DSE 2023 Day Two Impressions: Surprisingly Happy Exhibitors

December 6, 2023 by Dave Haynes

The second and final day of the 2023 exhibit hall at Digital Signage Experience was very, very slow, but the folks standing around shooting the breeze at their stands were surprisingly happy – because Day 1 seems to have had enough volume and opportunity to make the investment and effort worthwhile.

I’m sure there are exhibitors who didn’t share that sentiment, but the ones I spoke with were generally pleased with the walk-up traffic and the opportunity to see a bunch of partners, existing customers and complementary tech in a short space of time, and without traveling here, there and everywhere to do that.

One vendor told me they captured north of 100 new business leads and closed a deal on the floor.

The combination of a small hall, limited competition and more time than normal for people to chat worked out. So in an odd way, those companies who decided to show benefitted from DSE’s small size. One guy said at the old DSE – with 200-plus vendors with stands – his budget was such that they would have been waaaaay at the back of the hall, and seen far fewer people.

So what does that mean for the future of the show. I have thoughts and will post those separately.

Here are some quick notes from zipping around chatting with people on Day Two.

Minneapolis software shop Skykit is now heavily focused on workplace and digital dashboards, and they have a standalone device management product for Android that supports players running on that operating system – including other CMS platforms. $5 a month, and lower at scale.

Dallas-based CMS firm Korbyt was showing its new Experiential Signage – a “no-code” solution that lets users manage and customize digital experiences. The toolset lets users create experiences by connecting and syncing “triggers” and “actions” that deliver the intended experience on screens. I’ll need a demo of that to get my head around it.

Kitcast, which is based I forget where, is in the final throes of a big new release and enhancement of its CMS platform – which is entirely built around Apple TV. They are adding BrightSign support, however.

I got a lightning fast demo of Design Huddle’s creative development software, which interestingly can sit white-labeled inside a CMS. Very impressive and the guys were having a lot of serious chats with CMS firms. I did this podcast with the founder recently.

Glass Media, a Dallas company that started out doing small factor projection for retail, has really branched out from there to a variety of LCD products for retail, including square displays for merchandising. But what was particularly interesting was the company’s development of PEERVSN virtual presence displays that have some similarities to what Proto and others do with transparent displays I call hologram-ish.

This product line skips the transparent part and its technical challenges and uses regular LCDs, and iPads as the video capture devices. I recorded notes and will write a bit more on that later.

The happy part of a small show is I had lotsa time to chat with people … which is rare.

I ran over to the LDI side of the show. It is heavily about live events – so the hall is darkened and there are lights and music and fog and you name it. Major sensory overload.

Not much overlap with signage over there, though there were numerous Chinese LED manufacturers – both the big familiar lines and lots of others I know little about. More on that side when I have time.

I had time to walk over to see the Sphere up close, which in some respects is a mistake. It’s an interesting perspective from a technical aspect – but the seamless visuals seen at a distance are pulled apart when up close – like seeing a 10mm digital billboard from just a few feet away.

Impressive beast, nonetheless.

Time to go home, to snow … sigh.

Safe travels all.

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