Citing uncertainty regarding the continued COVID-19 pandemic, Professional Photographers of America (PPA) announced plans to move Imaging USA 2021 into a virtual conference space, instead of the Gaylord Texan Hotel in Grapevine, Texas.
“This is obviously not a decision we wanted to make,” says David Trust, CEO, PPA. “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.”
Included in the move are all facets of the event, including:
- Opening and Closing Keynote speakers
- Educational programs, including pre-conference classes
- The Imaging USA Expo
- The International Photographic Competition Exhibit
- The Award and Degree Ceremony
- The Grand Imaging Awards
- Social activities (planned online)
- Association Leadership Meetings
Attendees will be able to choose from more than 100 educational sessions, visit the virtual Imaging Expo, 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 Imaging USA is the home for serious photographers and that all of its benefits can be accessed from the attendees’ own homes, the organization said.
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.
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. PPA will also refund their fee, however, if they prefer not to attend.