With pressures mounting over the continued COVID-19 pandemic combined with looming event deadlines and deliverables, Professional Photographers of America announced plans to move Imaging USA 2021 into a virtual conference space. Included in the move are all facets of the event, including keynotes, pre-conference classes, educational programs, the Imaging Expo, photography exhibits, meetings, social activities, and awards ceremonies.
Moving the event to a virtual format does not mean it will lack the substance that Imaging USA is known for. “We’ll miss the social part of the event, no question about that,” says PPA President Gregory Daniel, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, F-ASP. “But we’re already kicking around ideas for adding fun—some of them small, and some of them big.”
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 leadership meetings and ceremonies—essentially anything they would normally do at the in-person event (but without all the hugging).
PPA’s first convention was 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 else 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 year, 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.