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photokina Reaffirms Its Leadership in the Digital Imaging Sector

Nuremberg, December 3, 2007-- About 1,600 companies from around 50 countries will present their products and services at the World of Imaging. With more than 60 percent of exhibitors from abroad – many companies will expand their exhibition area in Cologne.

All of the global imaging sector’s leading companies will return to photokina next year to present to international trade visitors their increasingly diverse range of imaging technology and imaging application products for consumers and professionals.

“No other trade fair offers such a comprehensive range of products and services from the world of imaging and for the photographic and imaging sector,” said Koelnmesse Executive Vice President Oliver P. Kuhrt at a trade press conference held in Nuremberg.

“The event can therefore rightly be described as the leading platform for the global digital communication sector.” photokina’s organizers — Koelnmesse and the Photographic Industry Association — expect approximately 1,600 companies from around 50 countries to attend the fair in 2008. As in 2006, the share of foreign exhibitors next year will exceed 60 percent. Many of the exhibiting companies in 2008, including Canon, Samsung, and Panasonic, will also again expand their exhibition areas, a clear confirmation of the imaging market’s growth, according to Kuhrt. photokina has also succeeded in intensifying cooperation with major imaging companies in Asia.

During a trip to Asia, the Koelnmesse management team with the mayor of Cologne and representatives of the Photographic Industry Association, photokina’s organizers held discussions with top executives from Canon, Nikon, Panasonic, Samsung, Olympus, and other companies, and these talks led to an agreement on expanding strategic cooperation. The delegation also succeeded in gaining the Dai Nippon media group as a new photokina key player.

As Kuhrt reported at the press conference, the fair’s successful concept of aligning the entire imaging workflow with the event’s hall structure will be further improved and optimized for photokina 2008. The previous five product areas have now been reduced to four: Image Input, Image Processing, Image Storage, and Image Output.

Moreover, accessories will now be presented in the imaging workflow product area they are used in, said Kuhrt. This optimization measure reflects market demand for effective implementation of the workflow concept in the form of a stronger consolidation of individual product areas supplemented by accessory presentations. At the same time, the new setup ensures a clearer and more compact hall structure.

Along with displays of new cameras, lenses, printers, services, and accessories for consumers and professionals, the event’s organizers expect photokina to be dominated by the theme of mobile imaging, the presentation of simple and creative processes for producing and printing images, and a review of the new possibilities for displaying images in the digital age. Kuhrt made it clear, however, that photokina will in no way be limited to simply presenting products for private consumers, but will instead also focus strongly on professional users.

In this regard, Kuhrt announced that photokina will once again intensify its already strong commitment to imaging professionals — and to users and the trade — by means of special worldwide VIP programs, international Buyers Lounges, attractive travel packages, expert presentations, and increased cooperation with purchasing cooperatives and associations. All of these measures are designed to assist international retailers and professional users with their preparations for their photokina visit and their stay at the fair.

During the press conference, the photokina organizers also presented some highlights of the supporting program for the 2008 event. Returning next year will be the traditional GfK Market Briefings, which provide retailers and industry representatives from around the world with concise, up-to-date basic and background information and detailed market studies.

Further highlights include the “Memories on demand” International Business Forum, in which top international decision makers in the sector will discuss the effect digital imaging technology is having on consumer lifestyles. Rather than concentrating solely on technological innovations, the forum will primarily be focused on determining which new business models are best suited to meeting modern consumer requirements. photokina’s organizers expect around 400 international top managers from the industry and the retail sector to participate in the forum.

The Impressions XXL Projection Arena, which will be located in a special area, will focus on image presentations and projection, and will also demonstrate to trade visitors and end consumers how to make the emotional impact of good images much stronger by presenting them in an impressive manner. The aim of this event is to show photographers that a specific presentation and projection solution exists for every requirement, no matter how large or small the consumer’s budget might be. This applies just as much to today’s “slide show evenings” in people’s living rooms as it does to presentations in classrooms or in business settings. Impressions XXL will do more than just provide information on the different possibilities for presenting images, however.

Professional users, including photographers, advertising agencies, travel agents, museums, architects, and companies in other fields, will also receive practical instructions on how to arrive at customized solutions that meet their particular needs. The "Academy meets photokina" event for young photographers was one of the major highlights of the World of Imaging in 2006, when it celebrated a very successful launch at the Creative Center in Hall 1.

Organized by Koelnmesse in close cooperation with the German Society for Photography (DGPh), the "Academy" will have a stronger European focus in 2008, and international colleges from all over Europe are therefore encouraged to apply for the event. A special panel consisting of experts from the publishing sector, universities, and associations will make the final decision regarding who will be chosen to take part. Koelnmesse and the Photographic Industry Association also plan to step up their support for young photographers together with DGPh by awarding prizes for the first time to three exhibiting colleges that have distinguished themselves through outstanding programs. The prizes will have a total value of €6,000. The panel will also honor the best work by a student, with a €3,000 award.

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