Cologne, Germany—Christoph Menke was named as the new show manager of photokina, a leading international show for the photography and video industries.
Koelnmesse GmbH and Photoindustrie-Verband (PIV), photokina’s co-organizers, also recently announced the show “is repositioning itself.”
Held in September biannually since 1966, photokina will now become an annual event. And beginning in 2019, it will also have a new date—it will take place each May.
In light of these changes, we sat down with Menke to talk about the new face photokina will present to its participants and attendees going forward.
DIR: What made Koelnmesse decide to change the show cycle from an every other year show to a yearly show?
CM: Today, professionals and consumers view the subject of imaging completely different compared to 10 years ago. Now virtual reality, wearables, tablets, mobile and smart home security are an integral part of the imaging world. The same applies to imaging software for editing, sorting, storing images or even for CGI & sharing solutions.
As an imaging platform, we need to embrace those new technologies. As a part of this embrace, we acknowledge the significantly shorter innovation cycles of those new technologies compared to established capture technologies. For instance, the software industry has always been characterized by short development cycles. To offer these industries a suitable exhibition platform, the answer can only be a shorter cycle.
Based on surveys, we know that our visitors prefer an annual photokina. The annual show cycle will also put a more regular spotlight on other segments of our show, such as photo equipment, photo accessories and the photo studio segments—and the brands represented there. They will benefit from more frequent exposure to buyers, consumers and the international media attending our show.
Why is photokina moving to May in 2019 and the following years?
The photokina dates for the next two years are September 26–29, 2018 and May 8–11, 2019 [Wednesday to Saturday]. The switch to the May dates starting in 2019 is the result of conversations with key accounts from all segments. The feedback we received indicated that the May dates will provide an ideal time frame to fully take advantage of international demand before the start of the summer season.
photokina will also be shortened from six to four days. What will be the upside of this change?
Based on attendee surveys we conducted, we know that four show days are sufficient to see all the imaging technologies and content. Within those four days, we create a more compact and thereby more intense show experience that is appreciated by both exhibitors and visitors. The fact that our customers will no longer have to wait two years for the next photokina had a significant impact on the decision to shorten the sequence.
Will the annual show cycle also mean changes to the content and focus of the event?
The changes in content and focus are what led to the structural changes. New technologies are accelerating in the innovation cycles in the imaging world. The annual show cycle is photokina’s response to a rapidly changing marketplace.
Our mission is to provide a platform that shows the imaging technologies of the future. And one that promotes the exchange between developers, engineers, start-ups and manufacturers. Take video, for example. In times of the YouTube-revamped trend toward amateur videos and an increasing convergence of the technologies for photo and video (4K grabbing), the moving picture is as important as it was in the first hour of photokina—hence the name. One of the highlights for the next event will be an imaging lab at photokina.
And finally, what has been the reaction of your photokina customers to the date change?
So far the responses are mostly positive. Budgets and logistics are certainly issues that have to be dealt with. And we expect a transition process to adjust to the yearly dates. We are confident that the date change will provide an improved photokina for exhibitors and attendees alike.
In discussing new areas of the show’s focus, Menke noted that the imaging ecosystem has continually expanded. Today it includes, in addition to the core areas from the imaging workflow, trend areas like virtual and augmented reality, cloud computing, as well as image recognition and holography. “The growing flood of images and videos also must be processed and organized. So archiving and content management, social media and communities are coming increasingly into focus.”
In addition, photokina will highlight apps and software solutions for professional use and for the end consumer. Other segments of concentration will be smart home applications and computer-generated imaging. photokina.com