Retailers from seven Australian and New Zealand stores attended the IPI conference Las Vegas (June 24 – 27) and, if the report from Louise Miller, Griffith Camera House, is anything to go by, it was a valuable and invigorating experience.
Stores attending were: Hutt Street Photos, Adelaide; Fitzgerald Professional Photo Labs, Perth; Coffs Harbour Camera House; Griffith Camera House; Stallards Camera House, Tasmania; Queensberry Albums, Auckland; Photolife Studios, Manukau.
‘Having the opportunity to share experiences with like-minded business owners across the other side of the world was invaluable,’ said Louise.
Her report continues: Metal printing was huge in the US, and combining this with the ready-made templates from the IPI Marketing Support Program (MSP) that Camera House members now have available to them, will offer profitable opportunities for the future on the gifting side of the business.
(The IPI Marketing Support Program consists of a broad range of marketing collateral designed for independent photo specialists and delivered every quarter on DVD, which covers virtually every aspect of photo retailing.)
New gift lines included prints on curved glass, iPhone covers and bracelets. The MSP templates included posters, stuffers, emails and banners. A new brochures on ‘doing more with your images’ will be available shortly for members to download and give out to their customers.
While at the conference we were advised of some new programs coming shortly to IPI members for managing emails, managing social media and managing digital signage content. These had monthly subscriptions costs but seemed reasonable.
Sessions were held on Email Marketing, B2B, Educational programs and Merchandising. Both Lucidium and Dakis presented sessions on their upcoming marketing plans and held user groups on understanding their software. A number of the sessions were recorded and are available to download from the IPI website.
All in all it was a great conference and I feel revitalized and believe that there is a strong future for both selling cameras and selling gifting. We need to be open to new ideas and use the resources we have available through IPI and the MSP program.
– Louise said that the IPI conference was ‘both similar and different’ to Camera House get-togethers, ‘In that there was more diversity of members attending.
‘I found it was not just pure photographic businesses attending,’ she said. ‘Some IPI members had diversified their business to incorporate other smaller and larger businesses within the photographic model.
‘These included the high end B2B and custom card stationery facilities, for example.’