PMA Australia held its three-day Specialty Industry Conference this past weekend in Manly. Here, Peter Rose, Director of PMA Australia, shares his take on the event:
The Specialty Industry Conference offered a wide range of topics, speakers, and panels. Members engaged in discussions and received information that they could immediately implement in their own businesses, and heard from suppliers who shared their vision.
Friday’s trade show, with around 30 suppliers/exhibitors showing their wares, was an opportunity for one-on-one demonstrations; there was
also plenty of networking and camaraderie at the various events and meetings, coupled with some drinks and excellent food.
Saturday saw the PSPA group listening to two diverse speakers: Ed Monahan of Kodak Alaris, talking about school photography opportunities in an increasingly digital word of consumer behavior; and Sue Gresswell, on the New Working with Children Check – the rules and costs involved for anyone working with children. A trip to Sun Studios provided a welcome view into a successful business, a fun ride in a shuttle bus and a delicious lunch.
Sunday’s full conference program delivered intelligent and thought-provoking sessions, aimed at a primarily retailer audience, to help them do what they need to do for growth in a changing world. The upshot was that there is still opportunity to make money; there was an openness about the whole event, with speakers, panels and the audience willing to share their techniques, their ideas, and their strategies for success.
Overall, this was a successful event that gave value to members in terms of education. Now comes the hard part: keeping motivated to put into action the ideas and suggestions that were delivered.
Special thanks to National Chairperson Paul Atkins, who was tireless in his formal responsibilities, as well as showing he is a master in “holding the audience” during the various panel sessions. We will seeking feedback from the major participants in Camera House, PSPA, APCI and the various buying groups to agree on next year’s format. The general consensus amongst conference attendees was that the first Industry Conference was “‘very worthwhile.”