With InfoComm Over, Digital Signage Industry Attention In North America Now Turns To DSE
June 13, 2022 by Dave Haynes
With InfoComm in the rear-view mirror, the next North American trade show/conference with a heavy or sole focus on digital signage is Digital Signage Experience – the reboot of DSE set for November, back in Las Vegas.
That city was mind-bendingly hot last week – hot like when you open an oven to pull something out, except not momentary – so the notion of being there in the fall, when it is actually pleasant outside, is attractive. The show is also at the LVCC, but in one hall.
One of the reasons it can be contained in one hall is that it will likely be small or small-ish. The show was always dwarfed by the big AV trade shows that cover many markets and technologies, but as Questex – the company that bought the assets out of bankruptcy – revives the event, it has to build up awareness and confidence.
I have been paying attention to the exhibitor count, and it remains pretty low, at roughly 40 vendor stands and about eight more stands that are allocated to association partners like the DSF and SEGD. Now that InfoComm and ISE are done and the busy spring trade show schedule is over, it is likely a lot of vendor marketers and their bosses will be giving DSE another think on securing a stand, or sending people.
While the list is short, there’s already a decent mix of manufacturers to see, like Brightsign, Sony, Sharp/NEC, Google, Spectrio, Peerless-AV, Screenfeed and Intuiface. No LG or Samsung, but that may well change as those companies take breaths from a busy couple of quarters for events.
There will also be numerous familiar vendors at what will be a sister show – the well-established LDI Show that caters to the tech people in the live events and XR spaces. Companies like Absen, who had an LED and XR stand last week at InfoComm, are at LDI, for example. Both shows run in the same time window at the LVCC, which likely makes it quite cost-efficient for Questex in terms of people and logistics.
My sense coming out of the InfoComm experience – based on observation, conversation and a lot of social media chatter – is that industry people were less concerned about seeing new stuff and getting product demos than they were with connecting once again with customers and business partners. While InfoComm and ISE definitely do that, they are shows serving all kinds of technologies like unified communications and audio. The only trade show looking squarely and only at digital signage is DSE, and I think that will pull a lot of people who want and need an annual meet-up. I always thought the old DSE was more successful as almost a convention than as a tech showcase – like a Rotarians convention, except the chapters are digital signage people like the software people, the creatives, the gear folks and so on.
Everything’s still weird out there – between COVID, supply chains and a wobbling economy – so I don’t think it’s possible to get a read on the fortunes of this reboot just yet. I am planning to be there, am participating in the conference tracks, and have space reserved for the annual Sixteen:Nine mixer, back at the Hard Rock. I was asked about doing a mixer at InfoComm, but VERY glad I did not, as there were countless social functions around Las Vegas last week, including a very well-attended digital signage-centric one put on by AVIXA and the DSF.
Sixteen:Nine will be looking again for sponsors for that one, though some have rolled over (and over) from events planned, postponed and cancelled the past two-plus years.