The PMA@CES grand experiment continues. For years, the PMA show was the de facto photo experience, and CES was the behemoth consumer electronics extravaganza. And while some major CE manufacturers made space for their imaging products, you usually needed a tour guide to find the nook where they resided.
Well, it’s 2013 and imaging has finally been invited to the adult’s table.
Walking the show floor, we saw not only companies like Samsung, Panasonic and Sony afford imaging its due, we also saw huge, overflowing crowds in booths from Canon, Nikon and Fujifilm. I was particularly impressed with Samsung having their Smart cameras side by side with their Galaxy notebooks and phones; far from an afterthought, their photo offerings are now fully integrated into the flow of Samsung’s connected story.
Imaging represents true growth in the CE industry—especially as other product lines are struggling for profits. And with the marriage of Android operating systems with a multitude of product offerings, we’re now beginning to understand how camera companies are finding solutions to the smartphone challenge.
We’re also seeing more and more independent photo dealers at CES, further solidifying imaging’s rightful place in the technology ecosystem. The PRO group’s decision to have their meeting at the tail end of CES was an astute move, as they rightfully encouraged the imaging industry to embrace this show as their own.
One final note: I was lucky enough to moderate a panel on improving printing profits as part of the PMA@CES conference series. Two of my panelists, Shannon Dennis Daniels and Garry Green, brought it home for me. “We are an industry of storytellers,” they said. “And the more we listen to our customers, and allow them to express themselves, the more successful we will be.”