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The trends, the issues, and productive business strategies.

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PMA Speaks Out

On trade shows, scrapbooking, and more.

by Bruce Aldrich, Sr. Operations Officer, Photo Marketing Association (June 18, 2007)

Thanks for inviting us to contribute to CLN and update your readers on the very exciting developments with PMA, The SMART Group and MemoryTrends, that will give a huge boost to the growth of the scrapbooking industry worldwide.

Our key message to your readers is this equation: Synergies = Growth +Education = Profits.

PMA: The Worldwide Community of Imaging Associations.

We're a professional, nonprofit trade association helping our members achieve business success and adapt to new technologies. We've a strong, successful history, and have been serving association members 20,000 members in over 100 countries for 82 years, connecting business owners to a network of knowledge and support through educational programs, business services, marketing research, publications, and trade shows.

Professional Scrapbook Retailers Organization (PSRO).

Our PMA members are dedicated to helping consumers capture, preserve, and present their memories. Since the memories market is diverse, PMA has several member associations that specialize in a variety of business needs.

One of these is the Professional Scrapbook Retailers Organization (PSRO), bridging together scrapbook retailers and suppliers, with the support of an Advisory Board, Advisory Committee, and international task forces. Jeanne Wines-Reed serves as director of PSRO.

The Advisory Committee is made up of key executives and industry leaders. This powerful and influential committee of industry leaders is made up of the following industry leaders and executives, David O'Neil (CK Media), Tami Barr (Collective Journey), Michele Correa (Photo Express), Lisa Fedele (Cherished Scrapbooks), Sherry Chapman (Creative Imaginations), Kristin Highberg (Ellison), Brian Olmstead (Archivers), Craig Mikami (Karen Foster Design), Rich Cordle (Cord Camera), Kesley Anderson (Lucidiom), Leslie Lee (Scrapbook Eh!), Brenda Birrell (Pebbles in My Pocket), Lane Hill of (Lasting Impressions), Ryan Moore (Sandylion Stickers), Lane Hill (Lasting Impressions), and Dennis Conforto (The SMART Group).

We believe the scrapbooking industry is best served within PMA, where we have the talent and resources to add value to every business in the scrapbooking community. Our goal is to grow every business that is tied to the photo community. Scrapbooking starts with a photo, moves to a story and ends up as a creative expression of events, times, and/or places that are important to the lives of scrapbooking and photo consumers.

PSRO provides members with programs and services to help them grow in their entrepreneurial efforts. Members enjoy networking opportunities, marketing research reports, a monthly e-newsletter, online News Clips, business and marketing articles, marketing tools such as PostcardBuilder and Digital AdMaker, education seminars, business tools like the PSRO Retailers Operations Guide CD, and A PSRO Guide to Scrapbooking Retailing book and CD, and much more.

PSRO, with a membership of several hundred retailers and manufacturers in the USA, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand, is now poised for even greater growth in the months and years ahead. A one-year trial membership is $50 U.S. For information, and to download an application, visit www.pmai.org/psro.

Two huge developments took place in the past few weeks that we believe will drive a bigger, bolder vision of the scrapbooking industry, and result in greater success for retailers and manufacturers alike.

PMA and The SMART Group.

As you know, PMA purchased the membership and education of The SMART Group, owned by A-Z Media Group. Every member of the SMART Group automatically became a member of PMA and all the educational services provided by The SMART Group were transferred into the portfolio of PMA services. The first year of membership in PMA for current SMART Members will be free. Thereafter members will pay about $150 a year.

The alliance between PMA and The SMART Group has a three-fold goal: to educate all layers and levels of the industry; integrate retailers and manufacturers into working, profitable relationships based on best practices; and grow the industry. We believe the more the photo and scrapbooking industries align their common interests and work together, the faster scrapbooking will grow.

We're excited to be working with Dennis Conforto, CEO and president of A-Z Media Group, and Karen Crisp, VP of Sales for The SMART Group. As you can imagine, there have been a flurry of meetings and phone conferences and meetings of our Scrapbooking Advisory Committee and we're all fired up as we work to help the scrapbooking industry achieve its full market potential.

A major goal is to "market scrapbooking beyond the craft." There are many types of scrapbooking consumers those interested in family history; others who enjoy journaling or photography; some enjoy hands-on crafts; and others who prefer the technological innovations of digital scrapbooking. There is room to embrace all interests within scrapbooking, and grow the market.

Industry wide best practices will promote growth and profits. We can achieve this by creating an educational program that allows retailers to earn certificates in retailing. The more educated our retailers are, the stronger our industry will be.

A major part of that education will be at PMA 08 in Las Vegas, Jan. 31-Feb. 2. Imaging experts and retailers will share their knowledge and show the way to greater success, and educational sessions and keynote presentations will go to the heart and soul of what drives retail growth.

The PMA 08 trade show the world's largest annual international photo imaging trade show covering two entire floors of the South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center will offer more picture-related products than any other event, with up-to-the-minute information about taking great photos, digital scrapbooking, printing and preserving archival-quality photographs, and more.

The PMA SMART Store on the PMA 08 trade show floor will show how an industry can not only survive, but thrive, and serve as a focus point for store display and design, merchandising, retail-manufacturer branding partnerships, education, business to business operations, paper shaping and design, and more.

PMA and MemoryTrends.

In another exciting development, we're aligning, in principle, with the Memory Trends Conference & Expo (MTCE) to generate tremendous growth opportunities for both the scrapbooking marketplace and the worldwide photo imaging community.

The MemoryTrends show will go ahead this September as scheduled; however, CK Media has agreed in principle to co-locate MemoryTrends with us starting Jan. 31-Feb. 2, 2008, within the PMA 08 International Convention & Trade Show that includes the Annual PSRO Convention.

MemoryTrends will have its own section, entrance, registration and scrapbooking hall that will accommodate MemoryTrends suppliers, the PMA SMART Store and a stage for educational presentations. The same value pricing for booth and show attendance that Memory Trends has always provided will continue.

PMA 08 will host 20,000+ retail entrepreneurial memory makers from around the world who help consumers create, keep, display, and share memories through pictures. Our PMA/MTCE partnership will offer expanded, targeted educational and buying opportunities to retailers, deepen the prospect pool for show exhibitors, and allow scrapbooking and paper crafting manufacturers and retailers to take memory-making to the highest level. MemoryTrends will collaborate with PMA and industry leaders to create the most comprehensive, informative and business-building conference program available to retailers in the scrapbooking and photo markets.

MemoryTrends will also work with us on our international shows, bringing dynamic conference programming to new markets and providing new global exhibiting opportunities to manufacturers.

Growing the scrapbooking industry.

PMA is teaming with the A-Z Media Group to market synergies between various retail groups for the purpose of promoting growth.

A 25-city tour is bringing together 2,500 scrapbooking and photo retailers across North America. The purpose of these regional meetings is to create a photo and scrapbooking section in every newspaper in the United States and Canada, and get the word out about the scrapbooking industry, a perfect opportunity to grow the marketplace. The more consumers read about scrapbooking and realize the importance of capturing and preserving memories, the more the industry will grow and succeed.

We'll keep you posted on developments, as well as on plans for the 26-week TV series, Extreme Makeover: Scrapbook Edition.

Scrapbooking retailers will also find, within PMA, the ideas and opportunities to team up and cross-market with local photo retailers, to their mutual benefit. The symbiotic relationship would benefit both, and the partnering ideas and promotional possibilities are endless.

PMA Marketing Research.

Family history is No. 1 theme of scrapbooks. Forty-two percent of households that completed a scrapbook project in 2005 made the scrapbooks to preserve family history, according to the PMA 2006 U.S. Consumer Scrapbook Report from PMA Marketing Research at www.pmai.org.

Vacation was the theme for 39% of respondents, followed by baby/child memories (38%) and family events (36%). School/college was the choice of 19% of respondents, followed by friendly event (17%), and personal journal (14%). Sports were the choice of 12%, followed by art form and work (each 4%). Respondents were allowed multiple responses.

The 18-page basic edition of the PMA 2006 U.S. Consumer Scrapbook Report is a summary of findings from the latest nationwide consumer survey to 10,000 households, and includes awareness of scrapbook products and services, demographic profiles, purchasing habits and spending, use of computers and archival-quality products, preferences, primary information sources for scrapbooking, and more.

PSRO members can download the report at no cost from the PMA Marketing Research website and non-members can purchase a copy for $50. The premium edition, containing more than 250 pages, is available for purchase by members for $99 and by non-members for $199. It contains a full set of survey tables detailing the answers to each question, broken down by key demographics, including gender, age, presence and age of children, social class, region, and Internet access.

PMA Marketing Research conducts original surveys, produces estimates, forecasts, and reports. Research is conducted in the U.S., as well as some international markets. In addition to the Consumer Scrapbook Report, scrapbook retailers may also be interested in reports about Photo Kiosks, Photo Books, Digital Printing, Custom Photo Products, Lifestyle Retailing, Diversifying Your Business, and more.

The road ahead.

I hope this has given CLN readers insight into PMA and PSRO, and our goal to grow the scrapbooking industry.

Does PMA have all the answers? Of course not. But we do have the resources, determination, dedication, and professionalism to help retailers and manufacturers succeed. We listen to our members, take advice to heart, and try our utmost to make things happen for them.

We haven't spent over eight decades of continued growth and success without learning a thing or two about how to help our members.

As I'm sure your readers are all aware, our photo retailing members have gone through massive industry-wide changes and upheavals in the past few years. We've been right there to help them, forecasting trends and changes, drawing on our expertise and experience to guide them along uncharted paths, steering them along new roads to success in the 21st century.

We invite scrapbook retailers and manufacturers everywhere to join us on that road.

(Note: To comment on this or any other industry issue, email CLN at mike@clnonline.com.)



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