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August 26, 2020

Imaging USA 2021 to Become a “Virtual Event Like No Other”

PPA organizers promise “No ordinary event”

ATLANTA, August 26, 2020 – With pressures mounting over the continued COVID-19 pandemic, combined with looming event deadlines and deliverables, Professional Photographers of America today announced plans to move Imaging USA 2021 into a virtual conference space. The event was slated to be held at the Gaylord Texan Hotel in Grapevine, TX (Dallas area). Included in the move are all facets of the event, including:

  • Opening and Closing Keynote speakers
  • Educational programs, including pre-conference classes
  • The Imaging Expo
  • The International Photographic Competition Exhibit
  • The Award and Degree Ceremony
  • The Grand Imaging Awards
  • Social activities (planned online)
  • Association Leadership Meetings

“This is obviously not a decision we wanted to make,” says PPA CEO David Trust. “We’ve been hopeful throughout the summer – looking for the slightest sign that it might be possible to hold an in-person event. Imaging USA is a show made up of a million moving parts. Over the last week, we’ve found ourselves up against planning and publishing deadlines and a slew of mounting questions that needed answers. Unfortunately, the realities of our world backed us into a corner and we ended up with no other choice.”

Moving the event to a virtual format does not mean it will lack the substance that Imaging USA is known for. Nor does it mean it will fall short on its reputation for quirky fun. “We’ll miss the social part of the event, no question about that,” says PPA President Gregory Daniel. “But we’re already kicking around ideas for adding fun – some of them small, and some of them big. Trust me, attendees are going to absolutely love it! “

Attendees will be able to choose from more than 100 educational sessions, visit the Imaging Expo to search for gear and services, interact with other attendees, participate in regularly scheduled leadership meetings and ceremonies—essentially anything they would normally do at the in-person event (but without all the hugging). The phrase “Right At Home” was added as a tagline to denote 2021 as a special year, conveying the dual message that Imaging USA is the home for serious photographers and that all of its benefits can be accessed from the attendees’ own homes. The expectation is that Imaging USA 2021 – Right At Home will be the association’s largest event ever.

Imaging USA’s predecessor was first held in 1869 -- 152 years ago. Since then, it has been held 141 times, with the 11 disruptions being caused by world wars and the Great Depression. “The track record for Imaging USA is remarkable,” says Daniel. “This pivot to a virtual event allows us to hold a show just when our members need it the very most! There is nothing in the photographic world—and I mean NOTHING—that has been there for us since the very beginning, and continues to be there for us today.”

Earlier this summer, the PPA board of directors set the cost for attending Imaging USA 2021 at $59, recognizing that the photographic industry may need a jump-start in January. The reduced cost will apply to the virtual event as well. Those who have already registered will have their registrations automatically rolled-over to Imaging USA 2021 – Right At Home. No additional action is required. However, PPA will also refund their fee if they prefer not to attend.

To register, go to