Photo Plus Expo
winds up today at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City. It’s an annual event that showcases the latest in professional photographic equipment and technology. MacCentral was there to take in the sights and sounds.
Although the final numbers aren’t in, the show’s management and vendors alike are pleased with the traffic at this year’s expo. The event drew 10,000 attendees on Thursday, its opening day, and as Friday drew to a close, one spokesperson told MacCentral that if traffic continued at the same pace through today, the expo would have drawn about the same crowds it did last year. In a year punctuated by anemic tradeshow attendance — particularly after the events of September 11 — show coordinators are counting their blessings.
MacCentral readers familiar with July Macworld Expos know that the Javits Center is the same venue that IDG World Expo has used to host the event since moving it from Boston to New York in 1998. With about 200 vendors on hand to show their wares, Photo Plus Expo is smaller than Macworld Expo, and it occupies about one half the space in the main exhibition hall. But by mid-afternoon, throngs of pro photographers and photography enthusiasts were crowding the halls of the Expo to check out various high-profile vendors and smaller exhibitors, including many that also exhibit at Macworld Expo. More than 125 seminars and workshops are offered, with topics ranging from photographic techniques to Web and graphic design to e-commerce.
Like other parts of the publishing and creative markets, pro photographers have seen a very lean year — some speakers at various booths have even cracked wry comments about the downturn in the business. Regardless, many exhibitors and showgoers alike are excited about the latest trends in photography and technology.
Many vendors are making a strong push with digital camera products. While digital cameras are still largely the domain of consumers and prosumers, high-end digital hardware is making increasing inroads in the pro market. Several vendors are showing off newly updated digital backs for medium-format studio cameras, and large crowds populate the exhibits of companies like Canon, Kodak and Nikon, who are showing off how their latest digital photo products work under studio conditions by simulating fashion shoots and other real-world applications.
Macintosh hardware and software proliferates the various booths at the show, with many vendors using iMacs, Power Mac G4s, and PowerBooks of various vintages. Most vendors expressed continued support for the Mac platform, with many citing enthusiasm for Mac OS X and other recent advances in Apple technology. Some showgoers showed off their colors by bringing PowerBooks of their own, and a few Apple t-shirts were spotted amongst the crowd as well.
Apple doesn’t have a booth of their own, but they are a force of nature in the Digital Learning Center, an area off the main expo floor where photographers could come to see digital imaging in use. The area sports two theater spots where presenters can give hands-on presentations of the latest techniques in digital imaging, of course, using the Mac.