Jackson, Mich. — The economic downturn and bad weather in the East took its toll on last month’s Photo Marketing Association PMA 2009 International Convention and Trade Show, with total attendance numbers down 23.7 percent at 15,066 official attendees, according to an official show audit released this week.
Total trade traffic was down 21 percent at 8,812, while exhibiter traffic was down 27 percent at 6,254. Exhibiting companies were down 17 percent at approximately 500.
International traffic registered attendees from almost 100 countries, the PMA audit showed.
Dissecting the numbers further, the PMA said the show tallied a 40 percent increase in attendance of professional photographers and specialty retail photo store representatives, compared to PMA 2008.
Meanwhile, attendance among both the mass-merchandising store and Internet/online retailer channels was up approximately 20 percent from a year ago, the PMA said.
This year’s show featured more than 200 educational sessions and 400 speakers, with session highlights including official business sessions by Geoffrey Moore, Michael Raynor and Craig Newmark (of Craigslist), as well as individual conference programming for digital imaging retailers, online service providers, custom picture framers, sports and event photographers, and other industry segments, PMA said.