Continuing from Day One, I’m back at it today with a lot more time to walk the show floor at the Digital Signage Expo 2016.
OLED, Oh My
I won’t pretend to know my display technology – I just don’t have the budget to play with this stuff – but Samsung and LG brought the crowds to their booths with huge, beautiful, and/or transparent OLED displays. And it’s not hard to see why: super thin, low power, flexible, transparent: OLED seems to be a convenient single answer to a lot of technical problems. I’m looking forward to seeing it deployed, so keeping my eye on what the industry does with it.
Kings in Tiny Booths
“Content is King”. I must have heard that sentiment 20 times in the last two days. But if you’re selling content, it doesn’t look like kings are occupying the booths. (When I asked him about it, Paul Sherno with AFP preferred the phrase “Content is Con”). With the exceptions of Screenfeed and Wovenmedia, content providers with fantastic products to show (and I mean fantastic), had small booths, and they weren’t swimming in traffic. That’s not a knock on the content creators and curators though; in my opinion, they are under-appreciated at this show. If people at this show really though content was king, these companies would be treated like king-makers.
Less People Tracking
The past two DSE events, I saw a lot of information about eyeball and face tracking, with the intent to help measure effectiveness of digital signage. That seems to have dropped off significantly. I don’t think there were any companies showing off that brand of tech at DSE – it probably resulted in more interest than sales leads in previous years, and the companies are attending other conferences. I think it’ll make a comeback in a few years though, as more companies start mulling over their digital signage strategy (as opposed to now, when they mull over having a digital signage strategy).
Fewer Hospitality Reps
I was at the least-well attended ‘Industry Roundtables’, since I went exclusively to roundtables centred on hospitality. Including the speakers and a guest from the press, the three roundtables I went to had 13 people in attendance in total. And that includes myself three times.
The Industry Roundtables as a whole had great attendance, as far as I could see, with some tables needing twenty chairs. But the hospitality industry isn’t well served at DSE thus far, it seems like. It’s too bad – I had a wonderful discussion about digital signage and selling wine!
A More Welcoming Education Slate
The DSE has great talks – well over a hundred, plus plenty more on the floor – and I was happy to attend about a dozen of them. That’s a fairly small statistical sampling, but I found the talks as a whole incredibly welcoming to new people in the industry. Everyone was welcome – but that didn’t mean there was something for everyone.
Most talks never got a chance to go beyond the surface, so more advanced topics don’t get discussed. People with more experience in the industry have less opportunity to learn. But the industry is young, and as members in the Digital Signage Federation grow (and age), the educational slate will expand. But in the meantime; perhaps a beginner / advanced designation on the talks?
Changes to the DSE Schedule
I was appreciative of some of the changes that DSE made to make the conference flow better for attendees. The seminars that formerly were during the final hour of the show were moved up to the morning, which made a world of difference to someone like me who sits in on as many classes and panels as I can. Moving the Apex awards to intersect with the mingler gave it some life too, a far cry from last year’s Thursday morning 8am awards show.
A good show, a lot of information to absorb, still mentally unpacking it all. But I highly recommend it to anyone in the industry. Onward to 2017.