Looking Ahead To ISE


Integrated Systems Europe is a trade show I’ve regularly thought about attending, but have never done – much of that owing to it being on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean.

But … I’d heard enough about ISE that I finally went ahead and did it, and will be there next week for the show.

The folks at Net Display Systems, based in nearby Eindhoven, read that I was coming over and asked if I would speak Monday at a partner conference, so I’m doing 45 minutes with a big group, trying out my new ventriloquist act, which involves a very drunk, belligerent Scottish puppet named Wee Jimmy.

If I have time, I’ll also run through some thoughts on project planning and why the question “Why?” is so critical at the start of properly putting together a signage job that works and has objectives and an impact.

I’m also talking to DailyDOOH editor Adrian Cotterill, who is doing a quasi TV show – sans live audience – on the show floor, most of the week.

That’s almost the only thing I have booked, which is awesome and kinda how I like to do trade shows, particularly the first time around. When you request and get press access to trade shows, the pact involved with free access and some perks is that you get on the email list of exhibitors. Their PR people then start sending emails, MANY emails, inviting you to set up interviews or demos at their booth.

If you start doing appointments, even three days at a show disappear in a blur. You spend your time running around looking for booths and sitting in them, sometimes wondering why. But I want to see the show and hopefully come across new and interesting products, services and companies.

Click on Digital Signage as a sorted category in the ISE exhibitor list, and you get a list of 418 companies. Now, a healthy whack of those will have only a fleeting involvement in signage day to day, but that still leaves a lot of companies who are genuinely in the business and ecosystem. There are familiar names, but a big percentage of companies showing are barely familiar or wholly unfamiliar to me. So there’s lotsa ground to be covered.

What I am particularly interested in:

  • Hi-rez indoor LED – Who all is doing it and how much does it now cost, now that soooo many companies are marketing fine pixel pitch LED?
  • OLED – Will someone have panels that just stick on with magnets (I’ve seen that in a private demo, but not on a show floor).
  • More SoC panels – While there is one point of view that these things have never really caught on, I’m hearing lotsa stories of serious rollouts now. And more display guys are introducing them. I think their use-case is limited and the cost saving is negligible, but they have a place, particularly in QSR and retail.
  • Software – There are well-established firms and start-ups that I read about and get emails from, but never see at North American events – so this is a chance to see their pots and pans.
  • Interactive – Both via phone and using overlays and related tech, be that overlays or IR frames … or something else.
  • New stuff – I always walk the outer edges of DSE when I first hit the floor, because I like seeing what the budget-starved start-ups are doing. That’s often where the real innovation is, and I expect the same applies here.
  • What’s different – Is the approach and output any different coming out of Europe and the Middle East? I dunno, but I do know there’s a difference in signage creative coming out Quebec than the rest of North America, so I have cause to be curious.

Being Canadian, I’m also laser-focused on things like Barco’s Belgian beer event and related events involving cocktails and food, so I suspect I’ll bump into all kinds of people at events, who I know by email or phone calls, but have never met in person.

If you want to meet or say Hi, send me a note at dave AT sixteen-nine.net, and we can maybe track each other down using What’s App by trading mobile numbers.

If you are going to ISE, safe travels and see you there. If not, I hope to post a few things and tweet some pix and impressions, as well. I rented an  apartment and not sure the WiFi is reliable or even working, so we’ll see what success I have getting online to post.


Dave Haynes

Dave Haynes

Editor/Founder at Sixteen:Nine
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for more than a decade. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He's based near Toronto.
Dave Haynes


12+ year-old blog and podcast about digital signage & related tech, written by industry consultant, analyst & bullshit filter Dave Haynes.
Hey @blinkmm I was thinking you had some role behind scenes but just realized you and family ARE the show! Missed o… https://t.co/LFMpXEVmIP - 2 days ago
Dave Haynes