New York - The Photo Marketing Association's (PMA) announcement Wednesday to move its planned Fall CLiQ show into the 2012 International CES will involve a multi-year agreement that brings the possibility for more collaboration with the co-sponsoring Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) down the road, show organizers told TWICE.
Karen Chupka, CEA events and conferences senior VP, said the "PMA@CES" showcase will be housed in the Sands Convention Center/Venetian Hotel CES annex, "in an area of the 2012 International CES that is similar in size and scope to other categories like iLounge and Living in Digital Times, for example."
Chupka explained that while the two associations announced they will co-locate their shows, "PMA@CES is not a separate show and is part of the 2012 CES. The PMA@CES area will expand CES' coverage of photographic equipment, accessories etc."
Ted Fox, PMA executive director, said the decision to co-locate at CES had been under consideration for a while.
"This was the culmination of a discussion that Gary Shapiro and I have been having for probably seven or eight years now," Fox told TWICE. "There are a lot of compelling reasons - especially with the advent of digital photography - for getting digital photography and personal content together with home entertainment. Everything is getting to be a lot easier and seamless to use. We also see some great potential as it relates to the new and improved camera phones and tablets."
Fox said the Fall CLiQ show had already aligned "a good representation of exhibitors, but we felt the timing was right. There were issues in both the CE and photo industries for some of the major Japan-based companies, as a result of the earthquake and tsunami, including disruptions in the supply chain due to the inconsistent electricity there. That was the reason Gary and I got together, in addition to the convergence that's occurring in our two industries."
Regarding the location of common exhibitors that had interests in both the CE and PMA portions of the show, Fox said, "that will be decided by the companies themselves."
Chupka added, exhibitors have a range of showcasing options at their disposal.
"We have 3D Tech Zones and imaging areas," she said. "Companies may exhibit in these areas or there are many companies who prefer to show that technology as part of the overall company brands."
"We see this working hand-in-glove, really. In the past, CE has concentrated on a smaller sliver of the digital photography market, and PMA has always represented the full spectrum of that vertical market. There will be a lot more to see and do as it relates to all of the aspects of digital photography, and it will have a strong educational component.
"We do a lot in the area of hands-on training, [providing] business tools, and [identifying] trends in the industry. That's an area we saw where we would complement what Gary and his people do without an overlap."
Fox said the show will be more than just a promotional opportunity.
"We see this as a buying show, promotional showcase, and an educational forum," he said.
While Fox acknowledged there could be a lot of overlap in attendees from both industries, he said he could see the PMA's contribution to CES "attracting an additional 12,000 to 15,000 visitors."
Chupka said that "as part of our expansion to the Venetian, CES has already planned for increased transportation and additional services," to handle the traffic.
Fox said the terms of the agreement will be for multiple years, although negotiations are continuing for exact length of the agreement.
As for membership pricing, Fox said: "right now as it relates to our memberships we have a cooperative agreement that membership pricing for the CEA will be pass along to our PMA members, including fees or any other discounts they provide at the event."
He added that "exhibitor fees in recent years have pretty much lined up [with CES] so we will be going by the CES pricing schedule for that."
Meanwhile, Fox said the PMA will use its Web site and possibly other vehicles to help the industry promote and sell new products and services going into critical holiday selling season.
Camera companies that would comment on the change in the show schedule reacted with cautious optimism as they continued to assess the difficult market conditions before committing to PMA@CES show space.
"We think PMA is an important contributor to the photo market and has been a key part of the evolution of the industry," according to a statement from Kodak. "We hope they continue to evolve as the industry does. We had committed to booth spaces for the September show, so we were planning to attend. At this point, we really don't know enough about PMA's January show to comment. Given the news, we will have to evaluate our options in relation to our commitment to CES."
"For decades, Fujifilm has been an active member and strong supporter of the Photo Marketing Association and its activities - most especially the PMA annual trade show," said Manny Almeida, Fujifilm North America VP and general manager. "In light of the recent announcement to co-locate the PMA show with the CES show, Fujifilm will continue to offer its ongoing support for PMA, and will participate in activities as appropriate for the business."