PMA has announced that 16,184 advanced amateurs and photo enthusiasts attended ‘The Big Photo Show’, held for the first time last weekend at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
The Big Photo Show differs from The Digital Show in Australia in that it is focussed sharply on photographic hobbyists, whereas the local event has range of target audiences, including professional photographers and retailers.
Attendees were able to purchase products from retailers’ stands in the exhibition area.
Like the Australian show, attendees were able to register for free attendance prior to the event, or roll up and pay an entry fee on the day. The figure of 16,000 is down slightly on PMA’s pre-show predictions of over 20,000 attending.
Around 10,000 consumers have been attending the Australian show in recent years. With a population of around 10 million, Los Angeles has a larger pool of potential attendees to draw from.
Attendees were able to discover, try and purchase new equipment and tools from leading manufacturers and retailers; learn from some of the country’s best professional photographers/educators; take part in live model shoots in several photo shooting zones; and explore creative new ways to frame and display their images.
‘We are thrilled that more than 16,100 people attended The Big Photo Show – a number that does not include exhibitors or staff. That’s 16,184 of the most passionate photography consumers in Southern California, who came to The Big Photo Show and experienced the fantastic event we put together for them,’ said PMA President, Allen Showalter.
‘Looking at the trade show floor, we could see nothing but booths crowded with eager buyers, standing-room-only education sessions and packed photo shooting areas. The remarkable success of this, our inaugural event, speaks to the high calibre exhibitors, programming and opportunities offered at The Big Photo Show.’
Attendee Thomas Cuadras, who describes himself as a ‘newbie hobbyist’ photographer, said he came to the event because, ‘I wanted to see what The Big Photo Show was all about, and attend the workshops. I’m a Pentaxian, but I wanted to swing by the Sony booth and check out the NEX 6 and NEX 7 cameras, their new stuff that I’ve been wondering about.’
David Metz of Sigma, an exhibitor at The Big Photo Show, said, ‘This is a great show and we’re very pleased to be here. I have been really, really surprised by the turnout of the crowd. We absolutely are seeing a lot of interest from people who will be first-time Sigma customers. There are a lot people here who are new to photography.
‘They are aware of the Canon name or Nikon name or Sony name, but they don’t know who Sigma is. They have come to the Sigma booth saying, Can I get a Sigma lens for my Canon or Nikon camera? For us, in terms of brand identification, this is really powerful. When they ask us that question, we send them right over to the booths of our retailers who are here – Samy’s Camera and Paul’s Photo – to make those purchases, so they are able to leave the show with a Sigma lens in their bag.
‘We want to be back at the Big Photo Show, in a bigger and better way, when it’s here again in LA next year.’
‘Our booth has been going mad all day, said Mark Comon of Paul’s Photo, ‘I can’t believe how many people we’ve seen here at our booth. The Big Photo Show is rocking, like I knew it would. Our booth is full, and there’s not a lot of stuff left on the hooks. We have to go back tonight and get more products to sell tomorrow. My staff is going crazy.’