My DSE 2017 Impressions: More People; Better, Faster, Brighter, Thinner Tech

April 1, 2017 by Dave Haynes

I don’t have the numbers on DSE 2017, but my general sense from conversations with show people is that the counts were up over last year – good news as the numbers were sort of flatlined the last few years.

There were definitely more exhibitors and more overall floor space, though the back of the hall had quite a few of those micro offices that vendors in some cases took instead of booth space, or had in addition to booth space. That’s all, for example, that Google had this year.

It looked like the access cooperation thing with GlobalShop – your badge for one show got you in the other – probably brought in some end-users and potential partners, but I’d theorize that the much slower day 2 owed to people walking DSE on Wednesday and then heading to the other end of the strip Thursday to walk GlobalShop.

Just a theory, though I certainly bumped into people doing just that.

One sign of the slowness on Day 2 was the roundtable area. My industry roundtable talk – which focused on stories from my childhood – was a full table, but most of the ones in my time slot were either cancelled or had 2-3 people.

Thursday might also owe to the Peerless AV party at a LV Strip nightclub. There were 700 tickets issued and that thing was crazy.A late night and heavy heads the next day. I can personally attest. Midnight bourbons BAD!

The booth previews and PR roundups run in this space ahead of the show told a lot of the story of what companies were showing. I had numerous conversations with industry vets where the chats, AS ALWAYS, moved quickly to “So, did you see anything that impressed you?”

Sure. Much did. But if you spend all of your time looking at and thinking about this stuff, it’s hard to stumble across something jaw-droppingly new and different. Digital signage technology is mostly about bigger, brighter, faster, thinner, and easier … and there was lots of that.

The displays these days, in brightness and scale, as well dimension, are stunning. But they’ve been like that for a while. OLED is beautiful, though LG is the only manufacturer really driving that tech and it is still wickedly expensive.

What was very noticeable were the increasing numbers of companies marketing fine pitch LED. There were, as always, a few companies over from China, but I saw several companies – like Indiana-based Neoti – that have seen the growth potential in this and showed up with a booth stressing they are US-based for sales, support and service.

I chatted with an LA company called ADaboy, mostly curious why it was entering a signage CMS field that is so crazily overcrowded. Turns out they already had very high-end video wall software for things like theatrical and live events, and clients were asking for a CMS on the front of it.

I did not spend anywhere enough time stopping in on booths because two days disappear on me and I committed myself to some things that chewed up time.  Some other quick observations, though:

DSE 2018 is again on the last week of March and, if I am remembering correctly, that’s the case for the next 2-3 years. If you have been attending for a few years, you’ll know the dates have bounced around and been as early as mid-February.

It was great to see so many industry friends and meet new ones, as well. Thank you to Andrea Varrone, Geri Wolff and the rest of the show team for their hospitality and organization.

I’ll write up separate posts in the coming days on specific things from the show, some news, and a wrap on the mixer (don’t have the pix back on that yet).

  1. Jeremy Gavin says:

    From Screenfeed’s perspective this was the best DSE show we’ve had. You were right that we were always busy. I nearly lost my voice the first day and day two we were steadily busy until 2:00. I was ready for a break so I could walk around and check things out. Found the to be very interesting and Guillaume tells me they are selling a lot of it. Our team loved the non-digital ‘Breakfast’ sign that would flip discs from white to black to show messaging or imagery from a live camera – but its just a gimmick. Would love to see the content area in the middle of the show floor though. Looking forward to next year already.

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