The CP+ Trade Show Performed Admirably Despite Going Fully Digital

Over the last few years, CP+ in Japan has grown in importance and significance in the camera industry. Unfortunately, this year’s show — which was planned to be in-person — went fully digital due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Still, the show seems to have done surprisingly well.

With the collapse of Photokina, since CES and NAB are a bit too broad for specifically still-camera equipment in the United States, and because the show is on native Japanese soil, CP+ has ballooned in importance for the major camera manufacturers every year. And while this hasn’t resulted in huge gains in the number of exhibitors and attendees, both have been strong leading up until last year when the show was canceled due to COVID-19.

Below is a chart from BCN+R, who has published a report on the show’s performance this year compared to previous years. The blue bars are the number of exhibitors and the yellow line indicates the number of attendees:

From 2015 through 2019, the number of attendees had remained relatively constant despite a bit of fluctuation from exhibitors. But in 2021, the number of exhibitors cratered.

Since 2014 there have been more than 100 companies at the show, but this year that number fell 84% to just 20. While all the major camera brands made an appearance, other mainstays opted to skip the show. If the number of exhibitors was directly proportional to the number of attendees, the show would likely have been seen as a flop. But that did not happen.

Somewhat surprisingly, the number of total attendees crested 50,000, which is not terribly lower than the normally fully-operational numbers that came in just shy of 70,000. For a fully-online shift with 84% fewer exhibitors, the attendance response is excellent.

BCN+R writes that it believes that despite the poor showing from exhibitors, the content provided by those who did choose to make the show was fulfilling and well-received. The archive of the video presentations is also live through March, and BCN+R believes that because there was more time for attendees to peruse the different exhibitors at their leisure, the amount of value they received was increased over the in-person format.

Other fully-online tradeshows have been less forthcoming with their statistics, which indicates they aren’t particularly impressive (if a show did well, you would think that would be news that these organizations would want to spread). What CP+ has done here is indeed impressive.