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On Tuesday, September 28, 2004, the many doors to the Koelnmesse in Cologne, Germany, opened to present the 220,000-square-meter multimedia circus, Photokina to an expansive crowd of gadget freaks, techies, digital imaging enthusiasts and interested locals alike. For just under a week, the biyearly spectacle displayed cutting-edge technology and stylish design trends from the industry’s premier manufacturers. The various exhibits revolved around digital photographic and imaging mediums, including digital photography, videography, print media, micro- and telescopes, digital projection and flat screen displays, as well as an abundance of accessories.
The technology fair showcased recent advancements and developments in the digital imaging realms to a conglomeration of the industry’s leading manufacturers, dealers, professional users, and consumers. Ideas and concepts from all facets of the industry converged to display the current trends and recent revelations to the interested public.
Each manufacturer is allotted display space to exhibit their products, as well as a conference and lounge area for elaborating on their ideas to selected media and informed contacts. Exhibitors introduced future models, expressed emerging concepts and utilized ideologies to the more than 160,000 spectators and industry elites in attendance. The Photokina convention served as an opportunity for each producer to get feedback on their new material and evaluate their position in this rapidly evolving industry.
The exhibition itself had far more color then just a formal passing of information; within this forum, came mascots, musical performances and hired fashion models to sing, strut and pout these products to popularity. Shakespearean hair stylists were on hand, as an abundance of wireless motivational speakers and singers filled the ether with suggestive thought and endless product glitz. Each booth was decorated in a customized styling that could correlate to the specific manufacturer in some way that would persist beyond the show’s physical presence. The physical and financial extent to which this ornamentation and aesthetic lure was pursued seemed as vital to the exhibitors as the products themselves. This contributed to the overall ambiance and atmosphere of the show, creating a scene that was nothing short of a spectacle, educating and entertaining technology fans, casual users, and industry elites alike.
Observers of the show bore witness to technological advances and digital concepts that both enlightened and augmented their perceptions of the digital imaging world and alluded to potential future directions for it. In addition to the products themselves, the methods of introduction and modes of display struck the show’s spectators in a multi-sensory manner. Similar to the way music is often used to augment an image’s meaning and attach emotion to it, the show’s décor provided character and emotive elements not typically present in the products themselves.
The result of this dynamic visual display and intense marketing barrage is nearly indescribable without first-hand observation. To absorb some of this spectacle, continue on to our photo gallery, which displays the various products, booths, and added elements that worked to make Photokina the technological circus it has become.
Continue on to Photokina Photo Gallery