By Claire Reilly

The Photo Imaging Council of Australia has today announced a number of “sweeping changes” to its organisation, including overhauling its annual PMA photography expo and rebranding it as a broader technology-focused event.

Traditionally an event showcasing innovations and products in the digital imaging and photography categories, the PMA Australia conference will be renamed the “Digital Show” and will feature products as varied as tablets, smartphones, smart TVs, software and accessories. PICA itself will also change its name to the Imaging & Digital Entertainment Association.

Discussing the new direction for the association, PICA president Dave Marshall said the changes were the result of greater crossover between the digital imaging and technology industries.

“Convergence means that we are now part of a wider industry,” said Marshall. “And it is now only appropriate that a wider membership of our association has a say in how show profits are returned to support the industry.

“A formal vote of PICA at an annual general meeting to be held on November 22nd is still required to put all the plans into effect, but we are now confident that the board’s recommendations for a number of sweeping changes will have the full support of the membership.” 

These sweeping changes will see a shift in the membership base to include importers of new types of digital products, as well as a new constitution that will “allow different circles of membership to be introduced to support and compliment other existing trade associations”. At this stage, it is estimated that eight new companies are expected to join the association.

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“[The Digital Show] will introduce a new era of collaboration between exhibiting companies and us as show promoters. This will ensure that the best possible brand management image is projected to consumers.

“PICA has a long history of successful show management; with more than twenty annual shows to our credit. But although it is important to us, it is not our real reason for being.  The show is the engine or our industry in that it provides profits – profits which are all returned to the industry itself. Our real success is our ability to return those profits to the industry to grow the size of the industry for all.

“However, the show has to stand on its own two feet. It has to deliver the return on investment to both its exhibitors and the industry.  By working very closely with exhibitors, we are confident that we can do this and thus expand the total size of the business.

“This will involve the adoption of the latest technologies to take the show from a 3 day event to a nationwide virtual show with impact over several months.”

The revamped Digital Show will be held at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre from 25 to 27 May, 2012, and will be coordinated by show director Paul Curtis.