Hey Sony Team, what the heck is happening? You used to be a brand "for the people", not for the elite. I was drawn in to your ability to create community and excitement around a common passion. When I went to Kando in Oregon, all differences between the community fell aside due to the shared passion of the art. For one week, political affiliations, backgrounds and demographics didn't matter. You did such an AMAZING job at bringing people together and accomplished something no other imaging company has been able to achieve.
I have been hopeful for a future Kando experience and found out tonight that you held a Kando event this year for pro photographers and pro community only. How heartbreaking, and to see the overall Alpha Universe community stall, I am disappointed in the brand. I was brought here by the people, not the product.
Please bring the community back. I miss it, I miss you and I miss the joy of seeing peers share common ground. Leaving the community to "pros" is what drove people away from Nikon and Canon into your arms. I am hoping the new year brings a refreshed vision to your staff and the vision for community is established again.
The camera giveaway is an interesting ploy to drum up community on the forums, but what brought the people to Sony was not this forum, it was your people treating the rest of us like one of your own. Bring back more events, digital or in person please.
Dear FatBeard, I cannot speak for Sony, and they are really glad I don't but I'm with you on Kando. It is an amazing experience for sure. This year's Kando was primarily for Sony's Ambassadors and it was not open to the public, as you correctly pointed out. Sony is very very concerned about Covid and I think (my opinion) that a smaller Kando was a priority for them this year. There were fewer classes and there were many opportunities to social distance and spread out. We were all glad to have Kando at all after a two year hiatus. It is my hope, like yours, that Kando will continue in 2023 but a couple things I feel like I should point out: 1. The variants of Covid are very real and dangerous. 2. The supply chain issues are affecting Sony's ability to manufacture and ship in a timely manner have been greatly affected. Sony could have made a ton more money in the last two years if they had been able to get the parts and pieces to assemble the products they dream up. 3. Sony has remained profitable but that profit was eaten into by their inability to ship certain products because of the supply chain. They lost the opportunity to make more money than they did because of this lapse in supply chain. 4. And number 4, drum roll please.... Kando is EXPENSIVE and Sony gets very little monetary return from putting it on. When you rent a slice of Western paradise for a week and transform it by magic into Kando, there are a lot of mouths to feed (I usually get seconds). It just didn't make sense this year to open it up to the public.
Having said all that, and not on Sony's behalf, we are all hoping Kando can return to its larger size and continue the welcome you describe for the hoards coming in from the cold of Canikon.
Last, one thing I have learned is that Kando can be something that you can participate in outside the dates that it is offered. Kando is something you can work with and on every month. Take a glance at the notes you made during the classes from your last Kando, think hard about what goals you may have set, and then look at to what extent you have achieved those goals. If there are people you met at Kando, why not contact them and have a Kando-convo, to challenge each other for personal growth and set new short term goals for 30 days, 3 months, 6 months and a year. Stoke that fire Kando promulgated in you and blow on those old coals so they create new energy and purpose again.
Hey FatBeard - I don't speak for Sony either, but will agree with the things that Patrick stated. There were a lot of factors that went into this year's event, and most of them dealt with COVID (and the liability surrounding it). We had quite a few people that had to leave or couldn't come because of it. I hope and imagine that once things start picking back up again that Kando will return to its true form. I too miss all of the interactions with old friends and new so I would believe that Sony will do its best to accommodate that in the future.