The absence of live events owing to COVID seems to have filled the global collective recent memory. This is now being broken and life is returning to normal. Here at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham, UK, The Photography Show has begun day one and it all looks to be going very well.
The Photography Show is the biggest photography show in Europe and usually attracts every industry name you can think of. Something I’ve noticed this year is that there are a few absent companies and brands, as well as brands amalgamating their interests and sharing stands, such as here in the image above of the Wex Photo Video. This doesn’t seem to have any negative effect across the show floor and everyone’s favourite brands can still be found here somewhere.
One of the event sponsors, Canon, have an impressive stand with their own live shoots and presentations. Causing a stir and attracting some long lines at the centre of their stand, amongst a showcase of awesome gear, is the Canon EOS R3. I managed to get my hands on one and give it a quick hands-on review, which will follow here shortly, but my overall first impressions of it are good.
The numbers here are clearly lower than usual, and it is noticeable. There’s a familiar set of faces that I recognise from past events but where the show is normally very busy with some shoulder bumping in the walkways, this time around there’s plenty of space and a clear emphasis on cleanliness and space. On entry I showed my NHS Covid pass and was given a green Covid status wristband in return before heading to the security check. There’s hand-gel and plenty of washing facilities, and the fist bump is the new handshake.
The foundation of The Photography Show is three-fold. Discover new tech, Research that tech, and Buy that tech. It’s a place to play with gear and splash your cash. In a digital age where evermore people are relying on door-step deliveries rather than getting to stores this event gives us the opportunities we’re missing.
The live stages are clearly a priority for the show. The emphasis on education is demonstrated in the number of live talks. I presented this morning in The Masterclass Theatre and aside from it being great to finally be up in front of an audience again, it was rewarding to see just how many attendees are prioritising the growth of their knowledge and furthering their photographic journey.
I’m glad the world is returning to relative normality, even with new measures in place to keep us all safe. We’ve seen other events fire back to life, but we’re also seeing others remain online. There seems to be a key difference. Educational events are online, and the events with demos and hands-on experiences are coming back live.
I’ll be back at The Photography Show tomorrow and if you’re here, come say hi.
Secret bonus: You can enter for the chance to win a Canon EOS R6, whether you attend or not!