Rising COVID Cases In EU Force Cancellation Of Digital Signage Summit In Munich

August 13, 2021 by Dave Haynes

The accelerated push back to normalcy and vaccine hesitancy or denials has taken out yet more plans for industry events this fall – with news overnight that the annual Digital Signage Summit in Germany has been cancelled.

Invidis, the longtime event’s Munich-based organizers, say the “current pandemic development as well as the health requirements for trade fairs and conferences prevent the successful implementation of DSS Europe 2021 on the planned date at the end of September.”

“The cancellation is particularly difficult because this year the conference received a record number of exhibitors, speakers and participants,” says Florian Rotberg, one of the owners of the consultancy and German language publishing firm.

Until the end of July, the DSS was on a record course, the industry and end customers were highly motivated and determined to meet again in person and live, to exchange ideas and to attend lectures and panel discussions by international thought leaders. However, the rapid increase in COVID incidence values, stricter safety and health requirements for major events and the extended or tightened business travel regulations of many companies make it impossible to hold DSS Europe 2021.

Yup, until the end of July I was planning on making my first airplane trip, period, in forever, to get over to the event in Munich. But it started growing evident in the last couple of weeks that we’re not, collectively, through this mess – though we could be in a far better state than what’s being seen in most countries that have broad vaccine access.

Such a shame.

Rotberg says his team looked into running the event outside of Germany, in countries where cases have not been rising at a worrying pace, but it wasn’t feasible. They discussed once again doing a virtual event from a broadcast studio – as was done in 2020 – but concluded people are kind of done with virtual shows and conferences, after 18 months spent on Zoom, Teams and Meet.

Integrated Systems Events, the company that runs ISE for CEDIA and AVIXA, also has a role with the Summit, and Mike Blackman, Managing Director, says the decision to cancel had much to do with being unable to strike a balance between health and safety concerns and the need for commerce and face-to-face interaction. 

“These two factors have had shifting weight throughout the year, but as the scheduled date approaches we have come to the conclusion that the best solution for all of us is to cancel this year’s edition,” says Blackman. “This decision has come after discussions with exhibitors, the venue and local authorities.”

A version of DSS also runs each year with Integrated Systems Europe, which please God is still taking place in early February, 2022, in Barcelona.

If you are fortunate to live in a part of the world that has easy access to proven vaccines, stop ingesting all the conspiratorial nonsense on far right wing news sites and Facebook and just do it.

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