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Focus on Imaging Show axed after 24 years

Discussion in 'News - Discussion' started by CSBC, May 31, 2013.

  1. Alex1994

    Alex1994 Well-Known Member

    Argos is apparently planning around 100 'showrooms', so there may be some hope, though I doubt you'll be able to find a D4 or similar there! :)
  2. thornrider

    thornrider In the Stop Bath

    The most recent Focus is the only one I have been to - so only have two other big events at the NRC to compare it with.

    Focus seemed to have the most visitors by a long way - but the trade support other than Canon, Nikon, and Calumet was distinctly lacking. There were lots of big players not there.
  3. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    Do you really expect manufacturers to sponsor a show like this? Their competitors will be there. They would be too paranoid that they would be eclipsed.
    Do you expect retailors to sponsor it? Same reasoning.
    Publishing industry? They are struggling for survival, and what's in it for them anyway.

    The only people with a financial reason for running shows like this are the owners of the venues. All trade shows are under pressure for survival, so don't laugh, a venue owner might actually run a show if they feel that it might make a profit and have an empty slot. If they did so and got one major manufacturer on board then the rest would follow. In this context there are only two major manufacturers.
  4. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    Some manufacturers might lend demonstrators of cameras that might be sold there. To continue with your Nikon example; no D4 but maybe D7100 or even D800.
  5. Barney

    Barney Well-Known Member

    Why is everyone obsessed with photographic equipment? A photographic trade show show should encompass so much more than cameras.

    I went to Focus to see and meet printer, go to seminars presented by other photographers, to meet other photographers and to look at specialised bags and accessories that the discounters won't stock.

    It really wouldn't bother me if Nikon weren't at a trade show. I spent very little time on the Nikon stands at any of the shows I attended.
  6. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    And materials, to see what different papers look like, and to find out what's new in all sorts of areas: the Ilford stand was particularly fascinating. It's all very well to read about it in AP, but nothing beats seeing it for yourself. Do not neglect equipment either: the Linhof & Professional stand was well worth visiting. Of studio flash. Or tripods. It's all equipment...

    Canon and Nikon? Well, if they introduce a new camera every 20 minutes, the hapless punters have to have an opportunity to compare them somewhere. Though i agree I don't bother with their stands. My newest Nikons are Fs (but I do have five of them).


  7. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Well-Known Member

    Just the changing face of retail.
    the demise of the high street shop
    leads to the demise of their show case event.

    The on line world now needs a hands on national photographic event.
  8. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    What, like Focus on Imaging?
  9. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Indeed. It was a great opportunity to look at Ilford stuff, and at mounting and framing stuff - all sorts of things you can't see anywhere else.

    What Focus gave me a chance to do was to look at more offbeat stuff - I don't know of any dealer that had the range of stuff that there was at Focus, even with some manufacturers absent.
  10. Barney

    Barney Well-Known Member

    Absolutely. There's still a need for Focus, even if its at another venue, run under another name, etc.
  11. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    Did I specifically mention regulation? ;) I actually had fiscal factors in mind, hence the very indirect link in my post to Business Rates via R4's YaY.

    But since you have mentioned it, a lot of regulation clearly does not prevent the 'hysterical markets and vicious selfishness' that you mention (and I agree exists) otherwise we would not be in the doo-doo we are struggling to climb out of! ;):(. The banking sector, for example, has massive regulation. The number of Compliance Officers employed at HSBC, for example, is in the hundreds! It used to be countable, when I was a lad, on the fingers of two hands!! We pay for that.

    Let me post that again for emphasis: We pay for that.

    Indeed, it can be argued by some economists that the selfishness & greed in the UK (probably no different elsewhere) of the highly paid - unwilling to pay anything more than 40%-ish of their top slice income in tax - is another cause of where we are now. Conventional economic thinking (still propounded by many, not least some people currently at Treasury :() was that low taxes on wealth and high income created yet more growth, wealth & prosperity.

    An element of that may have been true, especially long ago (one to four hundred years) but the post-WW2, and post-1970 especially, economies of the world are very different. Very different even to that which persisted pre-WW2. Some economists would suggest that in post-modern (and post-post-modern :confused:) economies, it is the low paid who drive growth, wealth and prosperity. Take too much away from the low paid (and middle paid), especially with variable indirect, stealth & hidden taxes, and you kill your economic progress. You exacerbate boom and bust.

    That is one reason Mary Walker may be letting go of FOCUS. The cost of doing business at the NEC. That cost being increased over the years for many & varied reasons. I know a little of the behind the scenes from a couple of sources and costs generally only ever went in one direction. That made it difficult for camera companies to commit to appear, especially as their income was patchy over a financial year and not guaranteed. Then there is the escalation of transport costs which are a big factor in an event like that.

    Another reason may be that she was very young when she started FOCUS and she may not be feeling quite so young now and may want to try new things while she can. :) Can't really argue with that!
  12. P_Stoddart

    P_Stoddart Well-Known Member

    I agree, need more shows about learning the art with a small mix of kit.

    It's nice to see new technology but really you need to see how it can be used well.

    As I said already we are getting close to the plateau IMHO.
  13. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    Amen to that, baby! Thrice over!!

    In my view, the best way to sell cameras is to demonstrate what they can do. :)

    That, to me, was one of the big clues that FOCUS was probably coming to an end. At its peak, at its best, the photo displays and the photographers presenting their work in seminars was superb. Last couple of years at least, in my opinion, has seen a noticeable decline.

    FOCUS became the public 'announce-point' of the Association of Photographer Awards. The BIPP and MPA would be displaying award wining work all over large stands. The film makers would have large displays of what their products could produce, the camera makers also joined in on their stands.
  14. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    How about 'Photography at Work'? At the Barbican in London? Or Wembley? ;):eek:
  15. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    The huge advantage of Focus was that it WASN'T in London.
  16. beejaybee

    beejaybee Marvin

    Umm, yeah, well, I agree that the regulation that exists in the banking sector was not effective ... and that the number of Compliance Officers employed may be excessive ... but that's also because of failures in the system: overcomplex regulations and greed targeting the loopholes in them.

    Why can't we simply have 100% capital gains tax - without any allowances at all - on all transactions where the commodity was sold on within one month? That would raise large amounts of money for the exchequer and stamp out the "casino culture" which characterise the modern financial market (where the world's entire wealth is traded on a time scale which is of the order of minutes).
  17. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    Hmmnnnn ... ! The mind boggles. :eek:

    I would suggest that some supermarkets and other retailers might just be keeping an eye on how John Lewis are doing with cameras. They may want to find a way of joining in the fun.
  18. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    Maybe I should have pointed out that I was citing banking purely as an example of regulation being ineffective and over the top at the same time! It applies elsewhere in life and business. I suspect, for example, that contractors building stands at FOCUS have to comply with much more regulation, imposed by a variety of (probably well-intentioned) forces, than twenty-five years ago.

    100% tax? Or do you mean 50%? 100% tax sounds like Eastern Europe or China or Cuba at its worst!

    BTW, so-called 'Casino-banking' is becoming something of an overblown myth, largely by people unfamiliar with what major banks actually do, their business cycles, how other business interacts with banking, etc., etc., and the world of finance generally which includes all sorts of players.

    Beware a 'Tobin' Tax or Financial Transaction Tax. It is a very popular call, at present, especially from people who bandy the 'Casino-banking' phrase or refer to 'Banksters' a lot. The EU (and other politicians) want to get their hands on a whole lot more money. Unfortunately, either while not understanding where it would actually come from or deliberately turning a blind eye as to who would actually pay it! ;)
  19. Barney

    Barney Well-Known Member

    Indeed, though for me London is easier than most other laces as I've always got somewhere to stay there.

    I jokingly suggested Harrogate earlier in the thread but it would be an ideal location. The International Centre is big enough to host a worthwhile show. The town has the capacity of hotel rooms to accommodate those wishing to stay over but small enough for everyone to be staying with walking distance making for a much more inclusive feeling of community, something I think people in the industry would really welcome.
  20. Alex1994

    Alex1994 Well-Known Member

    Just checked, Argos list both the Nikon D800 and EOS 5D Mark III on their website, so they're getting there. :)

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