by Phil Jones Published 01/11/2007
Well what a year it has been! Sitting at my keyboard I am somewhat mystified as to where the year has gone as it seems only an instant ago that we were setting off for the 2007 Convention.
Needless to say (though I will anyway) that the 2007 Convention was an amazing success, following our move to London from Coventry in the UK Midlands. Naturally we did have our concerns with relocating the event though. Many of those who came to the previous Convention in Coventry will know that space was an issue both for exhibitors and attendees, therefore after a great deal of searching we opted to make for the capital. The consequence was a greater attendance and more exhibitors with a greater appeal to our international delegates, with some making the journey from as far as Australia!
Once the Convention had been put to bed for another year, we were off to Morocco with Photo Training Overseas, organised by George and Glenys Dawber. With 100+ attendees we thought that it may be an opportunity to 'chill out' after the Convention, yet we soon swung into action by joining another host of members. The week-long event proved to be a success - we even managed to have a quick camel excursion.
A quick trip to Copenhagen (in subzero temperatures) gave us the opportunity to speak to Jorgen Brandt to explore the possibilities of the SWPP & BPPA lecturing in the Scandinavian countries and also to book Jorgen as a speaker for the Convention.
In February we saw the inimitable Australian lecturer Malcolm Matheson as he toured around the UK lecturing, sharing his wealth of knowledge and Aussie humour. He is always a must-see lecturer when out and about.
It was then back to prepare for Focus on imaging. While we have attended this Midlands-based trade show for a number of years, we have continued to build on previous years' success. The incredible thing this year was that we were literally 'pinned' to a stand for the entire four days, setting an 'alltime high' for recruitment with a record 200+ photographers joining up.
Without a moment to spare we were off again to Malta with North Wales social photographer Mike Williams for a two-day lecture weekend. As is the norm in Malta, the attendance was terrific, with eager photographers keen to learn new techniques. We also had the opportunity, thanks to Stephen Busuttil (MIPP President), to scour the islands for a new hotel for the autumn event - fortunately we came across the luxurious Radisson SAS Hotel in St George's Bay.
Upon our return to the UK for a few days back in the office, it was time to pack the bags and off to the airport for a journey to Las Vegas to attend WPPI and the DWF Convention. This gave us the opportunity to meet speakers for forthcoming tours and the 2008 Convention, including David Beckstead, Jane Connor-zisser, Marilyn Sholin, Juli Callone, Mitch Graff and Michael Redford to name but a few.
Following our trip to Las Vegas we were invited by Photoworld Dubai to attend their trade show in the United Arab Emirates. We were joined by Professional Imagemaker editor Mike McNamee and Mentor Me guru Martin Grahame-Dunne, both of whom received top billing by the organisers with their informative and popular lectures which they gave from our purposebuilt stand. While there, it proved to be another valuable opportunity to recruit new members and organise further visits to the region.
June and July saw UK and Ireland lecture tours from top Australian speaker Denise Teo (sponsored by Albums Australia), American lighting expert Tony Corbell (sponsored by Nik products) and Malta's Joe Smith.
By this time we realised it was time for a change so we 'zipped' back off to the airport for a quick family break in Cyprus, however, while there we couldn't resist the temptation of spending some time with members and held an informal get-together and visited some of their studios. We also made arrangements to visit Cyprus later in the year for lectures.
The Societies of Photographers Convention and Trade Show at The Novotel London West, Hammersmith ...
You have 175 days until The Societies of Photographers Convention starting on Wednesday 17th March 2021