DSF's chair looks back at first year

February 17, 2011 by Dave Haynes

It has now been a year since the established order of the digital signage sector was shaken up with news of the Digital Signage Federation. Very suddenly, there were two opposing organizations competing for the hearts and minds of companies and individuals active in this sector.

I asked the heads of the two organizations if they could provide guest posts as to where they are at one year on.

A Note From Richard Cooley, Chairman of the Digital Signage Federation

Late in 2009, I received a phone call that intrigued me. I was told that a new association, dubbed the Digital Signage Federation (DSF), was forming to take the leadership mantle for advocacy, education and standards in the digital signage industry.

I was asked if I would accept an interim Board seat as the DSF started up. While the new association was going to be launched and financially supported at the outset by Exponation, the owners of the industry’s largest trade show, it was clear that DSF would be truly independent. No one from Exponation would be on the Board either at the start or thereafter. The Board and the Federation would speak for the industry and not vested interests.

That was refreshing. I accepted. As luck would have it, I got more than I bargained for. The interim Board elected me as the first Chairman of the DSF, an honor I also accepted.

As we approach the first birthday of the DSF, I look back with pride at what has been accomplished from a standing start. As I proudly pass the Chairmanship to Bob Stowe of Wendy’s, I look forward to even greater things as we continue our mission to support and promote the common business interests of the worldwide digital signage industry, the interactive technologies industry and the digital out-of-home industry. It seems appropriate to celebrate what has been accomplished on our first birthday:

• We pulled together a thirteen-member interim Board that was remarkable in its diversity and its energy. To have access to the perspective of so many motivated minds that work across all aspects of digital signage has been an amazing resource;

• We established a college student chapter that will help us educate the industry participants of tomorrow, and gain access to bright young minds;

• We negotiated and signed an agreement with Exponation that made the DSE the Official Trade Show of DSF, and DSF the Official Trade Association Sponsor of the Digital Signage Expo, the industry’s largest educational conference and trade show. The agreement also provides significant financial resources to DSF and benefits to its members;

• We launched a highly successful and ongoing webinar series that brings topical insights and educational opportunities to members and non-members alike at their desktops;

• We provided members with discounts on Digital Signage Experts Group (DSEG) education and certification programs, and worked closely with Exponation to drive the unparalleled educational opportunities at DSE;

• Our Standards Committee has already issued landmark Privacy Standards that will dispel consumer anxiety over the technologies used in digital signage and drive acceptance;

• We held open elections for a permanent Board to replace the Interim Board, confirming our independence and openness;

• We even launched a charity golf tournament at the trade show in February, which we expect will become a staple of planning and programming for attendees in the future.

With all that we have accomplished, there is much more work to be done. I am happy to report that the newly-elected Board and the member-based committees are energized and focused on the growth of our industry. It is a real pleasure to be associated with such fine people.

I encourage everyone who has not familiarized themselves with the programs and benefits of DSF membership to visit with us at Booth #1805, or chat with any of our Board members while at DSE.

I accepted the offer to join and get involved when DSF was just a concept. Now it is something very real, very vital and very exciting. Please join me in being part of the only independent federation focused on driving YOUR business to the next level!

I look forward to working with you in the coming years, and thank you for the opportunity to have a hand in shaping an industry leader.

Rich Cooley

Founder and CEO of Integrated Screen Media & DSF Chairman

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