Virtual trade show on industry planned for late April; possible learning, but no jet lag, no cocktails

Some of the people who most need to go to digital signage trade shows and get up the curve never do get to them – because of measly budgets, no free time, or notions that they already know it all.

Some people don’t go because even one day in Las Vegas is three days gone with travel time, time zone changes and jet lag.

So … the notion of a virtual trade show for this sector is kind of interesting to me, and I will be intrigued by how Digital Signage 2010, planned for April 28th, comes off. NewBay Media and the trade organization InfoComm have put together a virtual event, so attendees can visit booths (manned by real people), attend presentations (with live Q&A), receive white papers and product specs, chat live with other attendees and presenters, and visit the attendee lounge for networking–without leaving your office.”

NewBay Media, which publishes Digital Signage Magazine in print and online, appears to be the driver behind this and in many respects it is a sneak preview and promo tool for the show in June in … you guessed it … Las Vegas.

There is no fee to attend. Attendees need to register online at: http://www.media.qualitytech.com/client/digitalsignage2010/launch.htm

Digital Signage 2010 is a one-day event that will take place on April 28, 2010 from 10 am EST to 6 pm EST. It will be conducted exclusively online, and is free of charge to all attendees who register and supply their demographic information. And many of the sessions will also be available for post-event attendance.

The event will also include a virtual lounge that serves as the place to connect with colleagues to discuss the latest developments in the industry. Plus, there will be a series of scheduled Live chats on pertinent topics led by InfoComm educators and the editors of Digital Signage Magazine, AV Technology, Systems Contractor News, and Tech&Learning.

There will be keynotes and training modules and various presentations. There won’t be endless pens, branded note pads and bowls of mints. There won’t be surly grannies at the entry checking badges.

There is a session on hiring a consultant, which you can avoid by going to www.presetgroup.com. Kidding. Well, sorta. Well, no.

Anyway, overall, this gets full marks for trying something different. I don’t think (and hope) the intention is to do a goofy Second Life virtual world thing, and it is more a way to apply broadband connections and present a more organized version of webinars. The one issue I’d raise is the good old “usual suspects” thing. The people mentioned as speakers are all great people, no issues there, but they are the same people who get wheeled out at ALL of these things. ALL of them.

On the other hand, I’m not the target market. The AV and integrator crowd that would be the target here has probably not seen many, or any, of these names before.

Virtual trade show image, not for this event, from VentureBeat