PMA Summit brim-full of ideas & innovation

There’s little over 40 days until the PMA Photo Business and Technology Summit kicks off at the Hilton Parc in San Francisco.
pmaThe Summit is a two day event, running from September 27-28. The schedule of speakers has taken shape and been released.

Things will kick off at 1pm on the Sunday with a short speech from Scott Brownstein, senior partner at Brownstein & McCabe Associates (and partner of PMA CEO Georgia McCabe), who will discuss ‘Opportunities and Challenges on the Path to Renewed Industry Relevance’.

A panel consisting of photo industry analysts, Kristy Holch from InfoTrends Research group; Marion Knoche from GfK Retail and Technology; Frank Baillargeon from F/22 Consulting; and Hans Hartman from Suite 48 Analytics, will discuss industry trends and results. This will also cover perspectives on adjacent trends and developments that have the potential lift the photo industry’s results.

Baillargeon will then follow this with another short presentation exploring examples of new products that can create new streams of revenue and drive growth. He’ll run through products like Mohawk Paper, wall décor, RPI photo books, ‘greeting cards on steroids’, Nations Lab/Artsy Couture. (And if some of these products aren’t familiar to you, well, you’re not alone!)

Other talks on the day will be presented by Micah Solom, Forbes contributor and customer service expert; and four photo start-up entrepreneurs that have launched products like Photo Postcard, Live Portrait, Glossy Finish by LT and MixBook.

Monday September 28 will comprise a longer day of presentations, with a 7:30am ‘Technology Showcase’ with breakfast. Speeches begin at 9:05 with Joe Rago, director, Mobile Innovation, Walgreens.

With the vast majority of photos being taken on smartphones, Rago will provide an overview of how Walgreens has harnessed mobile photo apps. He will run through how the technology can and is being advanced to provide ‘retail customer engagement through a compelling, branded mobile experience’.

That will be followed by Dr Reiner Fageth, head of Research and Development at leading European wholesale/online photofinisher CEWE Color, running through a ‘low-touch, low-cap, in-store print platform, providing a diverse portfolio of output in seconds or minutes’.

Another major drawcard will be a panel of photographers endorsed by Panasonic Lumix  addressing the opportunities and challenges of 4K video – particularly with reference to stills taken from 4k video.

This is only a small taste of what’s on offer. Andrew Laffoon, CEO of MixBook; Jim Dolce, VP of Systems and Software Development at Fujifilm USA; and more success story-tellers will also take the stage. Click here for all the information on the speaker schedule.

The event will also provide plenty of opportunities to network with fellow retailers and a host of others.

An indication of the new ‘broad church’ approach of PMA can be gleaned from comments towards the end of summit program: ‘Shooters don’t like “mamarazzis”; camera manufacturers don’t like the smartphone vendors; specialty retailers don’t like mass merchants and everybody is afraid of Amazon.com! An industry trade organization such as PMA, must constantly work to foster and facilitate communication and to move the industry forward. Too many approach their business as “the pie” and operate as if they must be the sole winner in a zero sum game.  An industry organization, such as PMA, must never lose sight of the fact that “the pie” is the industry, and that our photo industry can only grow when common industry interests are identified and served.’

Registration for the Innovate Now event is US$495 for PMA members, and US$665 for non-members. Registration is open until September 22.

Unfortunately, the Innovation Now Summit clashes with the annual PRO convention over the other side of the US, in Jacksonville, Florida. This event runs from September 25 – 30, meaning retailers thinking about attending one or the other will have to make a tough decision. As far as PhotoCounter is aware, Alan Logue and Paul Atkins will be attending the PMA event while Peter Michael will be attending the member-only PRO event, along with a group of around four or five retailers representing Camera House.

 


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