Absorbing the Concepts, Products and Designs Offered at DSE 2017


Welcome to DSE 2017! The DSE exhibitors are primarily manufacturers of hardware and software for the broader digital signage market. You’ll see displays of every size and shape, controlled by Content Management Software (CMS) with what will seem like limitless features and functions. These annual evolutions driven by Moore’s Law have led to the phrase ‘smaller, brighter and cheaper’ to describe this category.

The choices and promises can quickly become overwhelming and indistinguishable from one another. Everyone’s pitch will begin to sound the same. With more than 100 different digital signage CMS software solutions and at least as many ‘media players’ available, how would you select the correct one for you and your particular implementation? The short answer is you don’t!

DSE offers you an opportunity to observe and absorb many different concepts and designs. Take this opportunity to use your phone’s camera and document the concepts that resonate with you. There are so many different ideas being presented that you will definitely forget them if you don’t capture them.

It’s okay to acknowledge, being new to the digital signage space, that you don’t know what you don’t know. I’ve been involved in every aspect of digital signage since 1997, and with DSE since its inception, and I’m still learning. There are some of us pioneering veterans that can help you avoid the many costly digital signage missteps and experiments that have come before you. While we are not clairvoyant, we have experienced and observed many of the same mistakes being repeated over and over again. Many of these failures can be avoided thereby saving invaluable time and treasure … maybe even a job?!

A digital signage network is an expensive, complex array of dynamic moving parts. It is inherently disruptive because it touches and affects many different departments in an organization – marketing, operations, IT, finance, merchandising, vendor relations, executive, shareholders and shoppers. Its commercial and professional success is measured many different ways and is contingent on getting the countless ‘details’ right. Not unlike an expedition to the unknown, a knowledgeable and experienced guide is essential and invaluable. Invest in an experienced independent guide. It’s the best investment you’ll make along this journey.

Here are some other tips, observations and suggestions:

  1. Share your challenges with other folks with similar goals and objectives. Unless you’re direct competitors, you can share notes and insights making both of you that much more informed.
  2. Don’t equate success with the amount of people in a particular booth. The best solution is rarely the most popular.
  3. Ask tough questions. DSE is a commercial tradeshow and, as such, everyone is selling. Exploit this opportunity to find out why and what makes a particular vendor different and valuable to you and your particular challenges. Ask them why they believe they are different. Ask them one thing that they’ve learned from a failure. Ask questions that will throw them off their ‘script’ as how they respond is as insightful as what they say. Talk to their customers privately to get the ‘real story.’ There is no such thing as perfect.
  4. Beware of anyone claiming they ‘do it all.’ Chances are, they do many things with mediocrity.
  5. Don’t overlook the vendors that have small booths in the back and around the perimeter. The digital signage and retail landscapes are changing rapidly, and new innovative technologies and solutions are emerging daily. Don’t overlook these small vendors because they may have just the thing that will provide you with the one unique key that will unlock your success.

Have a great experience and enjoy.

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