Alchemy International (aka Pi Media and aka St. Joseph’s Communications) staged a good networking event last night in Toronto that pulled a healthy cross section of the area’s digital signage industry.
Organized by Alchemy’s Lyle Bunn, the event was intended to pull people together for a bit of yakking and furious card swapping. It was also a bit of a platform for the Canadian Digital Signage Association and the newly organized Out-of-Home Video Advertising Bureau (or OVAB).
The former you know about. The latter is a US-driven group that is also looking to hook in membership from the very active, early adopter Canadian industry.
I couldn’t find an OVAB website, but the group has been described as an attempt to do what the Interactive Advertising Bureau did for the Internet during the mid to late 1990s, which was to enforce some standards on a fast emerging industry that was making the ad business crazy.
The plan is to establish these standards, best practices and structure to legitimize a medium that is still in Wild West mode. The membership list is so far short and peppered with some names of networks I have never heard of (The Hotels Network???), but also includes heavyweights like PRN (Wal-Mart TV in the US) and Captivate (the elevator guys, who ironically have a size and shape to their ads that is anything but standard).
The event was a clear success and I got the impression this won’t be the last. It would be good if the host duties were shared around, but few have the space or resources that Alchemy can tap through its parent company. If we did it at my shop the crowd would be spilling into the halls.
Then again, we’d have beer ;-]
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.