Imaging Industry Reacts to PMA@CES

Imaging Industry Reacts to PMA@CES


As many of us in the imaging industry walked out of the 2010 PMA Show back in February of last year, little did we know the following year would be full of more twists and turns for the venerable imaging trade show than a well crafted murder mystery. No one would have imagined that there wouldn¹t even be a 2011 PMA.
But alas, here we sit with the recent announcement that the 2011 Show has been “co-located” and will run concurrently with the International CES Show, Jan. 10-13, 2012 in Las Vegas.
To provide a brief recap of the many announcements that followed shortly after the close of the 2010 Show in Anahiem we give you this:

– Original PMA 2011 shows dates were announced as February 1-3, 2011, in Las

– PMA announces show dates have moved to September 8-10, 2011 in Las Vegas

– PMA announces show will be renamed and retooled as the 2011 CliQ, running
September 8-10, with full show running from September 6-11, 2011 including DIMA,PPFA and PIEA. Photo enthusiasts were to be welcomed into the show on September 10.

– And finally, PMA announces 2011 show is co-locating with the 2012 CES Show, being held in the Sands/Venetian on January 10-13, to be called PMA@CES.

While lots of questions remain to be answered, the immediate industry reaction ran the gamut from shock to a feeling of inevitability.
Naturally, the two organizations directly involved in the decision (CEA/PMA) expressed excitement over the natural synergy of the two shows that has always existed.
“PMA co-location with CES creates a great opportunity for our combined audiences to learn from each other, grow, and take full advantage of the integration and connectivity of personal content (in the form of digital photography) and home entertainment,” explained Ted Fox, executive director, PMA. “This convergence will expand with continued enhancements to camera phones and tablets.”
CEA president and CEO Gary Shapiro added that from the CES perspective the move greatly adds to that show¹s digital imaging presence and further explained, “The breadth and scope of digital imaging product offerings the PMA trade show is noted for will complement and further expand our extensive growth in this product category.”
Clearly, there was much rejoicing in both Arlington VA., and Jackson, MI over this agreement.
Others in the industry weren¹t quite as enthusiastic but most seemed to feel this was the right move, if perhaps a bit mistimed.
“As an attendee it certainly makes what was already a difficult show to cover in CES an even bigger challenge,” began I3A president Lisa Walker.

“But when you look at what the imaging industry has become, how it now permeates everything, being part of CES is a great move for PMA. That the PMA crowd can now get a closer look at all these other elements that are now part of the imaging ecosystem is a great thing. I think most of us are simply surprised this has happened now ­ with the 2011 show only months away.”
Walker added that CES has had a hole that needed filling as well when it came to digital imaging¹s presence at the show and the PMA partnership obviously addresses that need.
Support for PMA as an organization was in evidence as well in the days after the co-location announcement.
“For decades, Fujifilm has been an active member and strong supporter of the Photo Marketing Association and its activities ­ most especially the PMA annual trade show,” said Manny Almeida, vice president & general manager, Fujifilm North America Corporation. “In light of the recent announcement to co-locate the PMA show with the CES show, Fujifilm will continue to offer its ongoing support for PMA, and will participate in activities as appropriate for the business.²
Kodak¹s response to the news was a bit more cautious as they explained to Picture Business, “We think PMA is an important contributor to the photo market and has been a key part of the evolution of the industry.  We hope they continue to evolve as the industry does. We had committed to booth space for the September show, so we were planning to attend. At this point, we really don't know enough about PMA's January show to comment.  Given the news, we will have to evaluate our options in relation to our commitment to CES.”
Richard Lewin, the former president of New York¹s Jay Dee Camera (now a professional photographer) and a regular at PMA¹s in the 1980s and 1990s may have summed up the industry¹s general feelings best when he concluded, “Both shows have wanted to make this happen in one form or another for several years now so no one should have been caught off guard by this. The PMA Show now needs to make sure they seamlessly become part of the CES culture to do this right. Lord knows, photography did quite a few years ago so the show simply needs to follow that lead.²

As for additional details of the partnership, we know that the two struck a multi-year agreement for the continuation of PMA@CES and PMA added that along with slowing booth sales the decision was also initiated, “in response to the production uncertainties brought about by the Japan earthquake and tsunami in March.”
According to Shapiro, “Our agreement is an excellent example of two trade associations coming together to constructively and proactively meet the challenges brought about by this unforeseen event.”