SPOA 2023 is almost here, and we’re getting giddy. Dotting all our i’s and crossing all our t’s, we’ve been preparing a SPOA filled with Fotomerchant awe and excitement. Take a look through this blog to learn more about what to expect and the significance of the conference. Keep an eye out for our emails and social content we’re pushing out over this period to stay up to date.
What is SPOA?
SPOA, also known as the School Photographers of America, is an organization established to educate, advocate, and preserve the great traditions of school photography.
Although this conference is relatively new, the SPOA organization is steeped in industry history. Created in the 1950s as an organization called AASP, the American Association of Professional School Photographers, SPOA, has become an integral part of the industry. In March 2020, SPOA was officially formed during the COVID-19 pandemic when most of the US closed down schools. Since then, SPOA has continually worked towards creating supportive legislation for the industry in each state, aiming to ensure this industry is here for generations.
This is where Fotomerchant and SPOA unite, as we both work to preserve and innovate the school photography industry.
Fotomerchant and SPOA
We’re proud to say we’re strategic partners with this great bunch of people. Our relationship, although new, is already changing the shape of the industry for the better. One of our first collaborations involved the creation of the school photography industry report that many of you are already aware of. Our 2022 report was a smashing success as we set an excellent baseline for future reporting on this industry. I’ll go into more detail about this report further down this blog.
In a nutshell, we work well together. With help from SPOA regarding insights on current industry issues and pain points, we can help you grow through a workflow solution that works for your specific needs. We understand not one size fits all. Use us in an end-to-end capacity, or slot us into the missing parts of your workflow. Your workflow should do the work for you, not vice versa.
The SPOA Conference
After coming together last year for the first inaugural SPOA conference in Houston, TX, we’re pumped for round two. This year’s SPOA conference is set in thriving Greenville, SC. Surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains, sit back, and learn how to streamline your business while taking in breathtaking views. Tempting right? This conference will be a delight for all the senses! Attendance has tripled since last year, so this SPOA will be busier than ever.
What separates SPOA from other conferences? The quality of talks, expert speakers, and opportunities to network are genuinely industry-leading. This cream-of-the-crop conference is associated with great events to sink your teeth into. Bigger and better than ever, this year, SPOA will occupy a whole hotel. No matter where you are or who you chat with in the elevator, everyone will have a connection to the industry. Amazing!
Where will we be? We’ll be spread across the conference, but if you want to pin us down, you can find our booth across from the presentation rooms. Or book a private demo with our team if you want to escape the hustle and bustle. We have a great demo suite where we can provide end-to-end demos fitted to your studio workflow. We’re flexible that way!
“So here’s what I learned…Australians know how to party.” – David Crandall
Well, you heard him. This isn’t a party to be missed. We’re co-hosting the SPOA Welcome Party on July 11th from 7:00-10:00pm. Find us in Studio 220 at NOMA. This welcome reception is open to absolutely everyone, that means you! This is an excellent opportunity for us to come together and celebrate the start of the second SPOA conference in style.
This year’s party will be paying homage to our new home for the duration of the conference. We’ll celebrate in southern style, tapping our foot to Charleston’s bluegrass band, New Ghost Town. Come on down to grab a drink and make some valuable new connections. We’ll see you there!
Our collaboration with SPOA for this illuminating report is making waves in the industry. We have some juicy new data bits for you to digest this year. Data nerds James Anderson and Luke Calo are excited to show you what we’ve discovered. As a data-driven organization, our School Photography Industry Report is here to help grow your studio. We believe that you can only make educated and informed decisions by understanding your customers and clients through data. Always wondered what parents and schools want? Here’s your chance to find out.
With the addition of yearbooks and new questions, our report is even better this year. Let us fill you in on some of our discoveries.
On Wednesday, we’ll host two parent and school insights talks. This year’s report captured a lot of data surrounding parents and schools. In these talks, we’ll unpack what parents and schools are looking for in terms of quality, price, and product type. See how your studio fits within this data and address areas you may need to re-align your strategy.
Industry Report: Parent Findings
Location: Redbud Room
Industry Report: School Findings
Location: Redbud Room
On Thursday, we’ll do a high-level explanation of our SPOA partnership and how the 2023 School Photography Industry Report improved since last year. We’ll reveal super exciting insights that we uncovered and plans for the future. This won’t be one to be missed!
Industry Report Review
Location: Regency Ballroom (Exhibit Hall)
Onwards and Upwards, the Future of SPOA
From this year forward, SPOA will always be the last week of June. Some years you may see this conference pop up in Las Vegas, and other years in New Orleans, Nashville, or Louisville. This gives people across the country different opportunities to save money in the years the conference is closer to your neck of the woods. Where will the 2024 SPOA be hosted, you may ask? Well, you’ll have to attend SPOA 2023 to find that out.
To hear more about the upcoming conference from SPOA’s very own David Crandall, tune into our webinar hosted by Peter Koop and James Anderson. Click here to register for this webinar.
It’s getting close, pack your bags and join us for a week of stimulating talks, transformative workflow revelations, and, of course, lots of laughter. We’ll see y’all very soon!
Before I go, I’ll leave you with some out-of-this-world pictures from last year. Enjoy.