DSF’s Coffee And Controversy Draws Record Crowd

Just back at World HQ after a lightning quick trip in and out of New York – mostly to attend and moderate the Digital Signage Federation’s annual Coffee and Controversy breakfast event.

It was at Google’s NYC offices – which are predictably nice. The tech giant has a terrific events auditorium/presentation center/whatever they call it, with full-time, high-quality AV and lighting, and comfy seating. It’s next to the company’s dining area – which gave me and others a glimpse of life in a company rich in employee perks. No cafeteria at employers in my past  ever looked liked that, or was free. That said, my kitchen is nice and my home office is maybe 12 feet away.

I believe the crowd was 225-ish, which is the largest Coffee and Controversy to date. The first one, a few years back now, attracted 30. The photo above was kindly provided by David Keene of digiDaybook.

Chris Riegel of Strata-something, Jeff Hastings of Brightsign and Beth Warren of Creative Realities were the panelists. All the feedback I got was very positive. Riegel – whose brands include Stratacache, Scala, Real Digital Media, X2O and Walkbase – unsurprisingly lobbed the most grenades, talking about tight-fisted retailers and the perils of using “smart” displays from certain manufacturers.

Two or three people suggested to me after that the panel could have been MORE controversial, but in reflection, it’s just not the most controversial industry. It’s not like we’re manufacturing arms or using slave labor (unless you count summer interns). I’d also promised Hastings I wouldn’t bring up his unfortunate period in jail.

I’M KIDDING!!!

The good news, if you were not in the crowd, is the very nice and helpful women who run the AV for Google’s theater kindly recorded the proceedings and gave me the big-ass audio file. It’s off with my podcast editor already, and I’ll have up on the 16:9 Podcast this time next week.

In other Digital Signage Week observations (keeping in mind I was in and out in a blink), the annual PJ Solomon party put on by DOOH-focused merchant banker Mark Boidman was jammed with industry people, including many Canadians attracted by the siren call of free drinks and free food.

I managed to squirt out of the PJ crowd in time to Uber down to ComQi’s offices for its open house, which was also crammed with people. Last year, ComQi took over a retail storefront, but this year they were were able to show their pots and pans at expanded space in its longtime NYC offices. Now owned by giant Taiwan display manufacturer AUO, the company now has a showroom filled with a variety of screen options and ideas.

The NYDSW thing goes on all week. Details here: http://newyork2018.digitalsignageweek.com/

Dave Haynes

Dave Haynes

Editor/Founder at Sixteen:Nine
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for more than 12 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.
Dave Haynes

@sixteennine

13-year-old blog & podcast about digital signage & related tech, written by consultant, analyst & BS filter Dave Haynes. DNA test - 90% Celt/10% Viking. 😏😜🍺
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Dave Haynes

1 thought on “DSF’s Coffee And Controversy Draws Record Crowd”

  1. It was a great day (but long night) for Digital Signage folks that started out with Coffee and Conversation and ended it with the ComQi mixer. Such interesting conversation and insight with industry experts. Great to see you Dave!

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