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PMA goes direct to the consumer

PMA Australia is about to embark on a role as an ‘education entrepreneur’, the first step of which is a worskshop/seminar tour of Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne with US digital workflow expert, Jerry Courvoisier (pictured below right).

‘We see a big opportunity with end-users,’ said Peter Rose, PMA’s director of Australian activities ‘If we are able to use these educational sessions to point out to them that their friendly neighbourhood photo specialist is absolutely the place to go for expert advice and servic,e and the camera gear to suit them, we will be of benefit to both our members and the suppliers, and we will be helping the consumer as well.’

‘As the retail market shifts with the advent of on-line purchasing, and dominance by a few major chains, it is important that we all adapt to these market fluctuations.

‘PMA must continue to be relevant in the market, and work to support our members,’ said Mr Rose. ‘One of our primary functions is to provide educational support to retail and the industry.

‘As the retail base contracts, focus should shift to the end user and in our case the prosumer as he/she is now the major supporter of ongoing imaging equipment sales.’

Mr Rose estimated there are around 500 -750k ‘prosumers’ in Australia, and it’s a growing segment of the market.

He said that these prosumers are seeking education and want to engage in hands-on ‘how-to’ sessions with other prosumers. It can be on location, via workshops, social network sites, clubs and communities.

‘As their knowledge and understanding of photography grows so does their appetite for new and add-on products, presenting opportunities for the industry.

Photo stores the ‘box office’

PMA members will be encouraged to promote the new educational program to their  customers and will be relying on the databases – particularly of larger specialists such as Ted’s and Camera House – to reach the prospective prosumer audience.

The first event will be a program of 4-hour seminars followed by a one-day workshop, presented by Jerry Courvoisier.

‘Jerry Courvoisier is, plain and simple, one of the best teachers of digital workflow and image management working today. He demystifies the digital world for both the beginner and the advanced user,’ said renowned National Geographic shooter, Joe McNally (who by coincidence is himself about to embark on a series of workshops and seminars in Australia and New Zealand.)

Mr Courvoisier developed  a  2-day ‘hands-on’ workshop series in cities across the USA, Canada, Australia and the UK

The seminar will focus on an overview of the basics of the recently released Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4.0 application. The workshop will look at a start-to-finish workflow for prosumers, again centred on Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4.0.

The final content of the seminars and workshops will depend on the audience mix – how many prosumers vs. pros are attending.

Venues are National Maritime Museum (Sydney); South Bank Institute of Technology (Brisbane); and the Victorian State Library (Melbourne), and the tour is scheduled for the last two weeks in July.

Mr Rose said this was the first in a 12-month series of events, which will also feature leading Australian photographers and photographic teachers.

As well as promoting photography and chanelling attendees to PMA members’ stores, PMA hopes to develop a new revenue stream out of the educational program, with the annual trade show, which has been paying the bills over the past few years, now being run  by IDEA.

The cost to attend these events will be reasonable and there will be incentives for PMA retailers who support the events, and their staff, noted Mr Rose.

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