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PMA 09 Vegas - What ja think ?


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First off, - PMA 2009 was not what I expected, ..... sure - some of it was much worse than you could ever imaging, - Vegas has got to wonder what keeps it going, but I had a great conference coz it got me listening and thinking and talking.

WE all kinda know that the world is changing, - and the photoindustry no less than any other area, but what i got from PMA9 was a new wild west excitment, - what new photo marketing opportunities lie out there for us now. It is universally accepted that 4x6 prints will never make you anything, - but what they can give you is the opportunity to WOW your customer, - and introduce them to some of the 'longish tail' products, then the whole service experience is still worthwhile.

PMA showed a whole bunch of cleaver little additions, or tweaks on already good ideas, oh, - and a quite mindblowingly cool kiosk from photome that made full folder die-sub photobooks much like thier 'bob-sleigh'offering except without the RA paper bit. anyhow - this kiosk kicks out a nice book every 8 min or so, - ish ... and i loved the easy few choice gui.

Anyhow - back to the great folk i met at pma, - i do feel a lot better positioned to steer my business through the next stage, - the good news is that most or all of the Ed program is available to download via podcasts and stuff from www.pmai.com

Anyhow, - am still away from Spectrum assimilating my pma experiences coz i missed my train and have an extra night in Chicago, seen a few struggling photo chains, a few lost indies, and a couple of perfect stores, beautifully themed and mechandised, and seemingly doing very well.

ME - my main lesson I'm bringing back is to make my lab look visually stunning, - in my own way, and have incredible customer service and expertise.

Just go next year, - how can you afford not to?


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I guess Vegas will always be Vegas but at least it is cheap at the moment - with rooms from US$29 in quite good hotels!

i would have to agree with Phil with everything he has said ...  it was all about the people and the new ideas! Plenty of reminders of old ideas too!

And working my way through all the small guys on the trade show floor found me any number of new things. The great new canvas wrap system for people who only do a few, some interesting software to help with restorations and all sorts of other stuff! Even the software to sort photos into groups relating to colour will be a great help.

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canvas and real photo wrapping system by Hahnermohle Gallery Wrap on L193

really simple elegant system using stretcher bars covered in double sided tape, and corner tensioning braces that just snap in.

when i watched the demo i couldn't understand why it all started with the old system using stretcher pliers and staple guns.

Anyone could do it in 5 mins.

very nice simple product.

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We also came away form PMA feeling very positive, and looking forward to the next year.

Lots of new ideas, and ways to work better, and smarter. Purchased some product that we are taking home, found a great in-store album software program, found the new software for the Kodak scanners, found new kodak software for the DL2100 and wide format machines, love the Gallery Wrap system from Hanemule, and it was just great to network with other retailers who were (mostly) looking forward to the challenges ahead of us.

we are still enjoying a break in LA, and heading to Fullerton Photo today to talk to Gabby Mullinax who won the $20000 prize for the best photobook promotion.

A dynamo of a lady, and they really deserved to win it, and beat the big guys.

If you are serious about staying in this industry, and making a real go of it, you MUST find a way to get to PMA next year in Anaheim. Hey, take the family and do Disneyland as well.

You cannot put a dollar value on the networking and ideas you get from a show like this.

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It was definitely the smallest PMA I have ever attended (I have been to 8), but also was one of the more informative ones as well.  It was nice not having to climb over the crowds to see products, and it was much easier to speak to salespeople.  The gallery wrap system everyone is talking about is pretty neat. I have been doing this in our store since the fall, and it is as easy as they say.  They also had some regular RA4 prints wrapped using this system on display, and they looked fantastic!  I am going to offer this to my customers as well.

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Questions! Phil, have you any pictures of the two good stores in Chicago? If you have perhaps you could post them. What made them stand out?

What was the promotion for photo books that won the $20000 prize?

Lastly, what's the new Kodak software for the DL2100?

Thanks in advance.

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A device lots of people were talking about was a programmable USB hard-drive back-up.

Apparently you can program it to hunt for any type of file, eg .jpg and it will hunt out and back-up every one on the PC.

Does anyone have the details / brand ?

Tha application I see is we lend/rent it to any customer who plugs it into their pc, - and return it full of their images, - then we back them up to CD / DVD - maybe help them print some / all ?

Many many people have 00 or 000's of images trapped on their pc's, - and it seemed like a great service opportunity ?

Any ideas what the device was ?



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and another thing .....

Photome international showed an amaizing photobook kiosk at PMA in Vegas.

tiny footprint, - and limited client choices, - but delivered a delightful little book A4 folded to A5 on Dye Sub paper.

7 minutes to make a 20 sided book.

Everyone I showed it to has thought it the right compromise between size and price, - I could easy see customers getting one every 6 months or holiday or event, - and building a libruary.

Kiosk Price attractive, OK media costs lots higher then RA4,


dye-sub prints may cost a lot more, - but they are VERY durable, - perfect for the heavy handling a family photobook will get. mechanics based on the photome 'bob-sleigh' we have seen for the past 2 or 3 years, - but very much compacted and automated.

IF they can get the mechanics sorted and reliable,

I predict seeing A LOT of these in supermarkets, (and minilabs?) near you soon !


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