A few weekends ago I drove down to Nashville to take in Imaging USA, the PPA’s (Professional Photographers of America) annual photo expo. I was fortunate to have the show so close to home. Unlike the CES and PMA shows which cater to photo dealers, this show is for consumers, namely professional photographers.
I went to the show as a dealer looking for new products to carry (found some good stuff–you will see it in the store soon) and to meet with suppliers, but I also went as a consumer as all the big boys were there–Canon, Nikon, Sony, Fuji and such. As a Canon shooter, I was in consumer mode as I got to try out the new 1D Mark IV. Yes, it’s that good.
I found it interesting that some of the big camera manufacturers like Canon will not be at the dealer-oriented PMA, but still had a big presence at the consumer-oriented Imaging USA.
Once I got my consumer cravings fulfilled, I turned my attention to my dealer objectives. I headed away from the huge, shiny booths of the big players to the smaller booths of the sellers of unique accessories and hard to find items that make OPG a great place to shop. Accessories, software, cases, monopods and such. That’s what I was after.
You know what? Those booths were just as crowded as the big booths.
That’s what I took from this show. In an era of economic uncertainty, this photo show thrived. I heard that somewhere between 10.000 and 15,000 photographers registered for this show. From the looks of the show floor, I believe it. Our vendors in the smaller booths all told me that they were having a bang-up show.
It seemed like the crowd had a fresh, optimistic attitude. Photographers were bright-eyed and had an open wallet. Several of our vendors sold all the stuff they brought and more.
Will this optimism continue through the year? I sure hope so. I’ll bet you do too!
Oh yeah–I can’t let this blog post go without my favorite shot of the show–taken with my iPhone:
Now that’s guerrilla marketing for you!