Jackson, Mich. -
made a major shift in its annual convention schedule Tuesday when it announced that next year's PMA 2011 International Convention and Trade Show will take place Sept. 8-10, 2011, at the Las Vegas Convention Center, South Hall.
The industry's largest dedicated event in the U.S. moves from its traditional February time slot. The shift also marks a move back to Las Vegas after a not-so-popular showing in Anaheim, Calif., in February 2010.
In addition, PMA said the trade show will feature one day (Sept. 10) that will be open to consumers "to build excitement" for the imaging category going into the holidays.
In a statement announcing the shift, PMA said: "The PMA show is traditionally held in the first quarter, but changes in industry buying cycles and technology developments made the new schedule advantageous."
Due to a combination of a tough economy, the building popularity of International CES in January for camera manufacturers and retailers, and the high costs of participating in both shows so close together, companies including Canon, Epson, JVC and others dropped out of the PMA show this year.
"Based on input from key suppliers and trade groups, the PMA show is changing dates to better serve the photo industry," stated Ted Fox, PMA executive director and CEO.
"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," added Brian Wood, 2010-2011 PMA international president.
Fox said, "World-class PMA convention education will provide the most up-to-date retail trends and market information" during the fall 2011 event.
He added: "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."
In PMA's statement, Mike Worswick, co-owner of Wolfe's Cameras, Camcorders & Computers, said: "Fall makes great sense for the PMA show. 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," said Richard Yagjian, W.B. Hunt COO and executive VP. "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."
"From the independent specialty retailer's point of view, I'm very pleased with this announcement," said Brent Bowyer, Independent Photo Imagers (IPI) of Henderson, Nev., executive director. "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."
Conferences traditionally associated with the show will take place Sept. 6-11, in conjunction with PMA 2011.
The PMA said it is also 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 in coming weeks, the PMA said.
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.