Are cameras shows dead

Are camera shows dead? Is this the end of photography conference and trade shows? In 2019, Sony, ThinkTank Photo and Magmod dropped out of PhotoPlus Expo and 2020, Nikon, Leica, and Olympus dropped out of Photokina. Is that a sign of things to come? For changes in the photography industry?

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Are photography conferences dead, are they a dying breed? Are the worth attending as a consumer, as a photographer? Well what’s going on with them? Hey, this is Scott Wyden Kivowitz a storyteller with a camera talking about all the things for tography is like you and I are thinking about in this video. I want to talk about the elephant in the room or not in the room. Really you might’ve heard that Sony has dropped out of photo plus expo. This video is probably dropping right around the time when photo plus expo is happening. I don’t know it on my calendar in front of me, but it might be like the week of photo plus expo. So there was a rumor that Sony was dropping out and then that rumor was updated saying that Sony is not dropping out. That photo plus expo the people behind the planning did not actually update the map layout and did not update the vendor list.

And then I got good words from a friend of mine who used to be a Sony ambassadors. Not Anymore. Sony artisan rather is not anymore, but it’s still well connected with Sony and it turns out that they actually did drop out. They will not be at photo plus expo. Photo Plus Expo, like I said, is like right now so we will see if they actually did drop out or not. But here’s the really interesting thing. Nikon, Leica and Olympus are not going to attend photo Kina. Now, this is probably the first time ever that a, that Nikon and Leica are not going to be at photo Kina. The really, really interesting thing is that like as a German company [inaudible] in Germany and like I won’t even be there. So my question to you is, is is this a change? This is a shift that’s happening in the photo industry.

Is this a shift that’s happening in a lot of industries? Are these big industry events going to diminish and Trinkle out to be smaller, smaller events to make way for branded events? For example, Sony has their Kando event every year. This is big and Sony and Panasonic and Nikon and Canon, they all do. There are smaller events that local camera stores are those going to be more popular? Are Those gonna be more effective for them than these big trade shows? I mean, these big companies spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on all those big trade shows between the, their giant booths between the manpower that they have to have forward the paying the union fees in order to set up a TV and to move a chair from one side of the booth to the other, they have to pay the union to do that. So there are tons of expenses that come into these big conferences when they could do their own branded conference, their ba branded event, and have complete control from top to bottom.

Maybe spend the same amounts as they would at a big trade show or less with a higher ROI. Because when it’s a branded event, you’re more likely to make sales than you would be at a giant conference when all of your competition is in the same. So what’s going to happen? I don’t know. I don’t know. I always look forward to photo plus expo because I’m so close to New York City that I been going every year since college and I’m gonna miss out if it really does go downhill or go away or I’m gonna miss it. But if it does go away, I know I would attend the smaller events more often. So maybe that mindset is the reason why these manufacturers are doing this now. Nikon and Leica and cannon and all these companies will be at photo plus expo. The only one that is already basically confirmed that they dropped out is Sony.

So my, my thought is that these big events are going to diminish more and more in favor of more educational events with less of the conference aspect, less of the trade show booths, uh, aspect. You’re going to see more of the smaller conferences gain more popularity like the of Chicago series, the inspire series, the mystic series and all of those. You’re going to see more local events like Connecticut Professional Photographers of America where I’ve spoken at a few times. You’re going to see more of their events get more popular because the bigger trade shows are gonna diminish. That’s my hypothesis. We’ll see what happens. What do you think it’s going to happen? Comment and let me know your thoughts and if you like this video, click that subscribe button below. Right now. I publish new videos every Monday and Thursday whenever possible. You don’t want to miss it.

This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. Going the same way as many trade shows. It has become to flogging place of youtube reviewers who have become dummy gods. They write reviews after they read the spec sheets, handled the equipment for a few minutes and spew their self inflated opinion into the social media train running on their instant gratification gravy train. Ot is time the big brand companies take back their marketing spend. Let their professionals speak, show real life results and experiences rather then leave it in the hands of the trolls and you-tubers hunting with clickbait slogans to promote their own brand at tge expense of the goose that allows them to lay their own eggs in another nest build buy the Brand companies.

  2. What’s with the purple hot spot on you head, Scott. Lol. Using color gels now?

    1. I’ve been using some Hue lights to add some color splashes in the background :-)

  3. Trade shows are becoming too costly. The only ones gaining are the show/conference organizers. Strong brand manufacturers prefer to do their own thing providing value.

  4. I’m not a Sony shooter so I didn’t miss them. I’ve only just attended the expo at photoplus. I saw some new things and noticed other exhibitors who were absent. Just when I needed some of the internet labs to be there they didn’t show up. I don’t think Manfrotto has much presence either btw. I noticed people from more than the tri-state area too. I ran into old acquaintances. Spent a little money. I have a few major camera stores here in NYC and the show is a way to see things that don’t pay for space there. I think companies can’t really afford to skip the big ones for long. They might start alternating.

  5. Hey Scott,

    Great talk! I think you’re spot on with thinking that we’ll see less of the camera and other photography equipment manufacturers in these conferences because they get more ‘bang for their buck’ with their own branded events tailored towards their specific platform adopters.

    I think there’s another reason though that we’ll see less participation and probably fewer events going into 2020 and maybe beyond. It seems like we’re heading towards a recession – perhaps a global one – and all the freewheeling spending is starting to get canned. It reminds me of when all the corporate ‘holiday events’ started getting cancelled starting in 2007, right before the housing bubble collapse. Lots of extracurricular events dried up across all industries just like this, and I think we’ll see more shocking things like cancellations of events in the near future.

    Between the global trade wars, Brexit, negative interest, and other world-impacting financial issues it’s a sign that we’re heading for some challenging fiscal times. When the global economies are good, they will come back though.

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