demonstrates the importance of looking closely at your workbook)

You’ll be asked to fill in an evaluation form before the start of the last class and we really appreciate your feedback – and this is how we give away door prizes!

The last session is scheduled to end at 5pm and usually it does, but it’s important to note that at the end of the day we give away some door prizes, so you should plan to be there until at least 5:07 or so ;)

I’ve been teaching these one day seminars for Kelby Training for over 8 years and I’ve read through thousands of evaluation forms. I’m happy to say that the most common “negative” comments are “the room was too cold” and “there should have been more coffee”. Happily, we have an extremely high satisfaction rate – and a very high percentage of repeat attendees.

For more information on our seminar tour and to see the schedule of cities near you, visit kelby training live

(seminar photos by Alan Hess. Cold guy from istock)


  1. David

    August 26, 2010 at 9:39 am

    I have been to two of these one day seminars. One of which was with you Mr Cross and the other was with Scott Kelby. I find them extremely helpful and for the NAPP member you cant beat the price. Yes there are 500-700 of your closest friends but I always felt like it was just me and the instructor talking. The seminars are so packed for information that if you dont get a question answered it is really the attendees own fault. Keep up the good work Dave. Being an NAPP member was probably the best decision I have really ever made.

    As a bonus comment I have been trying to go to one of these seminars a year and I choose then to re-up with NAPP so I can get the free goodies that go with it. This past May I re-upped and got a 95.00 DVD at no charge just for re-upping. Cant beat it.

  2. Tom Peterson

    August 26, 2010 at 9:48 am

    I’ve been to a few of the Live Training events and have really enjoyed them. Couple of things that are great are the facts that the timing is fairly tightly controlled, presenters make themselves available between sessions, instructors don’t go down a rat hole answering person specific questions (the middle of a session isn’t the time to have “your” question answered), and the presenters try to keep things light. I’ve been to sessions by Scott, Ben Welmore, Bert Monroy and Joe McNally. Looking forward to you coming up to Connecticut for a program. I’ll be first in line to sign up.

  3. Alan

    August 26, 2010 at 10:14 am

    Great article.

    I have been really lucky to have been at a bunch of the Live Training seminars and the best thing to bring is a pen. The books are great and usually only need a few reminder notes in the margins.

    The other thing I bring is a snack…
    It always amazes me how little food services the convention centers have even knowing they have a room with hundreds if not a thousand people right there. A cliff bar goes a long way to keep that energy up especially at about 3pm

    The other thing is to bring a business card or two since you never know who you might sit next to. Networking is important and since here is a room with a ton of people you know you have something in common with, go ahead and talk to your neighbor.

    Looking forward to the next seminar.

    (Love the photo of Mike)

  4. Susan

    August 27, 2010 at 8:40 pm

    Very useful advice, thanks Dave for taking the time to write it all out. I heartily recommend sending a link to this info to everyone who registers for a Live Training event!

    I’ve been to three Live Training events in the last year (Willmore, Kelby & you) and learned a lot…and had fun.

    May be kind of silly to mention, but one of the most memorable things about the seminars is the music track you guys use before class & during breaks. The material is mainstream enough to appeal to most and not annoy anyone too much — but what I want to point out is the track selection rocks! It’s very motivational and will PUMP YOU UP (imagine a slight Austrian accent).

  5. Miriam

    August 28, 2010 at 11:31 am

    I have attended every Kelby Training Seminar that comes to my area for the last several years and have always found them to be very useful. And fun! There’s an enormous amount of information, but the workbook is comprehensive and I’ve been able to remind myself of how to do something by going through the steps.

    I highly recommend attending, you can always learn something new and a better/more efficient way to do what you are already doing.

    Thanks for coming!

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