RIP Hamburg Photopia photo and video show

Apr 2, 2024

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

RIP Hamburg Photopia photo and video show

Apr 2, 2024

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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Photopia Trade Show comes to an end

Hamburg Messe und Congress has announced that they’re discontinuing the Photopia show after only three years. First launched in 2021, it was set to replace Photokina as Germany’s big photo and video show.

It’s surprising that the show is ending so soon. However, it’s perhaps not as surprising when you read the statement and think about things for more than a minute or two.

Photopia – Now it really is the new Photokina

The announcement from Hamburg Messe und Congress reads as follows:

Hamburg Messe und Congress discontinues its imaging festival PHOTOPIA Hamburg. Amid the current challenging market environment, there is no economically feasible way to implement the event. “It is our ambition to offer attractive, high-quality events. In the case of PHOTOPIA, we do not see a promising economic perspective even in the medium term,” said Heiko M. Stutzinger, CEO of Hamburg Messe und Congress.

PHOTOPIA had celebrated its debut in 2021, aiming to become an inspiring festival for the imaging community. This was accomplished successfully; however, the costs cannot be refinanced to a reasonable extent. “After contemplating all options very carefully, we arrived at the decision to take the event out of our portfolio,” said Stutzinger.

It seems that Photopia’s organisation abilities were about on par with Photokina. They can’t find a way to make it turn a good enough profit, is essentially what they’re saying. I can speculate as to why it hasn’t been successful enough so far.

I mean what did they expect when launching a show during the middle of a global pandemic where much of the planet still found it very difficult to travel internationally? Of course, the numbers are down. Numbers were down across all trade shows immediately following the pandemic.

Now that Photopia is dead, it really is the new Photokina. It just didn’t live as long.

Aren’t all trade shows suffering?

NAB, one of the largest broadcast shows in the world – if not the biggest – saw 52,468 visitors in April 2022 in Las Vegas with only 11,542 international registrants. The same show in 2019 saw 91,921 visitors with 24,086 international registrants.

IBC in Amsterdam also saw a similar drop in footfall during September 2022’s show, with around 37,000 attendees and 1,000 exhibitors. In 2019, the same show saw 56,000 visitors and around 1,700 exhibitors.

In 2023, attendance numbers at both shows proved that the pandemic is well and truly behind us. NAB was reporting over 64,000 attendees. IBC also saw a similar increase, with 43,065 visitors.

So, trade shows were suffering, but now they seem to have well and truly bounced back.

What now for European photo/video people?

It looks like the Photopia organisers hadn’t really thought things through when they chose to start a new show during a global pandemic. It also didn’t help that their marketing wasn’t that great, either. Every year, I see posts about TPS, IBC, NAB and other shows weeks or months ahead of the show actually happening.

For Photopia, I got maybe 2 press releases a year – which the general public doesn’t really see – and that’s pretty much it. I never saw people talking about it on social media – and I’m talking about both visitors and exhibitors – and I never saw ads for it anywhere. In fact, I can only recall one person I know who did attend during its short life.

But what’s left for photography and video shows in Europe? Well, we’ve already mentioned one of them. IBC in Amsterdam is the largest. Another is The Photography Show in the UK. I can’t put “in Birmingham” anymore because they recently announced that they’re going to alternate between Birmingham and London each year.

These are probably the two biggest shows in Europe now for photographers and filmmakers – at least outside of the hardcore broadcast world.

I wasn’t able to visit Photopia during its short life – it was actually on my list for this year. It was originally set to take place in October, and organisers have said they’ll refund people who bought tickets. It’s a shame because I ended up skipping The Photography Show this year, expecting to go to Germany in October.

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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3 responses to “RIP Hamburg Photopia photo and video show”

  1. Joost Wierenga Avatar
    Joost Wierenga

    Yep, thats the unfortunate future. Hope we get a couple more years of photo/videoshow fun before it’ll all dry up

  2. Fred Ham Avatar
    Fred Ham

    Living in Hamburg, I had the opportunity to visit the first Photopia. My impression was more of a “regional” show, with some big names of the industry, but rather poor attendance from other less-known brands, some very Hamburg-based shops, and with the global impression of few visitors. After that first one, I agree with you, John, that I was made aware of the following events only because I received the info through my “subscribed” email (that you indicate in every case when purchasing the entry ticket online), but saw otherwise very few advertisements in the press … Lack of enough/wider advertisement ? Disinterest of the public who now rely on internet channels (Youtube, …) to discover new hardware and set their choice for purchase ?… Well, no more Photopia Hamburg …

  3. John Beatty Avatar
    John Beatty

    Sing in the tune of The Buggles, “Video Killed the Radio Star”…
    AI killed the photo/video show…
    Da,da,de,da,da…