Here’s your chance to gather pro tips and insight from Digital Signage Expo veterans! After DSE 2018, our 15th anniversary year, we reached out to our Advisory Board to ask them about their most valued aspects of the conference and how to make the most of attending each year. The board, comprised of experts from a wide range of companies and disciplines, is split into councils that answer an industry-specific question each month through the lens of content, AV integration, consultation, advertising, network management, or being an end user (those answers can be found on Digital Signage Connection here). To better prepare you for 2019’s experience as well as the state of the industry itself, here are some of our favorite and most useful answers from each council for your reference:
Brad Savage of Motor Vehicle Network from the DOOH Network Council: There were many great products and topics this year at the show. What I have found as our network matures is that rather than “taking it all in,” I focus on a specific item. Without a doubt I was very impressed on the data side of digital signage.
The ability to track consumers and validate advertising campaigns has come a long way. The various sessions I attended offered up precise information that we are now looking to implement for our network. Specifically, when it comes to advertising, even the local retailer is looking for clicks, likes and detailed numbers to warrant their advertising. We are in now the process, after learning this at DSE, of using geo-fencing and possibly beacons, to garner real-time data and prove not only that people view our network, but we drive sales for our clients.
DSE is right on track with moving a network forward after the screens are lit up. Any new or experienced network operator can learn the latest and greatest at DSE.
Travis Kragh of ClockNine from the Advertising & Brand Council: If you attended DSE 2018, you definitely heard someone talking about data. It was clearly the number-one buzzword of the year. Despite what you may have heard, companies have been utilizing data since the infancy of digital signage. What was new this year was the universal acceptance of data across the entire industry. Perspectives have shifted, and people have come to expect data when they see digital signage content.
Although there were many new and exciting uses of data on display, this was truly the tip of the iceberg. It is encouraging to see the use of data integration continue to grow as digital signage can be so much more than a simple image and video playlist. As the industry continues to advance, we will see more creative exploration and innovation.
Ignaz Gorischek of Callison RTKL from the Industry Consultant Council: I felt as though there were a few more cool technologies shown in the forms of Augmented Reality, Projection Mapping, and Haptics. There was a cool start-up called Tanvas that I found of interest. They were demonstrating the ability to creature textures on an iPad, and it was pretty cool. They were simulating fabrics such as velvet, suede and corduroy. I have already been in touch with their representative at the show to make a visit to our offices. In general, I felt there were more creative digital solutions than in years past. Last year felt dry from a creative POV. The attendance appeared to be good as the show floor was busy when I was there. I also had the opportunity to introduce a student project, which will focus on creative content at a future show. All in all, I felt good about DSE 2018.
Richard Daugherty of AVI-SPL from the Pro AV Council: from the I was able to walk and experience the show for two days. As always, it was an inspiring experience as I visited partner booths and saw their cutting-edge technologies. Most of my time was spent meeting with partners as well as potential partners, getting hands-on experience with new products, developments to software or operations. Events like this enable people like myself to have the opportunity to see what is available now and what will be in the future. I can then prepare for these updated products for future projects and opportunities. It’s like getting a sneak peek into the future or a behind the scenes look on products with experts demoing it for you and answering any of your questions. For me, this was a valuable experience. I was looking for new things from the industry, and I had questions from client experiences. I also wanted to see how all these things are being addressed, and I found a lot of answers there. I left DSE 2018 with lots of valuable information, strengthened relationships and potential new partners. This is why I go to DSE and why I am planning on going again next year.
Marcos Terenzio of Shikatani Lacroix Design from the Content Council: I felt that DSE 2018 was another successful event. The combination of industry suppliers, content leaders and solutions providers from around the globe made sure there was something for everyone attending the show. One of the most noticeable things for me on the trade show floor was the amount of Asian technology suppliers. It is the first year I have attended were the foreign suppliers where almost equally weighted to the North American ones. It really showed that the technology is becoming more accessible for everyone, and it is also pushing the industry leaders to up their game and push the boundaries of their solutions.
From an educational perspective, it was great to see more brands and creative agencies sharing their experiences. The APEX Awards also saw some amazing work that truly pushed the industry beyond digital signage and into digital experience. This was very refreshing to see. Who knows … maybe the show will be renamed the DEE (Digital Experience Expo). After all, it would be a lot more fitting to the state of the industry.
My biggest takeaway from the show was still the same as every year – the great contacts and networking that takes place at the show, both from a business generation perspective as well as building strategic partnerships and sourcing great new suppliers. There really is no other show better for it. I can’t wait to see what 2019 has in store for us all.
Angel Cordero of Walt Disney Parks & Resorts from the End User Council: One of my biggest takeaways from DSE 2018 was how we still do not have many outdoor touch screen options. This includes the combined screen and enclosure solution. While some kiosk vendors are making progress with heat management, those same solutions may not work with rugged vandal-proof touch glass. Day versus night lumens can be managed with light sensors, but not as easily when combined with glare issues from direct sunlight and touch glass. Also, some vendors are still relying on touch overlay devices that have limitations compared to touch detection technology on the screen glass. Finally, large outdoor pixel panels have up-close pixel pitch gaps and don’t support video wall touch panels. Nevertheless, each display technology area is improving yearly, and new problems are being solved every year. I look forward to next year!