1 October 2006

photokina visit

photokina is HUGE!

Held in the western German city of Cologne every 2 years, the tradeshow brings together the who's-who of the photography world.

The venue, Koln-Messe, is a staggering collection of 11 gigantic 2-storey tradehalls, all connected by walkways which transition show attendees from one hall to the other.

This year, there were 1,600 suppliers from 45 countries attending the show, and yes, Dubai was there with a stand for PhotoWorld-Dubai - unmanned when we went past it!

We walked our feet off for a few hours, but after seeing the main Canon stand, the show lost its shine.

Both of us have attended various tradeshows like this throughout the years in our professional capacities, and they're basically all the same. In the past, the shows had strategic value for the exhibitors, as it was often the only op
portunity where top company management could all meet in the one place for strategy meetings, client visits and corporate entertaining. Nowadays, with email, video-conferencing, cheap phonecall rates and the wealth of info that can be gleaned from the internet, the value of tradeshows is starting to wane. Gone are the days when big money deals were signed and celebrated at events like this. It's also very expensive for companies to exhibit when taking into consideration the cost of the display space, the signage, the required staff, and all the logistics that goes into ensuring that everything goes smoothly.

Here are some images from the show which you can click onto to enlarge.

People trying out Leica cameras

People trying out Canon cameras

Looking down onto the crowded Canon stand

Kodak was never this sexy when M worked for it!

Each model's clothing had Kodak products incorporated into it

Although we were glad that we went to photokina to experience it, we wouldn't go back in a hurry, and we didn't spend all day there as planned.

Instead, we went into Cologne city, and we were glad that we did because the cathedral is magnificent. But that story will have to wait for the next post!


Harsha said...

wow! looks like an interesting place to be at!

Shaykhspeara Sha'ira said...

welcome back nzm. Is it just me or are a vast majority of visitors male? (apart from you and the kodak models of course)

nzm said...

Harsha: it was!

SS: no, you're not alone in thinking that!

The majority is male, and can often be classified in 3 groups:
1. The salesmen in their slick suits, sharp haircuts, blackberries, cellphones and computers.
2. The young staff on the exhibition stands. They're either really keen to tell you all about the product to the point of extreme boredom, or so pissed off that they have to be there that it shows in every gesture they make and word that they utter.
3. The zealous boffin brigade of (mostly) aging geeks wanting to tyrekick their way around the whole show. They secretly lust after the latest Canon, Leica or Hasselblad, but are only able to afford a cheaper brand with the biggest lenses and flash units that they can find, and which they have conspicuously slung around their necks for all to see.

The minority female have 4 groups:
1. The bimbo models on the stands promoting some camera/brand that they have no clue about, but hey, they look good.
2. The Mama Photographer who is tagging along with Papa Photographer. They have a little photography studio (often home-based) from which they eke out their living by taking family portraits and wedding photos. Nothing stunning or award-winning - just good bread and butter imagery. They wouldn't be at the show if Papa hadn't wanted to go.
3. The female sales execs who are there having fun, away from the office. Invariably, they also look like models, but maybe have more intelligence, but you just know that they were chosen to work at the company based upon their looks, and that it makes the company look good to have them present.
4. The women like J and me who are interested in the technology, but not on every single stand. We go, we see, we leave!

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

Don't know what to say with so many photography geeks in abundance, yet taking great photos is really cool!
How's the language use in Berlin? Do you speak German or does English get you around safely?

Kishor Cariappa said...

I am a big fan of Canon. Look at those lenses...very impressive. Wish I could lay my hands on it some day!

Mise said...

I'd like to have visited that myself...in the market for a new digital compact ... I have a great Canon already, so I'm tempted to got for another one ..maybe an ixus 65 .. but Sony's new T10 is very sexy looking, and I'm tempted...any thoughts? :-D

Shaykhspeara Sha'ira said...

lol nzm, well thanks for that explanation. Just as I thought then!

nzm said...

Wendy: No, I don't speak German, but I'm beginning to understand a lot more of it! A lot of people do speak English which is a godsend for a monolingual person like me!

Kishor: Me too! I've been a Canon freak since I was about 12! Both my little cameras which I own at the moment are Canons. Apart from some large format Mamiyas and Bronicas which I used to use in a professional capacity, all my 35mm cameras have always been Canon.

Mise: have emailed you!