[P&I 2011 Interview] Im-Soo Lee, The Organizer Of P&I 2011, "We will make it global event with internal stability"
[ Mia Eun 2011-04-22 ]  
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SEOUL, Korea (AVING Special Report on 'PHOTO&IMAGING 2011') -- <Visual News> The 'Photo&Imaging 2011', the biggest photograph culture event in Asia, is held at Coex, Seoul from April 21 to 24.

This year P&I 2011 has reached 20th anniversary. It's the only exhibition in Korea which is international-sized. It presents devices in accordance with digital imaging technology like digital camera, printer, and the like.

Business & Product news AVING had an interview with Im-Soo Lee, exhibitions department of COEX, who's in charge of this exhibition and asked general introductions of P&I 2011 and overall trends of participating companies.

(Picture: Im-Soo Lee from COEX, the organizer of P&I 2011)

P&I 2011 is an international photo exhibition that represents Asian region and has been growing in the number of participating companies and visitors and exhibition size. How is the general introduction of P&I 2011?

P&I reached 20th anniversary this year. The size of the exhibition is similar with last year, 108 companied and 530 booths. It was overflow since sales of booths was terminated two months ago but some had to cancel due to Japanese earthquake.

It's a sad situation not just as a supervisor, also as participating companies and audiences. Fortunately, most major companies have been continuously trying to check future of photographic industry and reflected this to their marketing plans through P&I.

We're going to make P&I successful by encouraging different people to participate, like students studying arts, photography and designs, office workers, businesspersons, housewives, etc.

It seems like fields in displaying equipments, which used to be limited to camera apparatus, have been expanded to video devices gradually. I wonder about overall characteristics and trends of businesses participating in P&I 2011

Nowadays, the line between photo equipments and video devices are disappearing, which makes expansion of video devices natural. It can be an opportunity for businesses in image & picture. It means it's harder to divide users as photo-users encounter video devices. In this exhibition different video devices and solutions that reflect this situation are displayed. Companies that produce and distribute low-cost, compact video devices with distinctive features will implement marketing targeting businesses, organization and consumers.

It's a reoccurring issue again this year. P&I is a definitely an international event but it seems lacking in the numbers of foreign visitors and participating companies compared with PMA of the U.S. and Photokina of Germany. What kinds of efforts did you make to have international reputations this time?

The most fruitful outcome of this year is we've come to implement co-marketing with a promoter of 'Photokina' of Germany. We're pushing ahead co-marketing under the agreement with Kolnmesse, a promoter of Photokina. Although it's hard to overcome the gap of market sizes, history of exhibition, business environment and geographical situations, we've been trying to make P&I have international reputation by exploiting the strong points of Korean market as a test market. At this point P&I grew to an exhibition with the most brands in Asia, and it will become the differentiated exhibition to supply key information by using global network.

Numerous P&I visitors pay attentions to different seminars with themes of photos beside devices exhibited. This year, especially, seems that they've become professional seminars dealing mainly with professional photographers, not amateur photo-goers. Is there any difference in composing seminars compared with previous exhibitions?

There have been worry-mongers who say P&I has been changing to an exhibition mainly for amateur photographers. After digital camera distribution was spread, exhibitions also had this tendency due to grown size of amateur photographer groups. This year, we've prepared the exhibition in consideration, from selecting the theme of seminars to arranging lecturers, by seeking advices from related businesses, organizations and media.

We're going to provide useful information and opportunities to make more personal connections with a theme that can attract both professionals and amateurs, - studio marketing using SNS, a new marketing strategy these days, seminars by the theme of story-telling connecting photos, portrait photos, baby photos, etc – themes and lecturers that are hard to reach in daily life; different knowhow of photography by a photographer of PPA (Professional Photographers Of America) and a seminar lectured by Byoung-Woo Bae, a photographer famous for his work, 'pine tree'.

As a hosting company picking participating companied and handling general management, what do you see as a trend to take notice this year?

A distinctive change to be paid attentions is a disappearing gap between still picture and dynamic video. It's reflected in reality, as filmmaking is possible with smart phones and fantastic documentary video is made with camera. In P&I 2011, one can see the response of photos & image industry according to this change of the times.

Distribution structure in which anyone can shoot videos and sell them is already shaped and I expect it will be more widely spread. One may check the future of photo & image industry in P&I 2011.

Because of the big size of exhibition, visitors may miss the chance to see what they wanted. Please tell me the effective way to enjoy P&I for photo-goers and experts

First visit our website (www.photoshow.co.kr). Everything about P&I including participating companies, items, seminars, events are there. Make a plan on the basis of this. You will be able to adjust your schedule systematically after checking which information you can get from which companies, seminar schedule, and the like. Here's another recommendation: leave spare time to experience different events like Seoul Photo 2011 and expand your cultural knowledge.

There're various additional events beside exhibitions and seminars. Will you please tell me about newly-organized events or noticeable events?

We've also organized different additional event this year. We focused on upgrading existing events. Asia-Pacific Print Competition with PPA encouraged more people to participate in by proceeding online and offline applications. SLRCLUB exhibition presents photos of precious nature and scenic spots of Korea taken by amateur photographers with a title 'Photo Exhibition, every corner, everywhere', taking photos as media.

Exhibition of Ministry of National Defense, proceed second in a row after last year, shows beautiful scenery of five islands of West Sea, having atmosphere of both 'peace and emergency', and the story about armies who protect this, by Mi-Sik Sin, a photographer. In this exhibition Dong-Keon Lee and Dong-Wook Lee, famous TV stars, will participate as entertainment soldiers guiding as a docent.

Now preparation for P&I is over. Please tell me whatever you want to say, like advices to participants or something, as a supervisor

We came to forget where and how photos and images are made because they've become so familiar to us from sometime. Images we face everyday are obtained from different process like shooting, lighting, color-correcting, printout, storing, editing, and the like. I think now it's time to need efforts to understand the process that photos are made one by one, not just talking about what is a good photo. Come to visit P&I and see the whole process. I hope you experience exquisite and high-level photo & video technology by yourself.

Global News Network 'AVING'
by Mia Eun (www.aving.net)

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