Canon, Sony, and Panasonic ‘Confirm Their Commitment’ to Photokina in Odd Press Release

Photokina is keen to remind you that (1) it is still the industry’s “leading trade fair,” and (2) trade fairs are still relevant, even if Nikon, Leica, and Olympus dropped out of Photokina 2020. In a press release published last night, the show quotes Canon, Sony and Panasonic executives as they “confirmed their commitment” to the 2020 expo during conversations with Photokina organizers in Tokyo.

The press release is … odd. Titled “Photokina 2020: A visit to the motherland of imaging,” it feels reactionary at best and desperate at worst. The fact that Nikon, Leica, and Olympus have decided not to attend the show made headlines in mid-September. This news, paired with Sony’s conspicuous absence from the trade show floor at Photo Plus Expo in October (they set up shop across the street instead) has led many to question the ongoing value of major photo industry expos.

In light of all this, the Photokina executives’ trip to Tokyo and the resulting press release feel like damage control. A resounding cry of “yes, trade shows are still relevant” packaged alongside supportive statements from the two largest full-frame camera makers who will allegedly bring “a fireworks display of new products” to the show in May.

The photokina delegation meeting with Canon in Japan.

Panasonic, Canon and Sony all contributed statements, acknowledging the troubling state of the industry while promising big things to come at the show:

“For many years, photokina has been the ideal platform for us to present our product innovations. The Imaging industry is facing big changes and challenges these days. In 2020, we will also be coming to Cologne with big expectations in the new photokina format and are looking forward to contributing with great innovations.” – Yosuke Yamane, Director Smart Life Network Business Division at Panasonic

“As the imaging industry is at a significant turning point, we expect photokina to be a leading show of the worldwide photo and imaging industry. Canon is eager to introduce new products and concept products at photokina, thereby contributing to the industry‚Äôs success.” – Go Tokura, Chief Executive Officer Image Communication Business Operations at Canon

“Sony is very glad to be part of Photokina again next year. Photokina 2020 gives us the opportunity to present our latest innovations and to maintain a direct dialog with all Digital Imaging Lovers. Sony is looking forward to seeing you all in Cologne.” – Yosuke Aoki, Senior General Manager of the Marketing Division at Sony Imaging Products & Solutions

The release then goes on to assert that this show of “support from the motherland of imaging” (i.e. Japan) is indispensable for the success of Photokina, particularly during this time of great change and challenge for the industry.

It’s hard to argue that the industry is in the midst of a challenging transition; whether or not trade fairs like Photokina will play a role in guiding consumers through this transition is yet to be seen. To read the full press release for yourself, click here.

Image credits: Images courtesy of Photokina.