Good IDEA: Industry event in 2018!

IDEA is in the early stages of planning an industry event – although considerably smaller in scope than previous Digital Shows – to take place in Sydney or Melbourne in 2018.  

IDEA flagged a forthcoming outline of its new direction in February this year when it announced an end to the 20-year run of industry exhibitions and conferences at capital city exhibition centres.  This week, IDEA president James Murray (managing director, Nikon Australia) told PhotoCounter that the industry group had initially looked at sponsoring an existing event this year in Sydney, but was unsuccessful. 

‘We were looking at partnering with an existing event but it didn’t go ahead. Instead a number of photography brands sponsored the even directly, rather than as an industry – which was disappointing.’

In the past IDEA has used revenue generated by the industry/consumer exhibitions to lobby on behalf of the industry on a range of issues such as GST reform, through to promoting photographic printing –  ‘putting real value and knowledge back into the industry’.

He said that in the current climate the unity of purpose a group like IDEA represented ‘was perhaps not appreciated by some of the new management groups who have not experience past value from IDEA, or formally PICA.

‘Brands now seem to be more independently competitively focused, rather than balanced with an interest in working for the industry’s benefit collectively,’ he said.

‘I certainly understand this as company’s resources are stretched and time required to invest in industry building is hard to justify. It can be perceived this would be at the expense of a competitive edge the brand would otherwise have.’  

While the last big Digital Show in 2015 was a success, he estimated total cost to participants was somewhere in the realm of $3-4 million, and he was not sure there would be support across the industry for another ‘full-blown show’.

‘Having said that, there is still room for a show. We anticipate having a much smaller show in Sydney or Melbourne in 2018 with lower costs for exhibitors and a focus on education.’

He said this could be held at one of the second-tier exhibition facilities in those cities to achieve reduced costs. 

Reflecting on  the recent departures of  Dave Marshall (Fujifilm) and Joe Tizzone (Olympus) he concluded, ‘I would like to thank Dave Marshall and Joe Tizzone for their service to IDEA, both gave extensively of their time for industry gain – Dave as president and Joe as vice president, Consumer.

‘I wish them both well and every success as they move on to their next venture’.


6 thoughts on “Good IDEA: Industry event in 2018!

  1. Great news. Events that inspire our customers to shoot, print & to recognise the benefits/strength of cameras can only be a good thing for our industry.

  2. Good news indeed but what about looking at co-locating the event with the Visual Impact series? VI has anyone who is anyone in photo printing and extends into signage, POP, outdoor, vehicle wrapping etc. There could still be a trade-only day.
    It can still be IDEA’s show, but co-located to the benefit of both events. VI itself is a co-located event when PacPrint and PrintEx occur, otherwise stand-alone in capital cities.

    • Certainly worth considering Andy, especially with so much convergence between photo retailing and printing/signage businesses these days. Digital Show used to do it with the Frame Show and it seemed to work OK. My guess is that wide format printing technology is probably the new capital equipment being considered by both photo shops and suburban print shops. And the industry is going to have a really hard time doing a consumer-focussed show by itself with Canon having divorced itself from the photographic community. (‘No show without Punch.’) Was saddened to see Canon is NOT EVEN A MEMBER OF IDEA anymore.
      More broadly, I suggested a year ago or so in an editorial that photo printers could perhaps form a semi-autonomous chapter within the Printing Industry Association. Next day I had an enthusiastic email from the executive director of PIAA keen to pursue the notion. Deafening silence from photo retailing side told me I was flogging a dead horse. And to mix metaphors, you can’t even lead a dead horse to water!

      • I just re-read your June 2016 article Keith and, well, it is spot on. At that time, the PIAA had just said goodbye to its CEO and several board members and appointed a far better new CEO who has proven a real success – the Packaging Council of Australia has just merged in with the PIAA and he’s taking on issues such as energy costs, Australia Post costs, training etc.
        I’m amazed that Canon is no longer an IDEA member. They are certainly major exhibitors as graphic arts trade shows. They have just split off their consumer division from industrial print, so maybe worth re-visiting for IDEA.
        The way I see it, there is still a disconnect between image ‘capture’ and image reproduction, not just in wide-format but in all formats for all purposes. The artistic/creative disconnect with production also comes into play, as does the perceived (but in fact now irrelevant) RGB/CMYK++ divide.
        Unity is strength and I’m more than happy to leverage my photographic roots and 30 years graphic arts experience to see if we can get a result – if there is the will; or ‘horses’ like Winx!
        With Visual Impact Sydney in October at the stunning new Sydney Exhibition Centre, maybe this might be a good time to get together with the organisers and share thoughts, scope, possibilities etc? Happy to go into bat.

        • What a shame that event is so close! Still it would be great to start talking now for 2018 – I’m assuming that’s what you are proposing? But there’s another issue, I reckon, Andy, and that is that it’s all very well for us old codgers to want this, but unless the newer generation – people like Shant Kradjian, Nic Peasley, Clem Kennedy, Ryan Williams, Carly Michael, Lucinda Dalton, Will Gresham up in Brisbane – are interested enough to lend a hand or at the very least some enthusiasm, it’s all going to end in wasted effort and frustration. I’m over that after sinking a couple of thousand into a Forums section on PhotoCounter which no-one uses. There is, thank goodness, a renewal going on and some great talent and fresh energy which needs to be called upon. Us well-connected older people can be facilitators and (if anyone listens) advisors, and maybe provide some seed money out of our marketing budgets, but it’s no longer our future. It’s someone else’s turn to take charge.

  3. Well said Keith. Yes, I was thinking 2018, but meet at the October event. I too have shoved good $$$ into a couple of print industry initiatives only to be met with apathy, so adopted a ‘pro bono’ sector for my business. If it helps the industry, interests me and I can afford the time…it’s pro bono. Old codgers we may well be (or at least approaching!) but lacking skills and experience we are not. So I am happy to make the introductions and present the business case for co-located IDEA and Visual Connections events. The ‘deal’ nitty gritty would be between them. If we hear nothing, we can assume disinterest rules in the concept.

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