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Photokina 2010 in Cologne, Germany was a complete success for Celestron!Our booth was a big hit, with everyone snapping away taking pictures of the booth and our new optical equipment. Show highlights included a 50th Anniversary celebration dinner with our distributors and a presentation on the "Art of Astrophotography", by Sebastian Voltmer.People visited our booth steadily during the entire six day show and the whole staff stayed busy talking to consumers, meeting with distributors and checking out the great displays from other companies showcasing all of their newest products.
On Wednesday evening, Celestron's 50th Anniversary Celebration with Distributors was held at the Bel Etage at the Lindt Chocolate Museum, Cologne.After a short reception, where guests enjoyed a walk around the museum, we all gathered in the Bel Etage for dinner. The food and company were wonderful.Vice President of International Sales, Jim Edmiston, introduced all of the Celestron staff in attendance and we all toasted the distributors to thank them for their support and business throughout the years. Celestron President and CEO, Joe Lupica, gave a great speech on Celestron's success and future. Distributor awards were announced starting with the Meteor Award for the fastest growth for a new distributor, to Sheldon & Hammond (Australia), who were not able to join us in Germany. Jim then announced the Galaxy award winner, Hama U.K. (United Kingdom) for their outstanding overall performance in a speciality market. Next was our Cosmos Award winner, Microciencia S.A. (Spain), for the best overall perfomance in a major market.
The night was capped off with a delicious chocolate fountain that became a popular gathering place. We were also treated to a mesmerizing piano performance of an original work by Sebastian Voltmer, who would be presenting a talk on astrophotography at our booth the next day.
It was a wonderful night, in a magical setting overlooking the beautiful Rhine. If you're ever in Cologne, definitely check out the chocolate museum!
On Thursday, Sebastian Voltmer, gave a really interesting presentation in German and English on the art of astrophotography. I definitely learned a thing or two....or ten....and find the whole process fascinating. He has produced some amazing photos using Celestron equipment and is so talented in many artistic endeavors. Check out his website: www.astrophoto.de and his astrophotography on CelestronImages.com. You can view the English version of his Photokina presentation here. We also gave away a limited edition 50th Anniversary FirstScope after each presentation to some lucky winners.
On Saturday and Sunday, Photokina opened up to general consumers. We stayed busy the entire weekend, chatting with the visitors to our booth and passing out our popular orange Celestron Frisbees. While tradeshows are a lot of work and can be murder on the feet, I feel fortunate to attend them.I get to meet our current and potential customers and become better acquainted with our distributors and retailers. It definitely helps for me to listen to the feedback that we get from everyone and help apply it to future products and plans. Now time to start planning CES 2011!