After originally announcing the dates for the 2011 PMA would be Feb. 1-3, 2011, the Photo Marketing Association announced today that the show will now be held Sept. 8-10 next year, remaining in the Las Vegas Convention Center’s South Hall.
The PMA show has traditionally been held in the first quarter every year, but the organization cited “changes in industry buying cycles and in technology developments made the new schedule advantageous” for the change.
Ted Fox, executive director and CEO, PMA added that “based on input from key suppliers and trade groups, the PMA show is changing dates to better serve the photo industry.”
With the annual International CES Show held in early January every year (Jan. 7-10 in 2011), the first quarter dates for PMA were also creating some difficult decisions for manufacturers, retailers and journalists that often found attending both shows a tough call.
Several staple companies have pulled their presence from the PMA Show in recent years, including Canon, Epson and Adobe to name a few. Others have scaled their booth space down considerably as well.
“Having the PMA 2011 show on the leading edge of the holiday season is the best opportunity to make critical buying decisions for the fourth quarter,” says Brian Wood 2010-11 PMA International president.
Moving the show to the pre-Q4 September dates and setting up a holiday-sell angle was also clearly a big hook for the change.
“PMA member retailers and service providers can now use the largest annual photo imaging show and conference to find those new products and services that will make a holiday season successful,” explains Fox. “Also, world-class PMA convention education will provide the most up-to-date retail trends and market information.”
PMA also noted in a released statement that, “the fast-paced business world means nimble retailers and service providers no longer need the long lead of a first-quarter event. Conversely, the fall show dates are ideal for those large chain stores that do place purchase orders long in advance.”
Brent Bowyer, executive director, Independent Photo Imagers (IPI), Henderson, Nev. explained of the change, “From the independent specialty retailer’s point of view, I’m very pleased with this announcement. I welcome the opportunity to attend an early September educational event and trade show to be prepared for the huge holiday buying season. This is a fabulous idea.”
To build on the excitement of the photo/imaging category, the PMA 2011 show will be open to photo enthusiasts Saturday, Sept. 10.
“Our very successful Digital Life Expo, held each year in Australia, has shown the consumers’ appetite for hands-on photography experiences is considerable,” says Fox. “For the first time, enthusiast and hobbyist photographers can walk the show floor to see and to touch the latest cameras and imaging technology.”
PMA member associations — including the Digital Imaging Marketing Association (DIMA), Photo Imaging Education Association (PIEA), and Professional Picture Framers Association (PPFA) — will hold their customary conferences in conjunction with PMA 2011, Sept. 6-9.
Understanding the first-quarter time period is ideal for the educator, school portrait and sports-and-event photo markets, PMA is considering a spring 2011 event for the Professional School Photographers Association International (PSPA) and Sports Photographers Association of America (SPAA). More details will be available after the leadership of these PMA member associations meet in the coming weeks.
“We are extremely confident PMA will fulfill our conference needs with a PSPA Convention co-locating with SPAA in the first-half of 2011,” says Ken Strawbridge, president, Strawbridge Studios and past president, PMA and PSPA. “I respect this decision, and think it will end up proving extremely positive for all segments of the photo imaging industry.”
“I give PMA a lot of credit for adapting its convention planning to its different segments of the industry,” says Tom Hayes, Visual Image Photography, Cedarburg, Wis. “We all have different buying cycles and varying convenient times to attend a convention. PMA recognizes this, and I am sure will fulfill all of our educational needs.”
Issues regarding future dates of international PMA events, that could be potentially affected by the change, like PMA Canada Expo, will be addressed at upcoming advisory committee meetings, according to Fox.