Rebooted DSE’s Organizers Hire On Industry Vet David Drain To Build Conference Side Of Show

August 19, 2021 by Dave Haynes

The company that is re-booting Digital Signage Expo in March 2022 – and undoubtedly praying the U.S. really does get control over COVID by then – has brought on a familiar face to develop and run the conference side of the trade show.

David Drain

The events company Questex has hired industry veteran David Drain to be the Director of Event Programs. Drain, says Questex, will build a world-class education program for DSE 2022, covering every aspect of digital and interactive display technology, from concept and design to content and analytics.

Drain was with Networld Media Group for over 15 years, serving most recently as the Senior Vice President of Events and the Managing Director of the Interactive Customer Experience (ICX) Association.

A lot of people who have been around this business for a buncha years will know him from his days as Executive Director of the Self-Service & Kiosk Association and the following year co-founded the Digital Signage Association, which turned into the Digital Screenmedia Association and then ICX.

“We couldn’t be happier that David has joined the incredible team that’s being built for DSE,” says VP & Market Leader Marian Sandberg. “We recently announced our March 2022 show dates, that Brad Gleeson joined our team, and now the addition of David to build our conference program. DSE is in a strong position to lead the market into the next evolution of innovations in digital and interactive display technologies. We look forward to sharing more details about DSE in the near future.”

“I’m thrilled to be joining Questex and the DSE team specifically. I look forward to working with the many players in the digital signage and digital experience industries – some I’ve known for years — to make DSE the best it can be and an event not to be missed,” says Drain.

David has been around the industry forever, so he does indeed know a pile of people. I heard about the hire weeks ago from Kiosk Industry but was asked by Gleeson to keep it to myself while Drain sorted out his departure from Networld. I have no issue with David, his skills or experience, but I said to Gleeson the optics of a fresh start for a show and concept don’t mesh all that well with bringing on familiar old faces.

The hip side evident in the hero image at the top of the post does not quite line up with Drain, who – and I genuinely mean this in the nicest way – has the look and vibe of a guy who runs an insurance brokerage. Buttoned-down, professional and pleasant.

While I don’t think hiring only people who are unfamiliar with this technology and ecosystem makes sense either, this has a little bit of the “We’re getting the band back together” feel about it. The proof will be in the conference agenda, which I HOPE will not be the same predictable stuff and see panels and presentations stocked with people whose companies paid for their presence and mike time. Gleeson says it will not.

On the positive side, what I have seen of Questex is that the company does shows very differently than what DSE attendees saw for years and years.

DSE is now short for Digital Signage Experience (not Expo). It will take place March 21-23, 2022 in Las Vegas at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

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