Strategy Session: Digital Imaging Emerges at the International CESJanuary 2012 By Jerry Grossman
Gary Shapiro is president and CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), the U.S. trade association that represents more than 2,000 consumer electronics companies and owns and produces the continent’s largest annual trade show—the International CES. Steve Tiffen, president and CEO of The Tiffen Company, is the chairman of the Digital Imaging division of CEA.
I sat down with Shapiro and Tiffen to discuss the imaging industry’s involvement in the 2012 International CES, the opportunities that exist for manufacturers and retailers alike, and to ask them advice on how best to tackle the show this year.
Steve Tiffen: The imaging category has been critical to the consumer electronics business since the inception of the special interest group created seven years ago. When they recognized the convergence of imaging and consumer electronics almost a decade ago, CEA created a special interest group, and then later a division, specifically focused on digital imaging.
Digital imaging has been a key part of the Consumer Electronics Show for some time, with key companies such as Canon, Kodak, HP and others as active supporters of the program. PMA coming to CES is really just a natural extension of this convergence. The Consumer Electronics Association is excited and welcomes both the exhibitors and the attendees who are accustomed to going to PMA now coming into the broader world of consumer electronics and imaging.
Gary Sharpiro: We expect a greater emphasis on imaging because of the PMA partnership. We received a great response to it and have enhanced exhibit space that will fulfill our expectations. In a sense, we have two types of people: those who have always done both shows, and all of a sudden they are given a week of their life back; and then we have the traditional PMA audience that will be exposed to CES for the first time and seem excited about it.
I think they’re a little nervous about it. Many dealers will be seeing the show for the first time. Do you have any advice for them?
GS: Yes I do. Part of what makes CES work is that it exposes people in their own category to other things and business opportunities, so not only will PMA@CES be strong and successful, but there will be a number of traditional photo companies who are participating, from traditional camera manufacturers to great accessories companies and beyond.