Bernd Aufderheide, President and CEO of Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH, emphasised the great importance of this new format for the city: “What we have experienced here together with exhibitors and visitors was truly a feast for the eyes. The concept of celebrating a Festival of Imaging not only on the exhibition campus but across the entire city has made a strong impression on the industry, the City of Hamburg and certainly the visitors. Working together with our partners and the industry, we want to make PHOTOPIA Hamburg grow further. We are already looking forward to next year’s edition.”
Global echo in social media
The honorary patron of the festival, the famous fashion photographer Ellen von Unwerth, was among the keynote speakers, as were fashion photographer Kristian Schuller and the British photographer Jimmy Nelson who is well-known for his photos of indigenous people. They and others shared their impressions from PHOTOPIA Hamburg with their online communities via Instagram and on other social media networks. Many other public figures and numerous visitors followed their example, extending the reach of Hamburg and the imaging festival across the globe and touching millions of followers. The journey continues: The makers of the festival have also created PHOTOPIA 365, a networking platform for the community to continue sharing ideas and images, benefit from exclusive offers, and take part in workshops.
Multifaceted programme puts the visitor into the centre
With opportunities to touch, test and experience, the festival provided an inspiring environment for visitors, offering a mixed programme of first-rate, practice-oriented speeches and conferences such as the Creative Content Conference, impressive technical innovations, and legendary photography stars. A wide array of exhibitions on the event campus and at many locations throughout the city had been attracting attention for weeks ahead of the event. At the exhibition halls, the 'industrial design' decoration concept consisting of 350 shipping containers not only paid homage to the port city but also created new spaces and perspectives for professional photographers and enthusiasts alike. The many workshops and photo walks as well as the PHOTOPIA XR area dedicated to the trending topics of Virtual and Augmented Reality where well-visited; in an 800 square metre exhibition area, companies, academies as well as next.Reality Hamburg presented unique events and visual highlights. The debut of PHOTOPIA Hamburg was attended by nearly 10,000 visitors.
Imaging industry impresses with European and world premières
To the participating companies PHOTOPIA Hamburg was a celebration of their trade. Exhibitors included leading camera manufacturers such as Canon, Leica, Nikon, Panasonic and Sony. Canon presented a world novelty, the EOS R3 full-frame camera which will be sold from November 2021. Rainer Führes, CEO of Canon Germany, commented: "In Germany we need a festival dedicated to the field of Imaging. We have definitely experienced a historic event here and we want to make this PHOTOPIA the core meeting place for professional photographers and all others interested in Imaging. Hamburg is a great city where a lot of things happen. We were present at the inaugural event with a large footprint which we intend to grow further in future years."
Autel Robotics presented its high-tech drone Dragonfish for the first time in Europe. The unit is designed for deployments in many different scenarios such as traffic surveillance, floods, fire fighting or in search and rescue operations.
Strong praise from the industry
All in all, around 50 exhibitors took part, including companies from China, Belgium, Finland and Poland. “These have been four powerful days at PHOTOPIA Hamburg. We were thrilled by the atmosphere from the very first moment, especially seeing the impressive installation of shipping containers which are so typical of Hamburg. The response from our audience was great; photographers and enthusiasts approached us to get comprehensive information and advice. PHOTOPIA is a great festival for the industry, and it celebrated its highly successful debut at just the right time in a fantastic city with a rich photographic tradition," emphasised Falk Friedrich, CEO of Leica Camera Deutschland GmbH.
Frederik Lange, Business Head Digital Imaging Sony Deutschland, was similarly enthusiastic: "Thank you very much, PHOTOPIA, for the courage to realise this successful, refreshing Imaging event despite the continuing social distancing rules imposed by the pandemic! We truly enjoyed being part of this debut, presenting our latest products and innovative technologies on site, and sharing views and experiences with many artists as well as photo and video enthusiasts. We are looking forward to 2022!"
Partners of the event included the Photo Industry Association (Photoindustrie-Verband e.V., PIV), Online Marketing Rockstars (OMR), and the international Reeperbahn Festival which took place in parallel. Christian Müller-Rieker, PIV Chairman, said: "PHOTOPIA Hamburg has successfully demonstrated the importance of these community events for our industry as places of interaction between manufacturers, retailers, the media, and most importantly, the individual end customer. We are glad to have been an active contributor as a partner to Hamburg Messe.”
The next PHOTOPIA Hamburg will take place from 13 to 16 October 2022.