Looking Ahead To CEW In NYC

October 28, 2014 by Dave Haynes


Customer Engagement World is next week, and I took some time to see what all is there in terms of exhibitors and speakers. It’s really clear now that the event is not at all a digital signage show, something organizer Lawrence Dvorchik has been telling anyone who’d listen for a few years now. He started positioning the event as being about engagement technology, and it’s now a phrase that sticks and its own little eco-system that’s as or maybe even more important to verticals like retail.

There was a time not that long ago when the exhibitor list was pretty heavily populated by software and display companies – so you’d wander those aisles and look with curiosity at the thermal printer and kiosk doo-dad guys in the other aisles. I’d get down those aisles pretty fast because I am never going to get asked to spec the things that eat paper money, or power supplies.

Now it’s a blend of vendors, with a pretty heavy nod to mobile and other engagement technologies, including kiosk systems (though kiosk seems to be one of those words vendors dodge).

On the pure-play digital signage side, you have Omnivex, X2O Media and Appspace showing. Nanonation has been at this show for years, but not this time around. Same with Four Winds, which had a pretty substantial presence there last year.

None of the big display guys are there, but Dvorchik has Oracle, SAP, IBM, PayPal and other pretty substantive companies.

However, there are some small companies that are doing intriguing stuff on the edges of the ecosystem, like UI Evolution and Perch Interactive, which is based in NYC.

But … there’s a pile of companies that look to be doing interesting stuff, and CEW by sheer proximity gets a lot of brands and retailers wandering the floor. Going to DSE is a 2 or 3 day commitment for people in New York. CEW is a cab ride.

I’m going, eager to see what’s new and interesting and ties into digital signage, complementing it as opposed to being the latest devil to compete with it.

The speaker line-up also looks good. While there are some of the usual suspects grabbing mikes, most of them are moderators,while the presenters are a nice mix of tech people and brands.

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