The Imaging & Digital Entertainment Association (IDEA) will wind up operations in June 2022 after more than 40 years as the peak industry body.

IDEA president, James Murray (pictured above) said the decision was made at the recent AGM and General Meeting.

“We came to the conclusion that despite the value the association has brought to the industry, IDEA would not be financially viable beyond Project 2020 without a new income stream of major events, such as exhibitions,” he said.

Project 2020 is a two-stage initiative whereby IDEA sponsors a member’s activity. Member companies were invited to submit a promotional or advertising concept that IDEA would contribute sponsorship funding towards.

The goal is to amplify community awareness of photography and videography, while inspiring consumers to recognise unique camera features that are not available on mobile phones, with 100% of allocated industry funds used for the initiative.

Five member companies responded to Project 2020 but due to Covid-19 have postponed activity until 2021, with projects to be concluded and sponsorships claimed by 31 March 2022.

IDEA’s income stream has previously come from member fees and The Digital Show (pictured above) but as the industry has transitioned the association’s membership base has experienced reduced numbers, Murray said.

“Leading up to the current ‘preservation of funds’ operating mode, IDEA invested heavily to bring new value to the industry, aside from The Digital Show. The launch of D Hub brought together industry marketing minds, while the VIVID partnership to launch the Digital Playground also proved to be a great success. However, it became clear that while there was a strong desire for an industry association, the engagement in cooperative activity between brands was diminishing.”

In 2013, IDEA moved to a biennial Digital Show. While the 2015 event was a success with record attendance, the costs were unsustainable. The 2017 show was postponed, and by 2019 the show was no longer viable.

At the 2019 AGM, it was noted that should IDEA be in a position where the preserved funds are exhausted, the association would be wound up. It was then decided at the 2020 General Meeting that regardless of funds remaining, IDEA will close by 30 June 2022. Any remaining funds after disbursements will be transferred to a charitable organisation.

Murray said the decision to wind down the association was carefully considered. “IDEA has a long and proud history that has focused on representing our great industry. While 2022 will be the end of an era for IDEA, I would like to acknowledge and thank those members who have not only supported the association’s vision over the past four decades, but also the many industry events that aimed to promote and help drive our category.”

The Photographic Industry Council (PIC) was born in 1977 before changing its name to the Photographic Industry Marketing Association (PIMA). The Photographic & Imaging Council of Australia Ltd (PICA) launched in 1995 and as the industry shifted into a new age, the Imaging & Digital Entertainment Association (IDEA) evolved from 2011.