I tend to book my way to InfoComm as a matter of routine, without really looking at what’s on and who is there. So it was pretty surprising to see how skimpy the digital signage presence is this year.
All the big display and projection guys are, of course, there with big booths and lotsa people. But they’re talking to the much broader pro AV and systems integration market.
The numbers of pure play digital sign software and service companies that are setting up booths would be politely described as limited.
Aopen, BrightSign, Black Box, CE Labs (16:9 advertiser), DigiChief, Digital View, DT Research, Haivision, Ingram Micro, MediaStation Digital Signage (no idea who that is), ScreenFeed, Seneca Data, Smarter Sign, Spinetix, Stinova, Synnex, Tech Data, Tightrope and Visix (plus the display guys). Many of those companies would be there to market a lot more than digital signage, so we’re really looking at a handful of pure digital signage ecosystem companies that decided to make a budget bet on this show.
I think my first InfoComm was 2007 and there were a lot more software companies, with Scala having a big presence. The company isn’t even there this year on its own, though my guess is I will see all kinds of “partner” positions in the larger display company booths, like Signagelive and Capital Networks (another 16:9 advertiser) in Samsung, and so on.
It took a few years, but the marketing people at a lot of companies have finally realized vertically oriented shows – for health care, education, hotels and restaurants – tend to generate way better returns than catch-all shows.
There is also a digital signage pavilion, as there has been for many years, and a little micro-theatre thing on the floor where various vendors get 30 minutes to talk about their stuff.
Digital Signage Presentation Stage Schedule
|10:00 a.m.||Marshall Electronics: Digital Signage Overview Speaker: Perry Goldstein|
|10:30 a.m.||ICS: Great Touchscreen Experiences Speaker: Peter Winston|
|11:00 a.m.||Targetpath: Digital Signage Software Selection Speaker: Lou Giacalone|
|11:30 a.m.||Black Box: Digital Signage Disasters Speaker: Brian Kutchma|
|Noon||NEC: Food Service Menus Speaker: Richard Ventura|
|1:00 p.m.||Samsung: Interactive Signs at Retail Speaker: Linda Hofflander|
|1:30 p.m.||Magenta Research: OLED and Digital Signage Speaker: Andy Fliss|
|2:00 p.m.||Microsoft: MS OS Speaker: Gordon Smith|
|2:30 p.m.||Pricer: Digital Signage in Grocery Stores Speaker: Wyatt Alston|
|3:00 p.m.||e-ink: e-paper in Digital Signage Speakers: Harit Doshi, Perry Goldstein|
|3:30 p.m.||Boeing: Digital Signage at Corporate Speaker: Peter Cavell|
|4:00 p.m.||Capitol Networks: Android as an OS Speakers: Jim Vair/Morgan Henderson|
|9:30 a.m.||Marshall Electronics: Key Insights from Day 1 Speaker: Perry Goldstein|
|10:00 a.m.||Marshall Electronics: Broadcast or Digital Signage? Speakers: Dan Walsh, Nigel Hamley|
|10:30 a.m.||Targetpath: Total Cost of Ownership Speaker: Lou Giacalone|
|11:00 a.m.||Brawn & Assoc.: Digital Signage in Education Speaker: Alan Brawn|
|11:30 a.m.||C2G: Distributing Digital Video — Passband or Baseband? Speaker: Joe Cornwell|
|Noon||Tightrope: From Static to Dynamic Speaker: Eric Henry|
|1:00 p.m.||Synnex Speaker: Jarad Flax|
|1:30 p.m.||MM-S: Emergency Notification Speakers: Mike White, Robert White|
|2:00 p.m.||MM-S: Securing Devices to Walls Speaker: Mike White|
|2:30 p.m.||Arrive Systems: Room Scheduling Speaker: Lee Dodson|
|3:00 p.m.||Coolsign Speaker: Bill Taylor|
|3:30 p.m.||Tightrope: The DS World According to JJ Speaker: J.J. Parker|
|4:00 p.m.||Texas Instruments: Digital Signage Using DLP|
|9:30 a.m.||Marshall Electronics: Key Insights from Day 2 Speaker: Perry Goldstein|
|10:00 a.m.||Aopen/Insteo: Advantages of Small Screen Displays Speakers: Kirk Sipes, Jim Nista|
|10:30 a.m.||Linx: A Word from Consultants Speaker: Mike Perlmeter|
|Noon||Show wrap up Speaker: Perry Goldstein|
Impressively for whoever put this together, very few of the usual suspects have managed to get mike time (though that may have something to do with having to pay to speak).
Digital Signage Expo is frantic for me. I actually try to keep moving at that show, because if I wander into booths I am usually there (like it or not) for 30 minutes or more. Given the vendor list this year, I’ll have lotsa time to stop, listen and learn.
The show is in Orlando, which means a four-day steam bath. If you are going, and want to meet, drop me a note.
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.