Peak industry body winding up after 40 years

After more than 40 years of operation as a key industry body, the Imaging & Digital Entertainment Association (IDEA) will wind up its operations in June 2022.

With the decision made at their most recent AGM, IDEA President James Murray said, “We came to the conclusion that despite the value the association has brought to the industry, IDEA would not be financially viable beyond Project 2020 without a new income stream of major events, such as exhibitions”.

Project 2020 is an initiative that allowed for members activities to be sponsored by IDEA. Member companies had been invited to submit a promotional or advertising concept towards which IDEA could contribute funding. All allocated industry funds are being directed towards the Project 2020 initiative aimed at promote imaging and engage consumers with the photographic industry.

The goal underpinning Project 2020, as well as the Association as a whole, is to raise community awareness of photography, videography and the products and services related to the field.

Five member companies responded to the Project 2020 callout, but due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the industry, all activity has been postponed until this year, with all projects to be completed by 31 March 2022.

Citing reduced membership numbers, and in turn membership fees, as the reason for the financial unviability of the Association, Murray said that careful consideration had been given to the decision to wind down the association. He went on to say that “it became clear that while there was a strong desire for an industry association, the engagement in cooperative activity between brands was diminishing”.

In 2013, IDEA moved to a biennial Digital Show. While the 2015 event was very successful with record numbers of consumers attending, the costs proved to be unsustainable for IDEA and the industry. The 2017 show was postponed, and by 2019 it was evident the show was no longer viable.

At IDEA’s 2019 AGM, it was decided that should the preserved funds become exhausted, the association would be wound up. It was then decided at the 2020 General Meeting that regardless of funds remaining, IDEA will be wound up by 30 June 2022.

“While 2022 will be the end of an era for IDEA, I would like to acknowledge and thank those members who have not only supported the association’s vision over the past four decades, but also the many exceptional industry events that aimed to promote and help drive our category,” Murray added.

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