By Patrick Avenell

High levels of consumer involvement at PMA last weekend have tempered any negativity that arose from the absence of big brands such as Apple, Samsung and Sony at the digital imaging conference.

PMA director Peter Rose said he expected the audited crowd figure from the two open days of the exhibition to confirm record attendances, with the PMA team expecting to announce a 20,000-plus crowd later this week.

“We are absolutely delighted with both the attendance and the air of positive energy and enthusiasm shown at the show,” Rose said. “This is in marked contrast to the scene at some recent European and US shows. Australia is definitely on the up.”

Click here to sign up for our FREE daily newsletter

While at PMA last Friday for the trade-only part of the conference, a number of exhibitors and delegates expressed frustration at the high-profile absentees and at the lack of new products. Key exceptions to this included Panasonic, Leica, Polaroid and GE; brands that used PMA to reveal new camera and printing products.

When asked why Samsung wasn’t exhibiting at PMA, received the following response from a spokesperson:

“Samsung decided against PMA this year as we have already launched our products at CeBIT as well as the individual IT/DI launch earlier in the year.” understands that Samsung will be launching more digital imaging products later in 2011.

Our coverage of PMA included the following stories:

Travelling across Mount Olympus and answering the tough questions
PMA goes Gaga for Polaroid, Rosy for JVC
GE Whiz! General Imaging uses PMA for worldwide debut of camera range
Forget Apple, it's Nikon that's obsessed with the I-word
Hipsters of the world unite and take photos on a Leica
Canon PMAmazes with dedicated World of EOS stand
UPDATED: Panasonic uses PMA to launch G3 and GF3, plus four new camcorders