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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 …”
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.