Photoindustrie-Verband – The Imaging Association –
Photoindustrie-Verband – The Imaging Association – is the strong performing, cross-sector organization of manufacturers and service providers in photo and imaging. Photoindustrie-Verband represents the issue-specific and political interests of the entire photo and imaging industry at national and European levels and worldwide within photokina. The association promotes the image of the industry as whole; this also reflects positively on the individual member companies. The sustainable and market-oriented activities of Photoindustrie-Verband decisively contribute to the future development of the overall market and to the development of new markets.
The goals are to offer an optimal forum – in committees and working groups – for a fact-based exchange of experiences and views between the members and to support membership interests in comprehensive press and public relations work. Photoindustrie-Verband defines its role as a service provider, aiming to boost sales in the photo and imaging market. For this purpose, market data are published regularly.
With practical-oriented services at the interface of politics, institutions and businesses, Photoindustrie-Verband contributes to the success of member companies.
Prophoto GmbH – wholly owned service subsidary
Prophoto GmbH is a wholly owned subsidiary of Photoindustrie-Verband. Prophoto GmbH promotes photography, videography, picture communication and photokina, inter alia, through the direct approach of end consumers. With its comprehensive service portfolio – newsletter, product information, basics of photo and video, practice tips and so much more – Prophoto GmbH contributes to market and sales promotion.
Moreover, the extensive communication measures of Prophoto GmbH in the areas of printed press, radio, television and internet and in social media channels guarantee a significant added value for members. “Blende”, the biggest competition for amateur photographers in Europe, is organized annually by Prophoto GmbH. The photo and imaging portal www.prophoto-online.de supplies information for both consumers and the press.
Prophoto GmbH develops and carries out online consumer surveys and collects data from photo and imaging markets – the latter together with GfK Retail and Technology GmbH.
Photoindustrie-Verband is a co-organizer of photokina in Cologne, the no. 1 trade fair worldwide for photo and imaging products. As a flagship fair, photokina – World of Imaging – is an essential factor in market trends for member companies. photokina offers to exhibitors a unique platform for presenting and marketing their products and services. As a co-organizer of photokina, Photoindustrie-Verband is actively involved in the further development of the concept for the trade fair and its supporting programme. Together with Koelnmesse GmbH, the association holds press conferences in the major sales markets globally, as an extra measure ahead of photokina which takes place every two years in Cologne.
With community initiatives – such as “the world’s largest photoglobe” – Photoindustrie-Verband complements the press and public relations work of photokina, enhancing the attractiveness of the trade fair and of the photo and imaging industry generally.
In the turbulent post-war years the aims were to unite under one roof the photo industry in the four occupation zones, to identify new tasks and to develop new structures.
Manufacturers of photographic articles in the British occupied zone of Germany had formed an association already in October 1946.
After a very difficult preparatory phase of over one year and an extraordinary general assembly in January 1948 the great day came on 20 July 1948: Representatives of the photo industry from all four occupation zones met in Rüdesheim for the first ordinary general assembly of the “Verein von Fabrikanten photographischer Artikel”, the association of manufacturers of photographic articles.
The first president, Dr Bruno Uhl, emphasised over 60 years ago that “the association should reflect the joint strength of the German photo industry and represent this industry at home and abroad.”
Right from the start, press activities and the preparation of a trade fair were among the subjects of greatest interest to photo manufacturers from the then trizone and the Soviet occupation zone.
After fundamental resolutions were adopted in July 1948 most important was the election of a presidential board consisting of the president Dr Bruno Uhl of Agfa and the further members Mr Henri Dumur of Leitz and Mr Rudolf Stössel of Perutz the second general assembly in November 1948 in Cologne decided to set up the office of the association in Frankfurt am Main.
In parallel, negotiations were finalised in summer 1948 with the trade fair organization Messe- und Ausstellungsgesellschaft Köln when the decision was made to jointly hold the “Photo-Kino-Optikmesse” in Cologne in 1950.
One year later, on 28 June 1949 in Rüdesheim, the following statement was made: “The photo fair under the name Photo- und Kino-Ausstellung – photo and cinema exhibition is to take place in May 1950 in Cologne immediately before the export trade fair in Hanover. Duration: 9 days. In 1950 it is not possible to organise a trade fair in an international framework due to limited space. For the same reason only companies from the trizone and companies from the Western sectors of Berlin can be admitted to the photo fair.”
But the second photo fair in 1951 was an international event and a catching name was found soon: photokina.
The work of the “Verein von Fabrikanten photographischer Artikel”, especially in the PR sector, was successful: In 1950 the name of the association was changed to “Verband der Deutschen Photographischen Industrie”, and another change in name to “Photoindustrie-Verband” took place in 1986. Since then the Photoindustrie-Verband has been representing the interests of the German and international photo industry in Germany.
But once more back to the year 1948. The general assembly in Cologne was attended by 17 gentlemen who represented, by power of attorney, altogether 42 companies. Today 14 of those companies are still members of the Photoindustrie-Verband, although three of them under different names.
From 1961 to 1980 Dr Hans Gerhard Kindermann was president of Photoindustrie-Verband. This was the longest term in office ever served by a president of this organization of which he was a founding member back in 1948. To his death in 2004 Dr Kindermann was honorary president of Photoindustrie-Verband. He recalled:
“In all activities the very special atmosphere of a new start was felt in the first years after the war. The wish to shape things came first, then borders between occupation zones in Germany and later on borders between European countries were overcome.”
The German photo industry proved soon after the war that it was able to hold its own, also in the export business. Although organised as a national event, the first photo fair in Cologne in 1950 attracted many visitors from neighbouring European countries.
Dr Kindermann: “No doubt, the decision to have an independent photo fair was just right.”
Before that, photography had been integrated in the Leipzig industry fair. Since 1950 there has been a trade fair exclusively for photography, namely the photokina world of imaging.