Bowens recently revamped its website
NEWS UPDATE 23 FEBRUARY (BELOW) ADDS RESPONSE FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHY SHOW
Bowens bosses blamed the move on a delay to the launch of its ‘game-changing’ Generation X flash lighting, which it planned to launch at the Birmingham event.
Bowens – originally a camera repair company with roots stretching back to 1923 – had expected to have a significant presence at TPS, to include hosting the Bowens Lounge where photographers could ‘exchange ideas and make valuable contacts in a relaxed, calm space away from the bustle of the show floor’.
In the past, it has supported talks by photographers on the Bowens Live Stage.
There has been online speculation that the decision to pull out of the annual event was made to cut costs at a time of change for the company.
In response, Bowens managing director John Gobbi said: ‘We have noted recent social media noise, rumour and speculation but we must do what is right for the company.
‘We want to launch our new-look products in fully working order and have them immediately available for our customers to buy – and sadly that is not now going to happen by the end of March.
He added: ‘Bowens has undergone much change in recent months. We are effectively in the process of relaunching the company, embracing a renewed and reinvigorated focus on R&D, and a brand new and highly compelling website.
‘These initiatives are part and parcel of our plans to completely re-imagine this amazing and much loved brand and I can guarantee that our game-changing “Generation X” programme will be very much worth the wait.’
A spokesperson for The Photography Show told Amateur Photographer: ‘Bowens have indeed cancelled their presence at the show and, while it’s a disappointment for us (the show) and the Bowens customers that they won’t have their products available, there is plenty more on for the professional photographers.
‘There will still be a networking lounge for them too.’
Bowens sales and marketing director Alan Walmsley said the decision to book space at the 2016 show was taken many months ago ‘after fulfilling our commitment at TPS 2015 to create the biggest ever presence by Bowens at any show or convention in almost seventy years’.
Walmsley (pictured below) added: ‘But this 2016 show judgement was predicated on our full expectation to use the NEC event as the platform for introducing our new flash system products.
‘Despite our all-out attempts to fulfil this ambition on schedule, it is clear that the first models of our new “Generation X” programme will not meet the required delivery deadline.’
Bowens admits the news will come as a ‘major disappointment for all parties’, and it apologised ‘unreservedly’.
The firm said it still plans to have a presence at this week’s British Video Expo (BVE), which opens in London tomorrow.
The Photography Show takes at the Birmingham NEC from 19-22 March.