GUEST POST: Irfan Khan, Skykit
The 2016 Digital Signage Expo (DSE) is almost here.
Those of you attending the convention in Las Vegas from March 15-17 might be wondering what to expect and how best to prepare. Lucky for you, I’ve done some research so you don’t have to.
I’ve compiled a list of what things will be on display and what you can learn from the different sessions.
Things to See
And yes, the sheer amount of things going on can be overwhelming. But the best way to tackle it is to go in prepared. Take a look at the list of exhibitors and research what they’ll be bringing. Then figure out what’s most interesting and relevant to you and plan accordingly.
To give you a starting point, here’s a list of five types of things that will be showcased.
1. Indoor LED
As the subheading suggests, we’re not talking about outdoor LED billboards here. 2016 should see an increase in prevalence in LED screens indoors.
Industry insiders are predicting that this year will bring a flood of affordable options to the market, thanks to recent acquisitions by giants such as Samsung (buying Yesco), and traditional display manufacturers expanding into LED options.
This will mean not only better prices, but a greater variety of sizes and shapes.
This is excellent news, because LED screens have a wide variety of advantages. They’re energy-efficient and long-lasting: perfect for creating eye-catching displays without breaking your energy bill. Not only that, but they offer incredibly rich colors, and, thanks to the ability to dim individual LEDs to lower light output levels, greater contrast levels than traditional LCD screens.
2. Portable Signs
Sometimes you only need a sign in a location for a short amount of time. You don’t want to spend money and time installing a screen and connecting it to your network, only to take it down a few days later.
Don’t worry, DSE has a solution for you.
The solution is portable signs. These individual units connect to your digital signage network but have the added bonus of being mobile.
3. Improved Wall Mounts
For those looking to invest in more permanent screens, you may have run into the problem on hanging screens on walls before. After all, not all walls are designed with signs in mind.
So make sure to keep an eye out for new and improved wall mounts designed for uneven walls, tricky angles, and adjustable orientation.
4. Better Screens
The heart of digital signage is the screen on which the ad is displayed. And those screens are always improving in incredible ways.
For example, LG is bringing a special stretched screen to DSE that will come in especially useful in places like airports or subway stations.
GWS is showing off their transparent LED screens.
And if you don’t even want an actual screen, you might want to check out NEC’s projector technology.
5. Interactive Screens
More and more companies are finding that customers want to interact with their brand. And one of the best ways to give them that feeling of inclusion is to allow them to physically interact with your advertisements.
Things to Learn
Of course, DSE isn’t just a place to show off new and shiny technology. It’s also a great place to learn more about the business. Each day, sessions will be offered to attendees who want to increase their knowledge.
That being said, there are more sessions than one person can attend. You’ll have to make some choices about which ones you go to.
Here are four of the many topics you might choose to hear about:
1. How to Integrate Digital Signage
Many of the sessions at DSE 2016 are focused on the best ways to integrate digital signage into various businesses. Different sessions focus on specific examples like retail stores, businesses, restaurants, stadiums and arenas.
Because there are so many specific sessions, you should be able to find the one that best fits what you’re trying to accomplish with digital signage, whether it’s advertising, internal communication, or consumer interaction.
2. Creating Content
Screens might be the heart of digital signage, but images are the soul. After all, that’s the whole purpose of the signs, to display your images.
But deciding exactly what to put on your signs and how to design them can be tougher than you think.
Lucky for you, there are sessions for that.
There are a few sessions dedicated to helping you understand the basics of designing, from the software you use to what makes an ad pleasing to the eye.
Of course, you want your signs to be effective as well as pretty. So if that’s something you need help with, consider stopping by one of the sessions focusing on research and data. You’ll learn to find what your customers are looking for and how best to incorporate it into your digital signs.
Our company put together a list of 20 free tools you can use to create beautiful content for digital signs without using a graphic designer. And you can get your content up in less than 15 minutes. Get the list of tools here.
3. Engaging Audience
Customer engagement is one of the big buzzwords in a lot of industries right now. But it can be hard to understand, especially since it will look different in various settings.
Fear not, however, because, as you may have guessed, there are multiple sessions covering that very topic.
You’ll be able to learn what customers are looking for in an interactive relationship and how you can incorporate those things into your digital signage.
With all the new technology on display, you might get a little overwhelmed. But don’t worry, most of those innovations will be covered in one of the sessions.
There will be sessions for outdoor signage, 3D screens, and interactive screens, just to name a few.
Pick the technology that seems most interesting and most likely to fit with what you’re doing and make those a priority. Find out all you can about them.
Hopefully you now feel a little more prepared for your experience at DSE.
Our team will be at DSE this year giving a talk at the Google booth #2131 on Thursday 3/17 at 3:00pm. Drop by — we’d love to meet you!
What part of DSE 2016 are you most looking forward to?