Imaging USA Nashville Report

January 12th, 2010 by Chris Klapheke

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This past Sunday I drove down to Nashville to take in Imaging USA, the PPA's (Professional Photographers of America) annual photo expo.  I was fortunate to have the show so close to home.  Unlike the CES and PMA shows which cater to photo dealers, this show is for consumers, namely professional photographers.

I went to the show as a dealer looking for new products to carry (found some good stuff–you will see it in the store soon) and to meet with suppliers, but I also went as a consumer as all the big boys were there–Canon, Nikon, Sony, Fuji and such.  As a Canon shooter, I was in consumer mode as I got to try out the new 1D Mark IV.  Yes, it's that good.

I found it interesting that some of the big camera manufacturers like Canon will not be at the dealer-oriented PMA, but still had a big presence at the consumer-oriented Imaging USA.

Once I got my consumer cravings fulfilled, I turned my attention to my dealer objectives.  I headed away from the huge, shiny booths of the big players to the smaller booths of the sellers of unique accessories and hard to find items that make OPG a great place to shop.  Accessories, software, cases, monopods and such.  That's what I was after.

You know what?  Those booths were just as crowded as the big booths.

That's what I took from this show.  In an era of economic uncertainty, this photo show thrived.  I heard that somewhere between 10.000 and 15,000 photographers registered for this show.  From the looks of the show floor, I believe it.  Our vendors in the smaller booths all told me that they were having a bang-up show.

It seemed like the crowd had a fresh, optimistic attitude.  Photographers were bright-eyed and had an open wallet.  Several of our vendors sold all the stuff they brought and more.

Will this optimism continue through the year?  I sure hope so.  I'll bet you do too!

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