November 1, 2010

Photo Plus Expo Wrap Up

I wrote this sitting in the airport ready to fly home from eight days in the New York City area. Between the first GoingPro Bootcamp, Photo Plus Expo and some consulting days with my wonderful east coast clients, it was a great trip.

PPE was packed all three days, although most vendors told me things were hottest on day one. The physical space allotted to the tradeshow was smaller than most years so it felt crowded all the time. While occasionally inconvenient, the crowds did deliver lots of energy.

There were no surprises and no major new announcements. This is after all a Photokina Year. But there was still something to see.

I saw more vendors selling continuous lighting than ever before. I also noticed that Sony was very visible pushing its new line of DSLRs. I usually don’t mention Sony very often because their public relations department shuns online media. But in this case I have to report that they drew pretty good crowds. They have a fraction of the market share that Canon and Nikon do but if they continue to invest in their marketing presence like they did this week, then who knows what could happen?

I got to spend some quality time at the Kubota Image Tools booth. The new Photoshop actions Viva La Vintage and Pow Wow are generating lots of buzz. Kevin Kubota is easily one of the most talented wedding photographers in the business and he’s brought in help in the form of other talented pros like Tamara Lackey to create a slew of actions and related products for Lightroom and Photoshop that will definitely make any serious photographer’s life easier.

Animoto’s booth had a steady flow as did the Peachpit booth. I saw lots of people buying product at the booths selling.

The conference sessions were more sparsely attended than you would see at a  show like WPPI, Photoshop World or PPA, but the audiences were very engaged and intelligent. The groups were consistently small but very focused and while I personally think the sessions were a tad expensive for most students, the content was very good.

I gave a talk on Twitter to what could only be construed as my smallest audience of the year. But fortunately, the group was very attentive and we were able to simply engage in a conversation rather than me making a “presentation.” I think it was actually quite fun and am studying ways to actually do smaller venues in the future. It was more intimate and friendly.

As usual, the hardest part of PPE was New York. Hotels are three times the price they are anywhere else. The traffic is rough all day long, and the taxi drivers won’t stop to pick you up unless you have a sign over your head that says AIRPORT :)

All in all, it was a great trip and I was really glad to meet so many Photofocus listeners/readers at the show.

Now I’m off to take a break from the road trips until after the New Year. It was great seeing old friends at the show and also great to see that the photo industry appears to be alive and well despite the poor economy.

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This post sponsored by the Digital SLR Store