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PMA Las Vegas


Ian SIIS
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Just had an email from a mate still over in the US after PMA. He was buzzing about all the marketing ideas,but did say there was nothing very new in labs - just really the emergence of these cheaper, low volume machines.

The big moves now are from HP and Xerox with their ink based photogift systems. It seems that HP have got these and their kiosks into some of the large format camera / minilabs in the US and Australia.

He did mention the new Luci kiosk system from Lucidiom, Whitech's new software for their kiosks and some new entrants in this market.

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I attended Las Vegas with 100+ other Aussies saw the guys from Snappy Snaps/FotoStop and others but no one from Jessops?

2007 was probably the best ever as far as the educations session went, really looking at the real options. One thing that the US market is saying 4x6 is dead what next? Too many are moving on when the consumer out there has not even printed yet from digital what are we doing about this?

Should we all be getting an inhouse solution for photobooks, maybe, but keep looking trying making it a worthwhile experience for customers when they walk into your shop. What are you saying today that you weren't 3 months ago apart from Xmas Greetings!!

We start shoebox scanning promo next week look at the Kodak i1220 scanner sensational for fast easy low labour scanning and cheap to buy.

This weekend we are starting our Free 3 Minute Photo Kiosk Demonstrations  

There are so many that have never printed it is too hard or they think it is.... we will even give 5 free photos for just coming in

What do you think time to stop whinging about the weather in the UK smile go do something.

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I went to Las Vegas too!

One of the things I wanted to check out was the various photo book solutions. However, after about the 10th booth offering photo books, I began to wonder just how many photo books can you sell?

We've had a small studio the past 3 years, and just expanded it this year. After the show, I still feel this is an area with great growth potential. Maybe, it's just me, but the studio seems like the most natural place for all the cool add-on products coming on the market.

I also went to the show to get a hands on view of the Noritsu 3501 I had ordered. Looks like a great machine. I should get delivery in about a month, and I'm planning on posting a review afterwards.

I was pretty excited after the show, and felt like maybe I'm still in the right business(?). However, it's hard to leave a town like Las Vegas where there's lots of people spending lots of money and come home to the rain and slow business days. Even if you have cool services to sell, it's still hard to drive customers into your lab to see them.

All in all, I had a great time at the show, and got enough good ideas and positve energy to carry me over for at least a few more months!

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There were indeed a few highlights at PMA (my first international).  One key speaker was quite brilliant.  Google Jones Soda and see what this young Canadian man has done to create a market niche by building a personal attachment to his customers with his product. Photobooks were at the last PMA in Oz, and the one before that on a lesser note.  So this is the third year on offer but I don't hear of much action. No customer of ours has ever asked for them, and they usually ask us for all kinds of stuff.  A couple of my wedding photographers are doing them at horrendous prices to the bride and groom and the multi-nationals are offering them on 10 day order.  This implies to me they have a centralised Durst or somesuch to do them up and ship them out to their branches.  Maybe this product is seen as high end here?  At PMA Lots of other little suppliers with their photobook machines but would have to sell a lot of books to recoup AU$15,000 offered by the Kiss Group!  Loved the "gorrilla pod"?  Do you have them in GB?  If not, google the brand, and consider stocking them if you do add on retail.  Such an innovative little product. Loved that they had Photoshop guru workshops (tutorials) but disappointed they branded them intermediate to advanced (when it was really entry level stuff) and usually based on the first few chapters of their books.  I know, cos I've bought them, so the extra bucks hurt for what I'd already taken on board!!!!  My overall impression of PMA was there's nothing ground-shaking.  People are still printing less-photobooks are seen to be the answer and intrinsically this idea fits.  Albums/photo shoebox gone - pick our best photos - turn them into a book/story - file/display it.  I believe they could become the printing norm within 5 years.    

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Lots of technology but not too many profit opportunities.

Photo books still being talked about but although it's a great opportunity to sell machines, I'm not sure how it's going to work in the lab.  Are we just going to get the difficult customers whereas the switched on ones will do it at home and deal direct? A bit like camera retail?

Talk about Jessops and the collapse in their share price.

Best technology I saw was the Olympus camera which took a picture 1/2 second before you took the picture! If you follow? You then have a choice of about 5 pictures either side of when you actually pressed the shutter.

But to sum up, lot's of different ways to take and to display pictures but not much new as far as payingh the rent.

The above is from the minilab perspective (as this is a minilab site!) From other points of view it was a cracking show with lots to see.

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Another scary thought I had at the show was that we may be continuing to move away from the "print your photos" paradigm. In Sony's booth they were showing how with a simple cord you could connect their new digital cameras to an HD flat screen and show your pictures in HD. It looked great. It reminded me of the old days when everyone shot slide film and we bought the best screen available to display our work. Why show people a bunch of crummy 4x6's when you can blow them away with a 50" HD slide show?

It does seem a bit crazy that I just bought a new printer, but I got it through the crazy QD-21 trade in deal and it didn't cost me that much. Plus, I really think it might be the last printer I buy!

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You bought another wet printer surely not!  :(  I have a 3 year use by date on my two, one may go before that and be replaced by a dry solution. The price of inkjet is getting down to that of silver halide and boy can you do a lot more with them.

I trust your new printer came with 8 kiosks it would have downunder. At least you are doing something, how is the weather on the high street today?

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Interesting article.  I did notice there appeared to be a huge dog fight between the printer companies.  HP and Xerox beating their chest on one corner, Fuji and Kodak close by.  Noritsu standing around looking all forlorn.  Maybe Kodak predicted the rise and rise of inkjet which may explain their split with Noritsu.  Just guessin' :)

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