Future DSE Survey: Early Results And Call For A Few More Responses

I just need a few more responses to that survey pushed out earlier in the week, asking about whether the industry needs a standalone replacement for the DSE trade show, or if the big pro AV trade shows suffice.

I have 133 responses as I type this, and an online calculator I used suggested based on an industry of 12,000 people (semi-educated guess), I’d need 142 to have a valid sample. I’m not forecasting anything, so validity is not a big driver here. But it is useful to know 140 or so responses has some meaning.

Research pros would undoubtedly roll their eyes like 13-year-old girls upon seeing the quality and phrasing of my questions, and methodology, but this is gonna have to do.

What respondents are saying:

  • almost an even split on whether a standalone show is needed;
  • same for whether ISE or InfoComm are the answer;
  • big NO on virtual conferences sufficing;
  • a clear indicator that networking and one-to-one vendor-client “touches” are seen as the biggest argument and value of an in-person show/conference/event;
  • education, which I assumed would be a big attraction, barely registers. This may owe in part to readers/respondents already being “in” the ecosystem, as opposed to newbies and end-users who go to a show to get up-to-speed via learning sessions.

I’d always thought the industry needed some sort of focused gathering that was not part of a much larger event, like an ISE. This kinda drives that point home, though I am not sure the economics of a trade show – done the way DSE was done – will work in 2021 and beyond.

Assuming I get a few more responses, I’ll publish the findings and some select comments next week. Thanks to those who took a few minutes to provide their views!

5 thoughts on “Future DSE Survey: Early Results And Call For A Few More Responses”

  1. It may be a good time to consider a multi-segment show. One problem with DSE and digital signage is that they found themselves more and more needing to bring in interactive and kiosks basically to form a nucleus of support. Currently kiosk companies go the NRF or NRA path since there is no dedicated show for kiosks.

    Judging from RFPs and budgets of SLED market some ideas are embedding more of the Education market for starters. Have a hall for digital signage, a hall for interactive (schools, transit, etc) and a hall for kiosks. Thinclients with Chromebooks (now with NFC devices) is another huge budget area.

    Three-legged stools are safer than one or two legged stools.

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  2. I filled out the survey. As exhibitor, in favor of a dedicated event for digital signage that can (maybe even should) also include kiosks. InfoComm is more of a ‘gearhead’ show where dedicated signage companies are relegated to the end of the hall that gets a lot less traffic.

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    • Yup, I tell people InfoComm is terrific but skews to the gearhead crowd. The VP Merchandising for a big apparel chain would walk on the floor and probably go cross-eyed, wondering why he’s at a show with aisles filled with audio equipment, cables and connectors and live event lighting trusses.

  3. Thanks for hosting this survey, Dave.

    Before the ultimate demise of DSE, there was a cross-functional team (of which I was a part) exploring the evolution of this industry and subsequently how best to re-brand DSE to ensure relevance and support its future. The team was clearly leaning toward 2 terms: “Connected” and “Experience” as integral to where the industry is headed, including expansion into IoT technologies and Creative Services critical to ensuring technology investments ultimately realize investment potential. I agree that a traditional Trade Show with giant booths and breakout sessions likely won’t suffice in serving the needs of this industry going forward.

    We need a means of showcasing not only Hardware and Software innovation, but use-case illustrations and Creative Services capabilities in a meaningful way. Ideally, these would be aligned by Market Verticals so those new to the industry can better appreciate the entire value-chain. In my opinion this should include Systems Integration firms typically not included in Pro AV circles, but growing to influence the market rapidly. Firms such as IBM, CapGemeni, Tata, Deloitte and Accenture are leading client engagements to drive digital transformation, which increasingly encompasses considering transformation of physical spaces rather than just cloud migration services. These firms need a means of educating their consultants and clients on Digital Signage and Pro AV applications as much as our industry needs to better understand the increasing range of digital integration workflows and how customers intend to deploy them.

    We’ve seen the recent rise of ACE – ‘Advocates for Connected Experiences’…a consortium of Industry Associations all tied to shaping the future of delivering digital experiences in physical spaces…this seems a great foundation to frame the next iteration for what DSE aspired to be and ultimately where we are headed.

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