Focus on Imaging is the largest annual trade show in Europe and is scheduled for March 6-9, 2011. Focus on Imaging is a place where Canon has had a massive presence in past years. This year, however, Canon won’t be there. Moreover, Canon’s decision to not participate was only made public today.
While Canon USA did not attend PMA 2010, it made the announcement in September 2009 that it wouldn’t be attending – more than 5 months before the show. As a result, Canon was never scheduled to appear at PMA 2010. Canon had apparently planned to attend Focus on Imaging as recently as last week; however, a subsequent review of “marketing activities for the year” prompted Canon’s withdrawal from the show.
Focus on Imaging touts attendance numbers of over 37,000 last year; however, CES 2011, which Canon attended (with a large booth) saw 140,000+ visitors with over 30,000 of those coming from overseas. The obvious difference is that Focus on Imaging has what would seem to be a more relevant audience, while CES brings in a more technologically diverse crowd.
Who knows why Canon would go to CES and not attend a photographer’s show like Focus on Imaging or PMA?
One possible explanation may be market penetration. That is, if you are a photographer, you know Canon. You may not use a Canon camera, but if you own a DSLR, you are at least vaguely aware of Canon’s DSLR and lens line.
If you are a general tech consumer, you aren’t necessarily going to hear about Focus on Imaging or PMA; however, you probably saw something about CES on CNN or the like. As such, the more general tech audience and press members are perhaps more likely to be lured in by Canon’s rather diverse offerings at CES (DSLRs, point and shoots, camcorders, printers, etc.).
I can attest to the fact that Canon’s booth was generally packed at CES 2011. Additionally, Canon had guys like Shane Hurlbut and Alex Buono talking about their Navy Seals movies and SNL Digital Shorts, and how Canon DSLRs helped produce that media. The audiences were huge at each of these sessions. I would venture to say that the awareness of Canon’s HDSLR capabilities was increased much more at these sessions during CES than they would be at similar sessions at PMA or Focus on Imaging.
How well that awareness translates into converted sales….? That’s for the marketing geniuses to figure out . . . and perhaps they already have.
As for PMA 2011 (now CliQ 2011), Canon USA reps on hand at CES 2011 told me that a decision had not been made yet with regard to Canon’s attendance of the September show in Las Vegas. One would expect a product announcement or two around that time; however, that’s no guarantee in light of the recent T3i/600D announcement, which was sure to be featured at Focus on Imaging next week.
What are your thoughts on Canon’s presence (or lack thereof) at photography-specific trade shows? Are there better ways Canon and other manufacturers can make their products and reps available to photographers?
Sound off in the comments below.