The week Digital Signage Expo runs in Las Vegas has historically been a pretty quiet time by the standards of that place, with few big shows on.
But this year is quite different, with six sizeable shows on and maybe 90,000 people coming in. CES gets 100,000+, and the city is a zoo, so DSE week will feel a bit like that. Those ridiculous taxi line-ups at at the airport, for example, will be in play.
One interesting aspect is that DSE is co-marketing, a little, with the retail/POP show GlobalShop, so that your DSE pass will get you into GlobalShop, and vice versa. One’s at the LVCC and the other at the bottom of the strip at the Mandalay Bay’s large convention facility, which is infinitely less dumpy than the LVCC, but kinda out of the way.
So if you are in LV for digital signage reasons, what and who are you going to see at GlobalShop?
There are some familiar vendors setting up there instead, the most notable of them being STRATACACHE. That company is NOT at DSE, but its relatively new subsidiary Scala has a 30 by 30 booth towards the front of the DSE hall.
As someone who has been to GlobalShop and even been a booth bunny in my dark sales/business development years, I can tell you much of what you will see walking around are stands full of mannequins and shelving and all kinds of other things squarely having to do with store fixturing. It is not a big digital showcase, though probably more so than the last time I was in there.
Some of the other signage companies setting up at GlobalShop are Industrial Image (players), PixelFlex (LED), Evogence (experiential technology), Perch Interactive (digital fixtures), InStore Screen (shelf-edge displays) and Mvix (software and players). Premier is also there showing its mounting solutions, and hedging its bets by being at both GlobalShop AND DSE.
In all, the exhibitor listing has 36 companies self-identifying and digital signage, but there are also some ones in there as kiosks and in other categories.
If you are in retail, and make decisions around the look and feel, you probably don’t need any convincing about going. If retail is your thing, but on the IT side, NRF was more your show. If retail is not your world, stay at DSE or maybe try to worm your way into the bar and nightclub show – though you’ll be bombed within 90 minutes. Pizza Expo, also at the LVCC, would be the more prudent move if you are all DSE’d out.
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.