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’.