A couple of contacts have sent notes recently asking if I was going to the International Sign Association’s annual trade show, which runs next week in Las Vegas.
Nope. Can’t see any reason why I would.
I did go to Sign Expo a couple of years ago, but that was with a client, on said client’s nickel, and it was an efficient way to also get over to NAB. Sign Expo is a BIG show, but despite the efforts of various parties and deeply vested interests, this is a trade show that still has had precious little luck pulling in the digital signage crowd. And that’s even with no end of indications many printing firms really ought to be broadening their offer to include digital signs.
There are two components to the ISA’s digital signage efforts: education, and a designated area on the trade hall floor.
Dynamic Digital Signage Education Day next Wednesday is a full day of sessions devoted to “Dynamic Digital Signage” – some of the sessions led by the industrious and omnipresent father and son Brawns. The mainstream printing crowd is one that doesn’t tend to know much about digital because they haven’t needed to, so the subjects are things like: Generate Recurring Revenue with Digital Signage (ed: oops, they forgot dynamic!!!) and The 7 Key Elements for the Whole Picture of Dynamic Digital Signage.
Then there’s the Dynamic Digital Signage Park, touted as “THE destination for attendees to find the latest dynamic digital signage solutions. This section of the trade show floor will provide access to a one-stop-shopping experience.”
Well, one-stop if you’re not all that fussy about who you talk to. There are no major display companies (though Planar is there). No major or really even substantial software companies. No creative firms. A couple of distributors (Almo and Ingram). Caldera, a big printing tech firm that does have signage software. And then companies like Seeyoo, Chipsen LED and a smattering of others.
The DSF also has a stand, as I think there is some sort of partnership that’s been around a few years.
Several of the Dynamic Digital Park exhibitors will also do scheduled presentations in the park area.
So, I’m not there. Won’t see it. Can’t truly pass fair judgement on its merits. But based on what’s there, I hope the people at the booths have chairs, and can get a wireless signal so they have something to do. Besides listen to the crickets. It wasn’t busy two years ago, and that was with Samsung there.
I get no sense the printing industry is oblivious to digital, and I know and have done work with printing firms that are evolving and booking digital business. But there’s not a lot to suggest the industry is beating a path to Sign Expo to learn what to do or, particularly, to see what to use and sell.