The Imaging and Digital Entertainment Association (IDEA) visited Melbourne on Tuesday (April 17) to launch the marketing program for The Digital Show to PMA and IDEA members.
The marketing budget for the show is $200,000 – a useful amount when concentrated over a one-month period and confined largely to the Melbourne media market. It will see advertising in The Herald Sun and The Age; a short, sharp 15-second TV commercial campaign and radio ads encouraging consumers to visit The Digital Show’s ‘retail partners’ to secure tickets; trade and enthusiast media bookings; and marketing collateral such as in-store posters.
3AW radio personality and genuine photo enthusiast Darren James will once again conduct live broadcasts from the show floor.
Retail partners announced to date are Ted’s, Michaels, Camera House, DCW, and Harvey Norman. Advertising for The Digital Show will channel consumers to these group’s outlets.
‘A retail partner is someone who is fully involved in promoting the show to their customer base,’ explained IDEA’s current CEO, Paul Curtis. ‘And what we supply is free invitation tickets. If the retailer wants to back the show and put the posters up we give them tickets to give away that are valued at $20 each and they send their customers along to the show.’
There are currently 50 exhibitors, with most listed on The Digital Show’s website, representing over 100 separate photographic brands. Last year there were around 90 exhibitors, with the drop-off in participation an indication of the challenging economic times.
In addition, at least 10 potential ‘fly-in, fly-out exhibitors from Hong Kong, China and New York not seeking local representation have not been allowed to take a stand this year.
Among notable ‘no shows’ in addition to those mentioned in a previous story who will be missed are frame and album specialists and regular exhibitors UR1 and Profile. Paul Curtis noted that the management team is still hoping to bring some more exhibitors in over the next few weeks.
One significant change from previous years is that production of the show catalogue in eBook rather than hard copy form. It will carry QR codes to help visitors find out more about specific products they are interested in. Visitors can scan the QR code using a mobile device, and jump to a product promotion web page. Likewise, exhibitors can use QR codes on their stands in the same way.
Photo industry eBook specialist Media Publishing has been contracted to handle publication of The Digital Show e-Guide.
Selling a tough sell
A more significant mooted change to the show – the retailing of consumer products from the exhibition stands – is still not entirely confirmed.
IDEA’s position on the issue is that retailing from the show floor will no longer be prohibited, but left to the individual exhibitor to choose as an option.
Speaking to a PMA-convened meeting in September last year, IDEA (then PICA) chairman Dave Marshall said: ‘If a supplier wants to retail at the show – which has always been a heavy argument within PICA – absolutely they can retail. Preferably with a retailer, but that’s their brand, their ownership, their decision.’
Retailers would not be able to take a stand on their own behalf – only suppliers who ‘have a right to distribute’ would be welcome. But while retail chains can’t exhibit, they can work with a supplier to have their staff at the exhibition, he explained.
He added that in his opinion, the majority of suppliers exhibiting would want to retail from their stands.
– However, that is not all clear one-month out from the event. At both the PICA meeting and a PMA meeting in the evening, there was uncertainty as to if and then how exhibitors might handle the retailing option. – with retail partners? – via later in-store redemption? – using their own staff?
There are also stocking logistics to consider.
‘CR Kennedy will not be selling any consumer hardware at The Digital Show,’ CR Kennedy director, Clem Kennedy responded to PC‘s enquiries. ‘All such related inquiries will be referred to our Melbourne dealer base.
‘At the request of some of our accessory suppliers we will be selling some accessory lines directly to the public. The retail margin on such sales will be distributed to our dealer base by credit note after the show.’
Photo Counter has asked other exhibitors such as Canon and Nikon what their intentions were in regards to sales at The Digital Show. Canon has replied that it still working through the options and hasn’t finalised its plans.