DSE Updates Show Plans; Still Tracking For September And Saying Fall Shows Are New Norm

June 11, 2020 by Dave Haynes

You have likely seen news out of Las Vegas that at least some of the casino resorts are back in operation, and the city is opening up again.

That news is at least one box checked in the efforts by the Exponation people to stage a delayed Digital Signage Expo in the city, shifted from early spring to September.

The DSE people issued an update Wednesday, saying the show still intends to go on. The big news, however, may be that DSE now intends to permanently run the show in the fall, after 15+ years of doing it somewhere between mid-February and early April.

That means the show would not be competing for attendance and exhibitor budgets when it is wedged in between CES and ISE ahead of it, GlobalShop around the same time, and NAB and InfoComm after, as well as some other big vertical industry shows run in Q1 and Q2.

There’s not, by comparison, a lot shaking in industry-related trade shows or conferences each September.

The one event organizer who might be a little cranky about this is Adrian Cotterill, who has built New York Digital Signage Week into a real thing, filling a void for signage-related networking in the fall. This would see DSE and NYDSW being in the same general time window.

Here’s what DSE is saying:

As we move towards opening day on September 15, we want you to know we are taking every step available to create a safe and secure show experience.

Working in partnership with the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC), a state-run facility with advanced practices and procedures on how to maintain a safe and secure trade show environment, DSE 2020 will be a safe and controlled environment where exhibitors and attendees can interact.

For more information regarding the Safety Policies and Procedures direct from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, go to www.lvcva.com/covid-19-resources.
Along with the LVCC, DSE 2020 is also directing our vendors, including Shepard Convention Services, Freeman AV, and all others, to continue to follow a rigorous safety regimen when interacting with our community.

Our #1 PRIORITY is to deliver a safe and robust marketplace to serve and secure the future of our industry as we eventually move past the COVID-19 pandemic.

Frequently Asked Questions
Why September?

After making the necessary, but very difficult, decision to postpone the previously scheduled DSE 2020 in April, we chose to move forward to secure the health and prosperity of our industry’s future.

With new dates in September (future DSE events will also be staged in the fall as opposed to our original spring event format), we now have the runway to adapt to this ever-changing environment and will continue to evaluate our show plan as we get closer to opening day.

So many shows decided to cancel. Why not DSE?

DSE has always charted its own path and we will 100% continue to support our industry and focus on OUR show. In doing so, we chose to move forward with our plans to provide a robust marketplace and educational platform for our audience this calendar year.

However, we are monitoring what other shows are doing in terms of postponement, cancellation and best practices. We have consulted with all necessary trade show industry leaders and policy-makers, organizations such as the Digital Signage Federation (DSF), and other advisory committees. All unanimously support our intent to stage DSE 2020 this September.

What are you doing to secure our safety during the event?

Our #1 PRIORITY is YOU. Show Management is working non-stop in this ever-changing environment to secure your health and safety. We will comply with all LVCC Guidelines when planning every aspect of the event—from our initial contact with you at On-Site Registration to seating arrangement changes during our Seminars and Workshops and even how we direct the flow of traffic on the Exhibit Hall Floor. You can feel confident in your decision to participate in DSE 2020.

Who knows what things will look like through the summer and heading into September. While the US northeast is not the hot zone it was just a few weeks ago, Arizona immediately borders Nevada and the case counts are going way up there, not down.

I also think it’s going to be tough to ask people to get on planes. For me to go, I’m looking at seven or so hours over two connecting flights, and putting myself in quarantine for two weeks once back in Nova Scotia.

There’s no doubt that the DSE folks and all the stakeholders will do all they can to make for a safe environment and show.


I think the real challenge is getting people to come. Big companies may just flat bar non-critical travel by staff. Others facing long flights, or worried about bringing the virus back to vulnerable family members, may just decide “Not this year …”

  1. Geoff says:

    I continue to find DSE’s communications tone-deaf. This is not nearly as bad as the highly questionable “show must go on, the problems with the virus are in other countries” messaging from the winter (complete with stats by country – who greenlit that?), but this still shows a lack of reality.

    “DSE has always charted its own path and we will 100% continue to support our industry and focus on OUR show.” – well, that’s nice I guess. This basically translates to me the reader as saying “we’re looking out for ourselves,” despite the token nod to supporting the industry. Charting their own path means nothing to most people.

    “However, we are monitoring what other shows are doing in terms of postponement, cancellation and best practices.” Are you? Because pretty much every other event through EOY has cancelled or moved to 2021. This is nothing but pure boilerplate speak, along with most of the rest of the announcement.

    I don’t mean to be negative, and I wish the organization prosperity as well as the exhibitors and the industry at large. The COVID situation has been brutal, but I think staging an event of this scale before a vaccine, especially indoors, is ill-advised. Outdoors? Perhaps that’s an idea…but still, who is going to come?

    Focus instead on a Fall 2021 event with a grand return. Why force this?

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