The Independent Photo (IPS) Dakis New Zealand-Australia roadshow is winding up this week in Perth, having visited seven cities over the past three weeks and hosted in excess of 400 retailer photo specialty stores and professional lab owners.
One-day events were held in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, while there were two days each in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.
‘We had customers travel from as far away as Mt Gambier, from Alice Springs, Adelaide, Hobart and Bundaberg, and we had Kodak Express and Camera House members, independent photo specialty retailers and professional labs. We were very pleased with both the breadth and depth of support for the IPS roadshows,’ said IPS marketing manager and roadshow organiser, Bruno Polito.
‘There hasn’t been a lot of business-to-business activity in the industry in 2014, with the next IDEA Industry Trade Show not scheduled till 2015. Feedback from our reps is that customers were happy to see us do it – to see something put back into the industry.’
One of the drawcards of the IPS roadshow was that an attendee in each of the seven cities won a Kodak KPP100 Smartphone Tablet Kiosk & Printer, with $20,000 worth of equipment prizes being given away in total.
The lucky winners so far are:
IPS New Zealand Roadshows
Auckland: Marnie Sutherland, Everything Photography, Matamata
Wellington: Sue Nikolaison, Nikolaisons Photo Centre, Masterton
Christchurch: Drew Talboys, Network Photos, Greymouth
IPS Australia Roadshows
Brisbane: Scott Allison, Bundaberg Camera House
Sydney: Terry & Marianne Zahos, Art & Framing, Marrickville
Melbourne: Justin Dallinger, Foto Supplies Camera House, Albury
‘Star of the show’ was Patrice Hugron from Dakis in Canada, who will have taken part in around 50 one-on-one sessions with Dakis customers as well as a series of formal presentations in each city when the series wraps up on Friday afternoon (Aug 22).
One-on-one session Dakis eCommerce topics ranged from general follow-up training, to addressing specific technical issues and advice on website design.
With Dakis software now available to all Camera House members nationally as a group, it provided a valuable opportunity for an authoritative briefing on improvements to the recently-launched Version 3 of the Dakis kiosk/online/mobile software suite.
‘The focus was on printing via smartphone, and Version 3 of the Dakis software which has been optimised for mobile. It’s cleaner, faster, and with no hiccoughs. The customers love what Dakis does with mobile phones and they love the new kiosk software,’ said Mr Polito.
He added that IPS has been winning numbers of new Dakis customers, particularly from among Camera House, independents and entrepreneurial pro labs. Among its selling points is that the kiosk software runs on a $1500 touch screen PC as opposed to branded kiosks which are several times more expensive, and generally not as well spec’d or easy to upgrade, according to IPS.
The Kodak KPP Tablet 100 smartphone kiosk & printer also attracted lots of interest from all attendees.
‘They already have retail kiosks, but some retailers were looking at the Kodak Tablet 100 kiosk as either an event photography solution or as an add-on, or perhaps even to sell into local cafes and the like – to own photography printing business in their area.’
And for schools photographers, there’s potential to use it at school formals, deb balls and events for example.
While IPS was pleased with response to the series of events and took many orders from the floor, Bruno Polito noted that decisions to invest in new capex equipment – say upgrading to an inkjet drylab – were still being put off.
‘…But there’s no amazing “newer technology” thing around the corner. Over the last 7+ years drylab technology has proven itself a highly reliable high quality alternative to traditional wetlabs, with robust printheads running five years or more, so lab owners are comfortable with the technology,’ he said. ‘The capex dollars are always a scary thing, and some people are hesitant to part with money’ until their current technology fails.
Nonetheless, he noted that many retailers were ‘on the precipice’ of making investment decisions, and the IPS roadshow had brought timely technical information and print samples to them, rather than the lab owners having to wait another year for the next industry trade show.