Photokina makes trade show an annual event, says photography has made gains

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Photokina / Photokina 2016 Archives

Cameras tend to age in dog years, and now the largest photography trade show is stepping up to match the faster flow of new digital camera tech. Earlier this month, Photokina announced that the biannual show will be changing to an annual event beginning with the 2018 show.

The change reflects the photography industry’s move to digital and what Photokina describes as “briefer innovation cycles.” The digital photography industry is becoming faster paced and the move to an annual show will allow Photokina to show off the latest advances in imaging every year.

But along with aligning the show dates to reflect the pace of the industry, the trade show will also be expanding to include a broader umbrella of photography tech. Virtual and augmented reality will be part of the next show, along with tech like facial recognition, cloud computing, and holography. As digital cameras become more integrated into tech from smartphones to cars, solutions for managing that large volume of imaging content from apps to social media will also be welcomed to future trade shows.

While sales of traditional cameras are only just starting to show signs that a multi-year decline is ending, Photokina saw dynamic growth last year after revamping the 2016 event with the idea of “Imaging Unlimited.” The new approach drew in younger visitors and more images shared on social media.

Katharina C. Hamma, the chief operating officer of Koelnmess, says that the photography industry “has lost nothing of its attraction worldwide” and that Photokina is continuing to develop as imaging technology advances.

The 2018 show dates is September 26 to 29, 2018. But in 2019, Photokina will move from a fall show to a spring event, remaining in Cologne, Germany.

“The digital transformation of the imaging industry is advancing, and thus opening up new perspectives and value creation potential,” said Rainer Führes. “The new date and the annual cycle should in future make Photokina even more attractive to all providers of the imaging ecosystem. In this way, we show the specialized trade, the media, and our users an even broader bandwidth of state-of-the-art products, applications, and services in Cologne which especially suits the young imaging culture.”