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PMA Convention drills down to what matters

The 2013 PMA Convention in Melbourne, Sept 12 – 15, builds on the success of last years event with a sharp focus on photo specialist retailing and a stated intent to ‘cut the waffle’.

Several of the presentation formats and speakers which proved popular in 2012 will be returning to share their insights and expertise, including best in show from last year, Darrel Vowles from online marketing consultants ReachLocal. But a lot changes in 12 months, and speakers will be addressing the contemporary scene.

PMAOne fresh face will be Russell Zimmerman, executive director of the Australian Retailers Association, who will present ARA insights into where specialty retailing is going and the pitfalls to avoid.

However, the convention will largely feature presenters with a more in-depth knowledge of photo retailing.

‘The strong feedback from the PMA executive was to use people from within in the industry to share knowledge with their peers rather than call in outside experts,’ explained Peter Rose, director, PMA Australia. ‘To that brief, there will be a number of panel sessions to flesh out what’s going on in our industry.’

– There’s also a pragmatic aspect to this sharpening of focus. In previous years leading suppliers covered the often quite hefty fees asked by the various futurologists, demographers, market researchers, motivational speakers and celebrities-with-a-message. Those days of bread and circuses are passed.

One of the first sessions will feature an industry leaders  panel, comprising both suppliers and retailers, which will set the scene and perhaps the agenda for attendee discussion over the weekend.

One of the highlights of last year was the long session shared between GfK’s Australian head Gary Lamb and well-travelled industry expert John Swainston. This year Mr Swainston and a GfK executive will review the growth categories and identify potential missed opportunities based on their knowledge of other markets.

New Zealand’s Chris Wilkinson, whose retailing consultancy First Retail works both in Australia, New Zealand and the UK and across several retailing categories will share ‘best practice’ examples in marketing here and overseas. Sure to be a highlight, as Mr Wilkinson has both the knowledge and high level presentation skills.

The Friedman Group gets another trundle around the block in presenting its proven formula for extracting value from sales staff.

There will be another industry experts session based on examining ‘what is working and what is not’ to look at where the industry is going – with an emphasis on maximising photo book income. Surely Micheal Warshall and Phil Gresham would be twin monties to feature in this one!

The full convention program will be available in the next few weeks. Photo Counter will be supporting the PMA Convention with advertising support. (But alas, we’ve missed out on a speaking part again this year. -)

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