The next big industry-ish trade shows are CES in Las Vegas and NRF in NYC, but I am definitely skipping CES (mostly consumer tech and a too damn many people, everywhere) and I am too busy to sneak down for the retail show. So my head is now getting into Integrated Systems Europe, which is in just a few weeks in Amsterdam.
I’ll write much more on the show later (and hopefully do a pre-show podcast), but just to give you a sense of this thing, here’s an overview of the layout. It is a bunch of conjoined buildings that you get to through and between using hallways, ramps and escalators. There are underground walkways you won’t know exist, and sit-down restaurants in places you wouldn’t expect to find. There are something like 15 halls now and a new one outside borrows a bit on the CES thing by being a big temporary marquee tent (or something) in the parking lot.
Here’s what the overall footprint looks like … the Discovery Zone (pink rectangle) is where the front/main entrance. If memory serves me right, that who bit above it is tent.
If you are going for the first time, be prepared to get hopelessly lost, no matter how good you are with directions. And don’t book back to back meetings, ie 1-1:30 and then another one at 1:30, unless the next one is across the aisle. In another building? Forget it.
The digital signage and digital OOH area is an entire hall, and a good-sized one, at that. On the one hand, when I’ve been I have seen a large amount of floorspace in Hall 8 consumed by LED display companies. On the other hand, ALL of the big LCD display guys and at least some of the mounts guys are in other halls. So if you added up the combined digital signage footprint at the show, it gets to a lot of square feet and is a monster compared to DSE.
But DSE is also solely-focused, efficient and there’s a lot more dedicated education. And it’s in Vegas and warm and there’s no risk of being flattened by a smiling 72-year-old granny on a bike.
This is hall 8. There are 457 companies listed in the digital signage category of the show, including 23 with Shenzhen as the first word in their business name. I we can get it all organized, I will be doing a happy hour live podcast, daily, out of a small lounge near Hall 8 … in that gray area just above Entrance F. That’s a lounge used by Invidis, which puts on the Digital Signage Summit.
ISE saw more than 73,000 attendees back in February, and in a few weeks, the number will likely be higher.
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.