The company behind the recent Digital Signage Expo says DSE set new records for attendees and floor space, and also saw a critical bump in the number of end-users walking the aisles.
Atlanta-based Exponation says more than 4,100 people attended, from 69 countries, and 45% of them were end-users, up 7% from 2015. The exhibit hall set a new record of over 84,000 net square feet (it was up by about 1%). Of 200 or so exhibitors, 45 were exhibiting for the first time.
“The big takeaway from DSE 2016 was that attendees were highly qualified,” says rookie show director Andrea Varrone. “We worked extremely hard to bring notable brands to the show floor by expanding the breadth and depth of our digital marketing program, increasing the event’s social media reach and leveraging the talents of our attendee relationship team. The investment paid off. DSE continues to be the only venue for connecting with End Users who are knowledgeable about our industry and ready to make purchasing decisions.”
I’ve had these numbers sent to me year after year, so it’s pretty easy to do a comparison. The show seems to have hit a ceiling in terms of numbers. It may be a record year in terms of numbers, but just. Since 2012, the high and low crowd totals only vary by roughly 100. Last year was described as close to 4,100 and thus years as more than.
Based on what I saw on Day 2, I would have guessed the total was down in 2016. But Day 1 was indeed busy.
To some degree, the overall attendee numbers are immaterial to the show. There will always be flocks of consultant, job-seekers and non-exhibitors “walking” the show, but what the exhibition companies and the people with booths care about are qualified buyers – and the show says those were up by a healthy percentage.
DSE 2017 is scheduled for March 28-31, 2017, with the actual trade show on the 29th and 30th. The date is kinda bouncing around lately, running as early as mid-February three years ago, mid-March this year and the end of March next year.
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.