Opening Day at Photokina is always a mad house!

Opening Day at Photokina is always a mad house!

Every two years, much like lemmings the movers and shakers in the camera industry join the seasoned industry professionals for the trek to Photokina.  According to Wikipedia,

The Photokina (rendered in the promoters’ branding as photokina) is the world’s largest trade fair for the photographic and imaging industries. The first Photokina was held in CologneGermany, in 1950, and it is now held biennially in September at the koelnmesse Trade Fair and Exhibition Centre. Many photographic and imaging companies introduce and showcase state of the art imaging products at Photokina. The show has two main competitors, both annual shows held in different parts of the world. The CP+ show in YokohamaJapan, originally the Japan Camera Show, has been held since the early 1960s. In the U.S., the main photography show is PMA@CES, which since 2012 has coincided with theInternational CES consumer electronics show in Las Vegas.

Attending the Photokina is an experience like few others.  Twenty fourteen is one of the faire years, so I highly encourage everyone who can to try to attend at least once.  As they say, Christmas comes to the camera business in Cologne once every two years.  The good folks at the faire organizers, KoelnMesse, Inc., want to insure that everyone attending these Photokina dates have a great time. Part of having a great time in Germany is being well organized with a well detailed timetable. Accordingly, I pass along here some preparation suggestions just made available. Having been to one Photokina a few years back, I can attest the the good advice. I will also echo – bring good hiking or running shoes. The isles at Photokina are NOT carpeted like they are at most United States based trade shows. The concrete isles are almost intolerable for long in the wrong shoes! But then, they don’t serve beer at the US shows as they do at Photokina! Also remember, your entry badge provides a free ride on all the excellent local public transportation for the Photokina Dates.

Prepare for photokina dates – September 16-21, 2014 

Chicago, Cologne – July 2014

Every 2 years, the photokina dates set the stage for innovations and trends in the international photography and imaging industry. 

This event regularly attracts hundreds of North American photo imaging retailers, distributors, imaging professionals and photographers all seeking to source the latest in camera equipment, accessories, kiosk software, scrapbooking, lab Options and printing equipment.

1,000 exhibitors from all over the world are expected to showcase their photo/imaging products and services during the 36th edition of photokina. Among the  major players attending at this year’s photokina dates will be: Hasselblad, Phase One, Haehnel, Bresser, Doerr, Ringphoto, Europafoto, Olympus, Nicon, Epson, Ricoh, Carl Zeiss, Manfrotto, Canon, Panasonic, Fuji, Tamron, Sigma, Cewe, Kodak, Blackmagic, HP, Samsung, Sony, Polaroid, Daymen, Walser, Difox, Go Pro, Google and Rollei.

Besides the regular exhibit spaces, photokina offers a comprehensive program for professional photographers and the photo trade:

Hall 9.1 photokina Academy – 10 universities will present projects showing the difference of geographic and socially based Living Conditions. The top three presentations will receive the photokina academy award

Hall 5.1 photokina CGI – A Computer Generated Imaging exhibit showing a fusion between real photography and virtual photo materials illustrating the merger between reality and fantasy.     

Hall 9.1 photokina  communities – A stage program with presentations on “Social Media”, “Connectivity”, “Mobile Apps” and “Action Cams”.

Hall 9.1 photokina action zone – demonstrating and testing a series of action cameras under “live” conditions such as Sky Shooter, Aqua Zorbing and Bull Riding competitions.

Hall 4.1 photokina movie – A stage presentation about DSLR/Video technology including presentations by Black Magic Design, Zeiss and Marcotec 

KoelnMesse Inc., the North American arm of the photokina organizer, today issued following tips for North American attendees to make the most of their travel and photokina experience:

Travel: 

Book your flight early enough to take advantage of lower rates. Economy class tickets from the East Coast start at $ 1,100.  All major North American Airlines offer service to Frankfurt International Airport (FRA).  The airport has its own train station. High speed Inter-City Express (ICE) trains run three times per hour and will take you to downtown Cologne in a little more than 50 minutes – one way tickets cost about    $ 60. 

Entrance ticket /Show Hours:

Discounted entrance tickets ordered online offer a 35% discount. 2-day passes can be purchased for EURO 48. The pass for all days costs EURO 78. Entrance tickets provide you with free of charge transportation on buses and subways during all show days. photokina is open daily from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. including the last day. The six day show will commence on Tuesday, September 16th and end on Sunday, September 21. 

Staying in Cologne: 

Pre-booked hotel rooms in Cologne are available via photokina’s New York based travel partner, TTI Travel, at 212.674.3476 or customerservice@traveltradeint.com  TTI   holds a wide variety of room blocks in Cologne and offers advice to North American attendees to Cologne on the hotels proximity to the fairgrounds. The travel agency provides maps, commuting tips to the fairground, and a list of Cologne restaurants.

Pre-show preparation: 

Use the exhibitor listing at www.photokina-cologne.com to plan your trip and search out the companies you would like to visit. You can sort the listing by product category or geography. We recommend making pre-show appointments via photokina’s “online matchmaking services”, a service available six weeks prior to the event. Take some time to learn about products and competition prior to the visiting the photokina – Make a list of companies you plan to visit and organize it by hall saving your time during your photokina visit.

On-site

photokina takes place at the fourth largest fairground worldwide. The halls are connected via a central “Boulevard” providing a main artery to all 10 halls. Exhibitors at photokina are easy to find in clearly categorized and marked halls. 

Use your cell phone camera for recording images of products and people you meet. It will help you to organize your follow up! Take advantage of the International Buyers’ Lounge at the Congress Center East. The Buyers Lounge provides detailed trade fair and product information, cell phone charger stations, and PCs with Internet access. The Lounge is open daily between 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Last not least, make sure to wear comfortable shoes, the aisles in Cologne are not carpeted!

Things to do in Cologne: 

Leave some time to visit the attractions Cologne has to offer, such as the famous Cathedral (Dom), a visit to the Old town “Altstadt” consisting of a large row of unique restaurants and bars. Feel like a hearty dinner and a taste of the locally brewed beer? Try one of the Brauhauses for where you will meet people from all over the world during photokina. Recommended ones are Paeffgen, Frueh and Peters Brauhaus. 

Nightlife at Photokina in Cologne is breathtaking.

Nightlife at Photokina in Cologne is breathtaking.

Website, English Version: http://news.photokina.de/en/

Website, German Versionhttp://news.photokina.de

North American companies interested in obtaining more information on attending or exhibiting at future photokina dates should contact:

Franz Balve

Koelnmesse Inc.

Phone: 732-933-1117

f.balve@koelnmessenafta.com

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