One of the most insightful segments at this year’s PMA Convention in Las Vegas, was the presentation of the attendees ‘Hot Pics’ on the last day after trolling the exhibition floor.
Representatives from the major buying groups around the world reported their personal favorite products for improving their profits in 2009. The products selected by each retailer did not have to be new this year; the only requirement was that it was found on the PMA 09 trade show floor.
There were some very exciting new adaptations of current products and certainly some new items which will add interest to the retailer’s range of products, whether they are a Camera Store, Photo Lab, Picture Framer or a Studio. For the big box business, the new lines will present a fresh look to their photographic product stream. Clearly there were some popular items.
Hahnemule had the designer of their new canvas framing system causing a traffic jam on the exhibition floor. This new canvas wrapping/mounting system allows very taunt and professional looking canvas mounting with a minimum of tools, skill or effort. Hot Pics was intended to have only retailer presentations. When the session’s moderator, Bill McCurry found out that two other retailers had picked this product as their Hot Pic (giving it 5 votes out of 25 retailers participating) McCurry decided to delve into the product a bit more and invited the designer up on the stage to explain the process of inventing this unique system. Paul Vaz told the audience that as an industrial designer, he had to start with the end result first, and work backward to produce it, discarding the current process and thinking "outside the frame.”
The canvas mounting system was presented as The Hot Pic by Alan Logue (PMA-TVP), Hutt St Photos Adelaide Australia, Jennifer Winter, Winter Photographics foto source, Cochrane, Alberta Canada and photographer Jerry Fill, Two Halfs Photography & Graphics Las Vegas Nevada. Logue is an Australian member of the USA group IPI as well as a member of Australia’s Leading Edge group. Winter is a foto source member. Fill was the only non-buying group member to present a Hot Pic. (Jennifer Winter’s husband, Mark Winter, was winner of the Parting Shot cash prize of $10,000). The two remaining retailers who picked this product as their Hot Pic presented their second choice rather than triplicate the report.
Fujifilm USA Inc also received a vote from PRO member Peter Sandrian Jr, Sandrian Camera & Imaging, Clinton, New Jersey for the Finepix F200EXR camera for its ability to take photos in extremely low light also offering extended contrast and scene recognition.
The waterproof housing for a range of products including compacts, SLR’s and mobile phones was selected by Richard (Robbo) Robinson, Ted’s Cameras Australia – he stated “it turns everyday digital cameras into challenging environmental cameras”. Robbo, a member of the MARTA group, encouraged the audience to not limit their market by expanding into waterproof housings that are now available for a variety of CE products as well, such as mobile phones, mp3 players and iPods.
The Optech Compact Strap Trio was chosen by Paul Comon, Paul’s Photo, a PRO member from Torrance, California for its versatility. Paul also said the ‘Fat Gekko’ attachment by Delkin Devices is a photographer’s must have method of holding a camera steady with very powerful suction cups for glass surfaces, car roof tops, etc.
Some 25 items were selected by the retailers attending the event, providing a great opportunity to share knowledge and potential profit lines with their fellow business operators. The ‘Hot Pics’ session provided attendees with a last minute look at some unique items from the PMA Show floor that they may have missed in their rush to cover the event. We’ll look forward to seeing this session again at the 2010 PMA set for Anaheim, California from February 21-23.