The Photography Show & The Video Show returned to its home at Birmingham’s NEC from 18-21 September, making it one of the first exhibitions in the UK to run since Covid-19 restrictions were lifted.
The event hosted 150 exhibitors, 450 talks from 250 speakers, 13 stages and theatres and six photo galleries. Brands exhibiting included Canon, Olympus, Nikon, Sony, Epson and Fujifilm; and many took the opportunity to showcase never-before-seen kit at their stands.
One of the most anticipated launches was Canon’s EOS R3 camera, announced a week before the show. Also on show was the Fujifilm GFX50S II model, set to be released before the end of this month. Media headliner Rankin, co-founder of Dazed magazine and one of the UK’s most famous fashion and celebrity photographers, joined the speaker line-up.
With changing Government guidelines, and not getting the full go-ahead until mid-June, the events team at Future had less than three months to plan the show. The event included several Covid-safe measures, including wider aisles and staggered entry to reduce queuing.
The show was moved to September from its usual March slot and will now stay in September going forward as it is considered to be a better time for much of the industry.
The Future team said it focused on attracting a more diverse audience for the show, which featured a 45% female speaker ratio.
Organisers said some exhibitors reported higher sales figures than in previous years. Neale Conroy, marketing manager at Canon, said: “While it’s been great to deliver virtual experiences for our customers, it’s so exciting to get cameras back in people’s hands and speak to people face to face – that interaction just can’t be replaced.”
Mark Thackara, content and community manager at Olympus added: “It’s very difficult to compare like for like and this year has been difficult with supply chain issues and more. But The Photography Show is great because it’s so much more than just the suppliers. You can do as many things online as you like but we need this physical presence to remind people that we’re here and we’re doing exciting things.”
Jonny Sullens, head of events at Future PLC, said:“I couldn’t be happier to put on our first show since the pandemic and am thankful to our exhibitors, visitors and suppliers for their support. After a rocky road, it was amazing to finally be back at the NEC, putting on the show that our visitors and exhibitors love. Of course, there were differences this year as we returned to live events in the new world, but it was absolutely fantastic to bring the photography community together under one roof again.”