Trade body PMA has announced its show will move to September in 2011 and be open to the public for the first time. Traditionally held in the first quarter of the year, the show is being moved to fit with product release and buying periods, following a quiet 2010 show. Its spring scheduling brought it into competition with the CES electronics show (which Canon chose to attend in preference in 2010), which will be avoided with its September 8-10 2011 slot. A September date in 2012 would risk overlapping with the larger Photokina show in Europe, however. For the first time, the show will officially open its doors to members of the public, with enthusiasts able to attend on Saturday September 10th.

Press Release:

PMA announces PMA 2011 will be September 8-10, 2011

Fall event kicks off key holiday promotional season for industry

• PMA 2011 will be Sept. 8-10, 2011, in Las Vegas, Nev.

JACKSON, Mich. – PMA – The Worldwide Community of Imaging Associations announces the PMA 2011 International Convention and Trade Show will be Sept. 8-10, 2011, at the Las Vegas Convention Center, South Hall, Las Vegas, Nev.

The PMA show is traditionally held in the first quarter, but changes in industry buying cycles and technology developments made the new schedule advantageous.

“Based on input from key suppliers and trade groups, the PMA show is changing dates to better serve the photo industry,” says Ted Fox, executive director and CEO, PMA.

“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, 2010-2011 PMA international president.

“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.”

Fox notes the fast-paced business world today 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.

“Fall makes great sense for the PMA show,” says Mike Worswick, co-owner of Wolfe’s Cameras, Camcorders & Computers, Topeka, Kan., and president, Photographic Research Organization (PRO). “Specialty retailers are not ready to buy merchandise in February. Instead of viewing late spring products, retailers can nail down program details for holiday merchandise.”

“Most of our major vendors introduce new product lines twice each year – winter and fall,” adds Richard Yagjian, executive vice president and COO, W.B. Hunt Co. Inc., Melrose, Mass. “A PMA annual show in the fall overcomes the problem of second-half product introductions coming to market without much fanfare. The industry will benefit.”

“The proximity of early September dates makes PMA 2011 the ideal kickoff for the holiday selling season,” says Fox. “The PMA show serves as the media showcase for the photo/imaging industry – generating thousands of blog posts, newspaper articles, and YouTube videos. Moving the show to September highlights photography for the holidays. This includes new cameras and camcorders, but also the evolving photo publishing market, including photo books, cards, calendars, and more.”

“From the independent specialty retailer’s point of view, I’m very pleased with this announcement,” says Brent Bowyer, executive director, Independent Photo Imagers (IPI), Henderson, Nev. “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 on Saturday, Sept. 10.

“Our very successful Digital Expo, held each year in Australia, has shown the appetite of consumers 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 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 Sept. 6-11, in conjunction with PMA 2011.

Understanding the first-quarter time period is ideal for the school portrait, 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 conference colocating with SPAA in the first half of 2011,” says Ken Strawbridge, president, Strawbridge Studios Inc., 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, such as the PMA Canada Photo Expo, will be addressed at upcoming advisory committee meetings, according to Fox.