China P&E2015 : A new attempt “Imaging Culture House”
There was a new exhibition called Imaging Culture House on a corner of a new site. JD.COM seemed to be involved in this as I saw its name in many places. This site had not been an exhibition hall. It seemed that it was a lobby with a low ceiling and a few lights, but had not been used. There was a small stage just after the entrance, where idol groups gave performances day after day. Cameras of Leica and Casio were exhibited, which China P&E did not. It had a trial area of self print, too. As there were booths of publishers and photo galleries, it seemed to avoid becoming flamboyant.
There was another feature in this year’s show: QR code of WeChat. WeChat is a free messaging app in China like LINE. It offered novelty goods for those who scanned the code to register at the site. Free Wi-Fi was available at the site, allowing people to do so on their smartphones. As online communication is popular and word of mouth significantly affects the market in China, camera makers properly prepared for that.
Look again at the site and I found that booths were simply designed to keep the cost down. I didn’t get good vibes from visitors like before. Although some parts of the show were still flamboyant, the sense of stagnation, which I hadn’t felt until last year, was in the air. For good or ill, this exhibition has become like those in other countries, and I was not completely satisfied with that. With the Chinese economy slowing down, it is not surprising that advertisements and sales decline in the camera industry. The problem is how bad it will get. Next year’s China P&E will show the answer.