I think Toronto-based Capital Networks may be the longest-running sponsor of the annual 16:9 Mixer ahead of Digital Signage Expo, going back many, many years.
I have known these guys for 20 years and think I was, when I ran ops for a digital OOH company, one of the software company’s larger clients. That’s way in the past, but they’ve been fast friends ever since, as well as big-time supporters of 16:9. The company’s ad banner has been atop 16:9 for I dunno how long – many years.
The company, which has its roots in broadcast software and still does that as well as digital signage, will soon celebrate 28 years in business. President Jim Vair has been there at least 20 years, and has been gradually taking over from founder Bil Trainor, who is semi-retired and living within putting distance of the first hole of the golf course he’s a member at – north of Toronto.
Bil (yup, one L – he jokes his parents were poor and couldn’t afford two Ls when he was born) may actually be the nicest man in digital signage. Very funny, old school gentleman.
Anyway, Capital has not done a booth at DSE for 2-3 years – putting its trade show dollars instead into some highly-focused vertical market events, where the company is often the only vendor on the exhibit hall floor offering digital signage solutions.
Vair and account exec Kelly Smith, now like me a DSF board member, will be around the show meeting with partners and clients, and checking out tech that may fit customer needs.
While many companies are chasing retail hard, Capital has spent more time in areas like corporate comms for workplaces, and an interesting, under-served vertical – municipal governments. A LOT of CNL’s clients are within a couple of hours of Toronto, though there are some that are much further afield.
The company says it offers “flexible digital signage solutions that allow clients to easily expand networks over time using a variety of media players and screens that best suit their needs.”
“We’re seeing a number of clients that just want to start with meeting room signage,” says CNL marketing head Morgan Henderson, “but after seeing success with that initial deployment, are looking to expand their network to different types of displays used for different types of communication).”
You can learn more about Capital Networks on its website …
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.