photokina 2010 Sets New Standards

September 27, 2010

Impressive attendance: Number of visitors from around the world increases by more than 7% to over 180,000    1,251 exhibitors from 45 countries    Lively order activity results in an excellent atmosphere   Greater number of visitors and exhibitors from abroad   photokina now the meeting place for Web 2.0 photo enthusiasts   High-quality event program fascinates trade visitors and end consumers   Significant increase in the number of young visitors

The 31st photokina – World of Imaging closed its doors in Cologne on September 26 2010 with outstanding results. The numbers recorded for the exhibition (including estimates for the last trade fair day) show that the imaging sector’s biggest technology and trend show attracted over 180,000 visitors to Cologne, a increase of more than 7% compared to the previous event. The proverbial Who’s Who from the international photo and imaging industry was in an outstanding mood in Cologne, where 1,251 exhibitors from 45 countries presented a huge range of new products, technical innovations, and future trends to visitors from more than 160 nations. International retailers responded to the great innovative power of the exhibiting companies by filling their order books. The share of visitors from abroad totaled 68%, and there were also a large number of country participations. “This exhibition is a must for everyone in the industry,” said Koelnmesse Executive Vice President Oliver P. Kuhrt, “photokina is theinternational revenue generator, and it has once again impressively demonstrated why it’s the most important international business platform for the imaging sector. No other event provides so much innovation and business momentum for this industry.”

Christoph Thomas, Chairman of Germany’s Photographic Industry Association (the co-organizer of the World of Imaging), was also full of praise for photokina 2010. “This was a photokina that truly deserved to be called a ‘world champion,’” he said. “It was a huge success in every way, and its high quality and large number of international visitors are beyond comparison with anything any other fair in the sector can offer. This year’s event was also outstandingly successful in incorporating new theme areas and addressing new visitor groups. This is especially evidenced by the many young visitors it attracted.”

The international specialist retail sector also seemed overwhelmed by this year’s photokina, which Michael Gleich, Executive Director of the Ringfoto GmbH retailer association, described as outstanding: “From our point of view, the trade fair couldn’t have been any better. We were absolutely thrilled.”

Large numbers of trade visitors from around the world flocked to the stands from the very first day on, and their lively ordering activity filled the suppliers’ order books and heightened their mood. Jeppe Frandsen, managing director of Canon Deutschland GmbH, was in great spirits as well: “In 2010, we saw once again why photokina’s platform offers the right concept for the international imaging industry. We came to Cologne with very high expectations both in terms of revenues and visitor numbers. These expectations were more than fulfilled, and the foundation was laid here in Cologne for very successful business at the end of 2010.” Duncan Ferguson, Director Professional Graphics, Epson Europe, said this year’s photokina “was a great success for business at Epson,” adding that he was very pleased to see how thrilled the many photography professionals and consumers were when they visited his company’s stand.

Erwin Schwarzl, Kodak Cluster Director, Consumer & Commercial, DACH, also expressed his satisfaction with the excellent response to his company’s new products — and the large number of orders it received: “photokina 2010 was a complete success for us, and in terms of orders our expectations were more than exceeded.” Heiner Kayser, Managing Director of SihlDirect GmbH, also felt the mood at the event was excellent. “photokina impressively confirmed its position as the leading trade fair for imaging communication,” he said. “We were very pleased with both the number and the decision-making authority of the visitors. The feedback we received shows that even in the digital age, the appeal of the printed photo remains unbroken.” CeWe Color was also extremely satisfied with the results of the fair. “photokina2010 provided us with an outstanding platform for communicating our brand messages,” said Dr. Rolf Hollander, Chairman of the Board of Management of CeWe Color Holding AG.

The exhibitors were also very happy about the large number of visitors from abroad. Sigma Deutschland GmbH Managing Director Marco Hahn said the ideal mixture of target groups at photokina was one of the main reasons for the fair’s success: “photokina is the only trade fair that precisely targets our important customer groups. It’s also the only trade fair in the world that brings together all the key players in our sector – retailers, consumers, global imaging media representatives, and photographic artists. Cologne is the only place where you’ll find that combination. All of this makes photokina unique and very important for us. That’s why we use it to present all of our new products to visitors from around the world.”

The share of trade visitors at this year’s photokina totaled 46.5%, of which 35% were from abroad. With visitors from 167 nations, photokina also once again underscored its international importance. Michael Langbehn, Manager PR / CSR / Trade Marketing Panasonic Deutschland, was thrilled by the great many retailers and media representatives who visited the Panasonic stand: “photokina 2010 was a major success for Panasonic in terms of both sales and brand communication. It’s the ideal international platform for our imaging products.” Also particularly noteworthy was the degree of decision-making responsibility enjoyed by the trade visitors in attendance. The initial results of an independent survey show that around two thirds (65.7%) were either major procurement decision-makers or else involved in purchasing decisions in some capacity. Martin Winkler, Commercial Director Sony Deutschland GmbH, was also very pleased with photokina 2010: “We can look back on a fair that was successful in every way and had extremely positive results for our company. photokina 2010 was everything we expected it to be. We were especially pleased by the trust our partners displayed in our company, and we are also very satisfied with the business the fair generated.”

The exhibitors also expressed their satisfaction with the tremendous media coverage photokina 2010 received. The presence of well over 6,000 journalists from all over the world ensured extensive coverage by domestic and international media outlets. Thorsten Kortemeier, Managing Director of MINOX GmbH, had praise for the heavy visitor traffic at his stand and said that the media exposure for photokina had helped to make the fair a huge success: “We were extremely satisfied with how the fair went, and the great media presence we saw was much higher than we had expected.”

The exhibitors’ satisfaction with photokina 2010 was mirrored by the opinions of the visitors, 85% of whom said they were either satisfied or very satisfied with what they saw at the exhibition. Trade visitors were pleased with the opportunity photokina offered them to achieve their trade fair goals, with some 80% expressing their satisfaction or great satisfaction with this aspect and 92% reporting that they would recommend the event to a good business acquaintance.

International trade visitors and end consumers also had great things to say about the attractive photokina event program, which featured numerous highlights that offered great added value to both groups. The program for imaging professionals from around the world focused on the sharing of information about the latest sector trends, market developments, and business models for the future. The numerous events allowed visitors to touch, try out, and directly experience the products photokina showcased for end consumers.

Professional visitors were especially interested in the 1st International CGI Forum, which photokina used to highlight a new market trend at an early stage of its development, one which represents a key growth sector for the trade fair. The CGI Forum presented outstanding examples of computer-generated image design and provided the numerous visitors with the associated know-how as well. This forum, which was staged in close cooperation with the imaging sector, created a trade fair segment in which new companies, institutes of higher education, and service providers were able to present themselves to the international imaging industry for the first time.

The Creative Alliance presentations at photokina also attracted a huge rush of visitors, with many professional photographers taking advantage of the opportunity it offered them to receive inspiration from some of the best-known experts from the imaging sector. The Creative Alliance — an association of six major professional imaging companies — demonstrated tips and tricks for imaging professionals in daily workshops during photokina. The topics it addressed ranged from picture-taking to printing and marketing opportunities for professional photography.

Young visitors were particularly attracted to the brand-new photokina umbrella brand “Meet the Communities,” which occupied a special area where exhibitors were able to more directly address the needs of the younger target groups who heavily frequent social networks on the Internet. “Meet the Communities” brought together for the first time real and virtual photo enthusiasts in an area covering over 1,500 square meters at the center of Hall 5.1. Here, social networks, photo festivals, imaging associations, and publishing companies offered photokina visitors a unique platform that featured a broad range of highlights on and around a large stage. Presentations at “Meet the Communities” focused on networking, communication with state-of-the-art terminals, and the latest generation of cameras. In addition, Twitter meetings, photo BarCamps, and community meetings offered plenty of opportunities for users of online services to share information. Not surprisingly, the stage and the surrounding area were crowded on every day of the fair.

Franziska Jorke, Group Leader Corporate Communications & Events at Olympus Europa Holding GmbH, was very happy about the higher number of visitors, especially younger visitors, at the Olympus stand this year: “Personal contact is sometimes neglected in the digital age, which is why we were all the more pleased to see more visitors at our stand this year. We were especially pleased by the many young people who showed up at our large-format stand displays and by the great interest they expressed in our new products.”

The artistic highlight at photokina was once again the exhibitions held in the Visual Gallery. For years, these exhibitions have impressively linked the worlds of photo documentation, photo design, photo journalism, and photographic art. Among the works on display were those by Michael von Graffenried, who just recently won the Dr. Erich Salomon Award, and whose creations blur the lines between art and photography. The increasingly important photo design sector was represented in the Visual Gallery by works from well-known photographers such as Stephan Zirwes and Thomas Herbrich.

photokina’s Passage 4/5 featured an especially large project that gave visitors a view of a world in and of itself. “The world’s largest photo globe” had a diameter of six meters and transfixed visitors from around the world as it “floated” above them. It was also one of the most frequently photographed exhibits at photokina 2010. The globe was the result of a joint project carried out by the Photographic Industry Association and its members Adobe Systems,CeWe Color, Epson, Fujifilm Imaging Germany, Hama, Kaiser Fototechnik, Kodak, Lowepro, Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic, Samsung, Felix Schoeller, Sigma, and Sihl, as well as ProphotoGmbH and Koelnmesse.

Another new feature presented by Koelnmesse during this photokina year was photo.COLOGNE. The new umbrella brand brought together in September the activities of InternationalePhotoszene Köln with its IPK <festival> and Koelnmesse GmbH with its Visual Gallery and the “photokina: cologne takes pictures!” event. photo.COLOGNE offers amateur and professional photographers and people who are interested in photographic art a never-before-seen combination of events and cultural highlights for photography. The results speak for themselves, as even visitors who arrived in Cologne long before photokina began were virtually unable to avoid the theme of photography. The goal of the partners is to use this umbrella brand in the future to further solidify and enhance Cologne’s standing as a major center of photography.

The next photokina Cologne — World of Imaging will take place from Tuesday, September 18 to Sunday, September 23, 2012.

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