Cologne, Germany—photokina 2012, held at the Koelnmesse in Cologne, Germany, September 18-23, will be this year’s key event for the international photography and imaging specialist trade. Trade dealers from all over the world will converge there to find out about the photo-imaging sector’s latest trends, establish business contacts and order products for the high turnover fall and winter selling seasons. And this year’s photokina will once again provide a comprehensive range of offerings.
One week before the trade fair begins, a panel of experts will discuss the future of the sector. The panel will consist of high-ranking industry representatives, and the results of this meeting will serve as the basis of further discussions during the specialist trade round at photokina.
On the first day of the fair, September 18, trade representatives will take part in a panel of experts to discuss the future of the photography and the imaging specialist trade. Representatives of Ringfoto, Amazon and other companies have been invited to take part in this event.
Additionally, the GfK Imaging Summit and Market Briefings have always offered valuable information to attendees. Key data and background information, as well as detailed market and product group studies of various economic regions ranging from western and eastern Europe to southeast Asia and the U.S. will make the events, which are organized by GfK Marketing Services and Prophoto GmbH, a must-attend for trade dealers and industry representatives from all over the world.
photokina 2012 will also be the stage where two of the top industry trend themes will be examined: the ability to record HD movies with digital still cameras and the growing interest in mobile imaging or smartphone photography. A large amount of exhibition space, where trade visitors can get more information and view products, will be dedicated to both of these technological trends, as their impact on the imaging sector continues to broaden.
Acknowledging that 9% of professional photographers consider the HD movie function on digital still cameras essential, more than 50% consider it to be useful and three quarters of professionals think it’s relevant, photokina will highlight the growing importance of filming with DSLRs and compact system cameras by dedicating a showcase area to this segment in Hall 4.1.
Under the name “shoot movie,” this space offers suppliers a setting for presenting their products to the trade public. Because filming with a DSLR and/or system camera is increasingly becoming a necessity for professional users, special attention will be given to their needs. The presentations will be supplemented by a stage program tailored to the needs of the imaging professional. The program will consist of discussions, lectures and workshops. Among other things, these activities will address the issue of what today’s professionals can and must do in order to win new clients.
Mobile imaging or photography with smartphones is the theme of the showcase area in Hall 5.2. Largely driven by the success of the iPhone and its like, this segment has made inroads on many fronts. It is becoming widely regarded as an important segment of the photography industry, and experts believe that worldwide around 700 million smartphones will be sold in 2012. In fact, every third mobile phone sold in Europe is a smartphone. And of course, lots of pictures are taken with these devices. In the U.S., the portion of pictures that were taken with smartphones grew from 17% to 27% in 2011.
The mobile imaging showcase area at photokina 2012 will enable smartphone manufacturers to present their products under the same conditions as those enjoyed by network providers and app creators. As part of the showcase, a forum will provide interesting background information. Along with the question of what smartphones can do, a forum discussion will explore the topics: “Are the photos taken by mobile phones as good as those of compact cameras?” and “Will smartphones one day replace compact cameras?” In 2010, there were more than 500,000 user searches for photo apps in Germany, and around 963 million apps were loaded onto mobile phones in 2011. These facts will be addressed in the forum, as will the genesis of this new market and its likely development in the future.
This year also marks the first time that companies staging international competitions for professional photographers will be given the opportunity to present their best images to photokina visitors on the Boulevard of Competitions. The best images of the Hasselblad Masters, the Canon Promotional Award for Professionals and the Sony World Photography Awards 2012 will be on display in the northern section of the Boulevard at the premiere of this new exhibition opportunity.
photokina 2012 Support Offerings
The International Buyers’ Lounge, located directly at Entrance North of the exhibition center, will serve as a meeting point for imaging trade dealers. With its extensive range of information packages, conference rooms (including an optional interpreter service) and a relaxation lounge, this site will offer all of the services that trade dealers need to prepare for their day at the fair.
During the entire trade fair, dealers can go there to find up-to-date information, prepare for their upcoming meetings and receive help from the knowledgeable trade fair team to make new business contacts or coordinate appointments. The International Business Lounge will thus act as a back office for its users. The lounge, which will be open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. (one hour before the start of the fair until one hour after it has closed) is exclusively for registered trade dealers. Registration can be carried out at the fair or in advance on the Internet.
This year, Online Matchmaking will enable trade dealers to contact companies in the run-up to photokina and prepare for their meetings more effectively. This online tool allows users to send inquiries to all of the exhibitors in advance. International buyers can use the e-mail replies to arrange one-to-one meetings in advance and optimize their trade fair visit.
And since trade dealers who plan to visit photokina will want to travel to Cologne without complications and as inexpensively as possible, photokina is offering a range of travel services at favorable terms. With Lufthansa, trade visitors from more than 250 cities in 100 countries can take advantage of special photokina travel offers. International flights to Cologne, Düsseldorf and Frankfurt can now be booked online for the period of September 11-30, 2012 at lufthansa.com/meetingsandevents. After the access code “DEZUYG” is entered, the discount on the tickets will be automatically calculated and additional promotional offers will be presented.
In cooperation with the German railway company Deutsche Bahn, Koelnmesse is also offering trade fair participants special prices for rail tickets to the exhibition center station, Köln Messe/Deutz, from anywhere in Germany. The tickets can be booked online at the photokina website or by calling the Deutsche Bahn event hotline (DB Dialog) on +49 1805/311153 and mentioning “photokina.” photokina.com