The events and publishing company that bought the auctioned rights and assets of Digital Signage Expo earlier this year has confirmed plans for a reboot of the trade show and conference next March in Las Vegas.
As suspected, Questex’s re-launch will be March 21-23, 2022 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, and it will operate concurrently with the Bar & Restaurant Expo (formerly Nightclub & Bar Show), which Questex has operated for many years.
“Our research shows that the industry strongly desires an event that brings digital signage suppliers and solution providers together with designers, buyers and stakeholders in a wide range of adjacent and vertical markets,” says Marian Sandberg, a Questex VP & Market Leader. “ The conference program will be designed to attract and engage a broader audience, focused on innovative applications and outcomes, while the exhibitor list will expand beyond digital signage equipment providers to those who use digital technology to design and implement experiences that attract, inform, educate and entertain.”
“Our goal,” she adds, “is to design an event that becomes the foundation for a digital community platform and calendar of events that encompass the interests and goals of a broad community interested in how digital media technology can enhance lives and experiences in the physical world.”
The company also confirmed that industry veteran Brad Gleeson, a Managing Partner of the Portland, OR-area consulting firm TargetPath, is helping guide the re-launch and tap industry sentiments. Gleeson goes way back with the show and he was a founder of Digital Signage Magazine, the DIGI awards, the first digital signage tradeshow now DSE, and “other initiatives that helped build the foundation of the digital signage industry.”
DSE also announced an Advisory Board that has a pile of familiar industry people:
- Rich Ventura, VP, Sony B2B
- Rick Robinson, Chief Strategy Office, Billups
- Dorothy DiStefano, Director of Research, Immersive Art, Digital Placemaking Institute
- Marcos Terenzio, VP, Creative & Strategy, iGotcha Media
- Laura Davis-Taylor, Chief Strategy Officer, InReality
- Nick Belcore, EVP, Peerless-AV
- Jeff Hastings, CEO, BrightSign
- Jackie Walker, Digital Signage Subject Matter Expert and Strategy Lead, Publicis Sapient
- Stephanie Gutnik, Global Head of DOOH, Verizon
- Sandra Richter, CEO, Soofa
- Cherian Thomas, CEO, Octopus Interactive
- Brad Gleeson, Managing Partner, TargetPath
Sixteen:Nine did a podcast a couple of weeks back with Questex CEO Paul Miller, who hinted at most of today’s announcement.
There are no details on what a revived DSE looks like and how it works. Miller said in the podcast that he and his team understood that just picking back up where Exponation left off would be a bad strategy. But what was also clear is that the industry wants its own show, and think ISE and InfoComm – which are mass, aggregated events that can include things like audio and even home automation – are not full replacements. It is kinda like the difference between going to a department store or mall, or going to a specialty store.
As someone suggested in a survey I did earlier in the year, digital signage industry people crave the experience of going to a location and event for two or three days that is JUST about their industry.
I think this will all be fascinating to watch unfold. The original operators of the show were a small family operation that did a handful of shows annually, while Questex is a substantial, multinational exposition and publishing house that works across numerous vertical industries.
I have also been impressed by the effort to learn and tie in to the industry, and not just crack a template and put digital signage in the title, instead of Office Automation or Neuroscience Advances. There was a Toronto company called The Strategy Institute doing digital signage conferences back in the 2000s, and they always had that feel of being put on by people who just barely knew the industry.