Editorial, Issue 155: Time for a change

We’ve closed our Readers Poll on what manner of annual photo show readers would
prefer, with a clear majority of votes – 59 percent – opting for a photo and
camera show. Twenty-five percent said they would like to see a trade roadshow,
with only 16 percent voting for what IDEA is aiming for again this year, a
digital lifestyle show.

Our new poll touches on something I have referred to in a recent editorial, and
that’s the idea of renewal, encouraging input from our younger industry members,
and making room for more points of view within the industry as a whole. It’s
been quite a while since there have been any new faces on the IDEA board, let
alone new faces from member companies not previously represented. For instance,
IPS is now a major player in the industry both here and in New Zealand, and a
long-time PICA/IDEA member, yet managing director Stuart Holmes has never been
invited to play a role. Adeal likewise since Brian D’Arcy retired, yet they are
a bigger business now than then. Then there’s DES, and Photo Direct, and APS and
Tasco and others. None of these companies were even invited to be part of the
marketing group formed to guide the planning for next year’s show. ([3]See
story.)

There’s a whiff of elitism in the composition and perhaps even the direction of
the IDEA board which in my opinion simply doesn’t sit well with the culture of
this great industry, nor fully represent the interests of all IDEA members.
After all, everyone pays the same membership fees.

It may be that executives working in businesses which are perhaps not as
well-resourced as the big camera companies simply don’t have the time to be
involved, but if they haven’t ever been invited or encouraged, we’ll never know
how valuable their contribution could be. And they say that if you want
something done you should ask a busy person!

I’m not calling for a wholesale changing of the guard by any means, and there’s
opportunity to add extra board members if continuity is an issue. One thing of
which I’m more certain of is that it’s time for Dave Marshall to hand over the
top job to someone less controversial and possibly younger. He has had a three
or four-year run in this stint as president and has held the position
previously. He has well and truly had his turn.

It could be argued it’s logical for the head of Fujifilm to head up IDEA, given
Fuji’s influence in the industry, but if it’s size that matters, there’s a one
word counter to that argument: Canon.

Keith Shipton


4 thoughts on “Editorial, Issue 155: Time for a change

  1. I want to make comment on what you said about IDEA: I TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU!
    I really wonder if IDEA have the foggiest idea of what is going on in my small family business.
    Whose best interests do they have at heart? I have no idea because I don’t speak to any of them. I think I know whose interests they actually do look after, and I seem to doubt they are mine!
    Just on the fact that PMA is not involved with them is wrong!

    …I will work around IDEA, and will be prepared to be surprised when I find that they have some tangible ideas to help my business
    Alan

  2. – It seems you are 100% correct Keith (and Alan too), there is a strong whiff of elitism wafting around the ‘Hallowed Halls’ of the so called Captains of Industry that seem to exclude companies like Independent Photo (IPS) and our contemporaries listed above (Adeal, DES, APS, Photo Direct, Tasco, etc) to the point that there is no communication regarding future IDEA Show planning, disclosure on board activities and yes, even the ‘Hammo’ Think Tanks!!!
    Still with so many independent companies missing in action at these ‘events’ one can only conclude that ‘empty vessels (think tanks) make the loudest noises’…I am sure all of my industry colleagues are ready and willing to contribute (as we are) but, without a little inclusiveness, we do not!
    C’mon Dave, the world has changed and the industry needs to reinvent itself continually to regain its place in the consumer’s mind. Having just spent a week at Photokina, I am as excited as ever about the photo industry. We need to put the partisanship aside and work together for the betterment of our once great industry – to make it great again! Cheers, Stuart

    • Stuart do the big guys have bigger votes or is it one vote for each Idea member? If that is the case get all of your “small” mates along to their meeting and make a change. Seems to work with the political party factions! I am sure that Dave is there because the others didn’t want to do it.

  3. I don’t know the politics of the IDEA organization, but I can say something about Stuart Holmes. I have had the pleasure of several discussions with Stuart, both here in the States and at Photokina in Germany. Our conversations usually circle back to boosting the resources and capabilities for Independent Photo Retailers. Stuart is very strong on this point. If that is important to you, I would encourage you to support him in his efforts.

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