PMA@CES 2012: Retooled PMA Looks at New Directions & New Opportunities

PMA@CES 2012: Retooled PMA Looks at New Directions & New Opportunities


It has been a while. In fact, as we all walked out of the Anaheim Convention Center back in March of 2010, little did we know we’d wait almost 22 months before attending our next PMA, never mind the fact it would be called PMA@CES.

A lot has happened during those 22 months, as PMA initially changed its name to CliQ, announced show dates of early February 2011, rescheduled the show for early September 2011 under the aforementioned CliQ rebrand and then ultimately decided to colocate the show at the 2012 International CES in Las Vegas and rename it PMA@CES. Whew!

“You know what, it was time for a reinvention as so much has changed in this industry, even in just the last few years,” began Jim Cummins, of Cummins’ Photography in New York, a frequent attendee at both past PMA and CES shows. “This was the right direction to take, now they just have to make sure they don’t get lost traveling down this new road.”

Getting lost, as Cummins put it, can be an easy thing to do at the International Consumer Electronics Show, as over 140,000 folks attended last year’s event, so standing out and garnering attention isn’t always an easy task.

So then, what can we expect as our old friend, the PMA show, begins anew in Las Vegas 2012, located in The Venetian Hotel’s Sands Expo Center?

“There are thousands of PMA members who have never attended CES, the largest consumer electronics show, and PMA@CES offers a unique opportunity,” explained CEA’s senior vice president of events and conferences, Karen Chupka. “The International CES typically draws more than 140,000 attendees each year and, with The Venetian serving as the PMA@CES hub, PMA photo retailers, imaging labs and professional photographers will have an opportunity to experience the excitement that both events have always offered.”

Filling the space at The Venetian/Sands, an effort that got off to a sluggish start during the summer months, picked up considerably in Q4 as PMA and CEA officials recently announced that the 30,000 square feet of exhibit space is all but sold out in what is officially being referred to as the PMA@CES TechZone at the 2012 International CES.

The show will also feature imaging-specific pavilions from China and Germany in the space at the Sands Expo.

In an effort to help drive traffic from the Las Vegas Convention Center over to the Sands, CEA (Consumer Electronics Association, the producer of CES) has scheduled a number of the keynote speeches at The Venetian: Microsoft CEO Steve Balmer will give the opening keynote on January 9; Qualcomm’s CEO, Paul Jacobs, will speak on January 10; Intel CEO Paul Otellini will also keynote on January 10; and Ericsson Group’s CEO, Hans Vestberg, will take the stage on Wednesday, January 11.

CEA’s Chupka added that the organization spent a good deal of time working with the city of Las Vegas on traffic issues along the route from the convention center to The Venetian to expedite bus travel to and from each location.

                                    DI Here, There, Everywhere
However, digital imaging-specific products and innovation will not be limited to The Venetian; the South Hall in the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC) has been gaining steam in recent years as an imaging-centric location during CES as well. You can expect to see the likes of Kodak, Nikon, Olympus, Pentax, Ricoh, Sigma, Tiffen and Vivitar, among many others, all displaying their latest DI fare there.

Also worth noting is that some of the imaging industry’s biggest players, Canon, Sony, Panasonic, Samsung, HP, Epson and Casio, to name but a few, will all be introducing new digital imaging products at their mammoth booths in the LVCC’s Central Hall.

Other events at the 2012 International CES worth taking note of include:
• The Global Perspective on Retail panel set for January 11 at 1 pm in the LVCC North Hall that will include Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn and Walmart CEO Gary Stevenson.
• And you simply have to check out ESPN’s booth in the Central Hall on Thursday, January 12 as they will stage the first-ever live boxing card at the show, to be broadcast on ESPN 3D.

So yeah, wear a comfortable pair of shoes as you’ll be doing some walking to truly cover all this show has to offer on the digital imaging front and beyond.

It’s a new chapter in the history of the venerable PMA show and one that has the potential to take the show to places it has never gone, yet truly needed to go.