SID Converts Its 2020 Display Week To A Virtual Event

June 11, 2020 by Dave Haynes

The display industry nerd-fest known as SID/Display Week has been converted to a virtual event, scheduled for August 3-7.

Formally known as the 57th International Symposium, Seminar and Exhibition, the event put on by the Society for Information Display “will bring together the brightest minds in the display industry to provide insight into the latest advancements, and showcase new technologies and products that will be hitting the shelves both in the US and internationally within the next few years.”

“If you are used to the business conference, panel sessions, technical sessions, symposium,” the organization continues, “all of that will still be taking place, just virtually.”

Having been to this event in 2019, I think much of it will translate quite well to web conferencing – as a lot of the good, interesting stuff was in darkened theaters, involving presentations by scientists and engineers who were heavy on detail and very light on showmanship.

What will suffer is the trade show exhibit component – a fairly modest hall filled with reference designs and prototypes for emerging tech like OLED, quantum dots, light field displays and various versions of LED. It is the sort of thing you pretty much need to see in person … but what do you do when there’s a pandemic.

“As a leader in the industry committed to the advancement of display technologies, we’re very excited to present Display Week 2020 as a virtual experience,” says Dr. Helge Seetzen, president of SID, in a press release. “After months of careful planning to ensure a smooth transition from an in-person conference to online, we will offer everything our community has come to expect from this important annual event that supports and connects the entire display supply chain and ecosystem.”

“This virtual event offers many advantages,” noted Sam (Samantha) Phenix, Display Week 2020 Conference Co-chair. “Attendees will be able to hear from thought leaders, see the latest tech, and connect with industry colleagues and friends from the comfort of home offices or other locations. And, with the content being online and self-paced, they’ll be able to do everything at their convenience.”

“Additionally, we’re able to offer broader access to those who otherwise may not have been able to attend due to travel restrictions or expense.”

Display Week 2020 will feature both live and recorded sessions. Highlights include:

International Technical Symposium (Aug. 3-7): Through more than 500 technical presentations, including posters and papers, presenters will share the newest thinking about these special topics: augmented reality, virtual reality and mixed reality; high-dynamic-range LCDs; machine learning for displays; and printed displays.

Business Conference (Aug. 3-7): Presented by DSCC, the Display Week 2020 Business Conference will address the key business issues facing the display industry. Sessions will feature the market outlook for displays, equipment, materials, smartphones, TVs, PCs, monitors and automotive displays; and will include forecasts from brands, manufacturers, suppliers and analysts on supply, demand, pricing, 5G, OLEDs, 8K, foldable, mini-LEDs, micro-LEDs, quantum dots, new phosphors and TADF materials. 

World-class Exhibitors (Aug. 3-7): Premier global information display companies and researchers will unveil cutting-edge developments in display technologies, including advancements in AR/VR, micro-LED, OLED, micro-displays, e-paper, digital signage, new materials and software-enabled displays.

Innovation Zone (I-Zone) (Aug. 3-7): A premier showcase for small companies, startups, universities, government labs and independent research labs, the I-Zone exhibition includes not-yet-commercialized prototypes, proofs of concept, and new products that haven’t even hit the market yet.

Industry-leading Keynote Speakers: Display Week 2020 will present three of today’s foremost technology thought leaders: Robert Wisnieff, CTO and Distinguished Research Staff Member, IBM T.J. Watson Research Center; David Luebke, Vice President of Research, NVIDIA Corporation; and Dr. Michael Heckmeier, Executive Vice President, Merck KGaA.

CEO Forum (Aug. 5) and Women in Tech (Aug. 6) Panel Discussions: Returning for a fourth year, these dynamic sessions include top business leaders and technologists, CEOs and other senior executives from internationally renowned companies who will share their personal and professional insights about what it takes to succeed in the display industry.

CEO Forum panelists: Owen Lozman, Head, M Ventures, Merck KGaA; Annie Rogaski, Chief Operating Officer, Avegant Corp.; and Scott Soong, CEO, Pervasive Displays. Moderated by Sri Peruvemba, CEO, Marketer International Inc., Executive Board Member and Chair of Marketing, SID

Women in Tech panelists: Bev Brown, Chief Scientist, SmartKem, Ltd.; Sepideh Nasiri, Entrepreneur; and Bob Raikes, Principal and Managing Editor, Meko, Ltd. Moderated by Tara Akhavan, Ph.D., CEO, Faurecia IRYStec.

Educational Opportunities: Short courses and specialized seminars, presented by recognized experts in the field, provide deep learning opportunities on a wide range of topics, including AR/VR, OLED, micro-LEDs, quantum dots, mini-LEDs, flexible AMOLED and stretchable displays.

For more information and to register for Display Week 2020, visit

I feel badly for the organizers who would have put a pile of volunteer work into this event, but as noted, much of this will translate pretty nicely to Zoom, Webex, Teams or whatever.

Selfishly, I’m happy ‘cuz I can attend without having to wear a Bio Safety Level 4 suit on Air Canada, which would severely restrict my ability to have a couple of mini bottles of red wine … and make restroom breaks, ummm, interesting. Plus this show was in San Francisco, where hotel room nights cost about as much as airfare.

You should be warned that many of the presentations are VERY technical, and there were many moments last year in San Jose where I was undoubtedly cross-eyed in my seat, bubbles forming on my lips.

But there’s good stuff to pick out, and the DSCC business conference is excellent, and at a level mere mortals can grasp.

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