by Diane Berkenfeld & Dan Havlik
After spending the last two years with Mickey, Minnie and the gang down in Orlando, FL, the PMA Annual Convention and Trade Show is back in Las Vegas this year for what are sure to be four days and nights of lights, cameras and non-stop photo trade action.
The 79th annual photo bonanza will take over the Las Vegas Convention Center March 2-5, 2003 with more than 700 exhibitors showcasing their latest products, technologies and services on the sprawling trade show floor.
"PMA...is back in Las Vegas, Nevada U.S.A., a city that never sleeps," said George Champagne, president of the Photo Marketing Association International. "It's an appropriate venue for learning '24/7 non-stop' ways to make your photo imaging business more profitable."
One of the best ways to do that is to attend one of PMA's renowned educational programs this year. With close to 200 sessions and nearly 450 speakers/chairpersons, attendees will have a lot to choose from. Some of the standout topics for photo specialty stores and minilab owners include Turning Lookers into Buyers, featuring Charles Leveque of the Black Photo Corporation with chairperson Kenneth Sutton of K. Ellis Photocenter; The Role of the Independent in the Minilab Marketplace with Don Franz of Photofinishing News; and What's New with Digital, 35mm and SLRs with panelists Ken Fleming of Hewlett Packard, Brian Noble of Noble Industries, Mike Rubin of Nikon and Joe Leach of Noritsu America.
Proving the PMAI is truly an international organization, all "official business sessions" this year will feature simultaneous translation in German, French, Portuguese and Spanish.
Conventions Within Conventions
Manufacturers highlighting their wares and retailers and buyers set to place orders are not the only people attending PMA. A variety of smaller conventions are held each year surrounding the main trade show.
The Professional Picture Framers Association (PPFA) recently voted to affiliate their organization with PMA and for the first time, PPFA's Annual Convention will be held in conjunction with the PMA convention and trade show in Las Vegas. Over 50 educational seminars will be presented during the convention. A new event for the PMA show will be the Face to Face Showcase, designed for the professional framers attending the show. The Face to Face Showcase will include table-top displays from art and framing industry suppliers. The annual Open Framing Competition will also take place.
This year will be the third in a row that the PrintImage's Quick Print Conference and trade show has co-located in one building with the PMA show. PrintImage's four days are filled with educational sessions that will provide quick and small commercial printers and copy shop owners with the latest technological developments as well as discussion of trends affecting their businesses.
The Digital Imaging Marketing Association (DIMA) also holds its annual conference during PMA. Two days of educational sessions offer attendees the opportunity to learn about the most up to date advances in the digital imaging market. DIMA also holds its Digital Camera Shoot-Out and Digital Printer Shoot-Out during this time. The winners of the coveted DIMA Innovative Digital Products Awards are also decided during this time.
The Professional School Photographers Association will be in attendance at PMA too, for their annual International Conference. The convention is the premier event for the association, which encompasses a $2 billion per year school portrait industry. Two full days of educational seminars are taught by experts in their fields.
Another association that will be meeting in Las Vegas during PMA is the Photo Imaging Education Association (PIEA). The PIEA Conference brings photo educators together to provide them with the updated knowledge they need to continually enhance teaching in the field. Programs on technology, instructional techniques, and projects being conducted by members are just a few of the happenings of this gathering.
PMA Isn't All Work, No Play
Each morning, from Sunday through Wednesday at 6:15 am is a fun run, so just because attendees may be away from home, they don't have to give up an enjoyable way to exercise.
Throughout PMA 2003, local divisional groups will hold informal receptions. Check the PMA brochure for the time and place. In addition, there are receptions for a number of the different sections and societies including the Association of Professional Color Imagers, Society of Certified Photographic Consultants, National Association of Photo Equipment Technicians, and more.ptn