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. (See
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.