DSSE Munich Wrap-Up, And Why I Need To Somehow Get Around Next Time Without Using The Rail Network

May 24, 2024 by Dave Haynes

I am sitting in a hotel room in Heidelberg, taking in coffee with a fast-running IV drip, recovering from a great couple of days at the invidis-run Digital Signage Summit Europe, and pondering how I get to Munich next year without getting anywhere near the German rail system again.

If I fly straight into Munich from Canada, I have to either double back two hours to Toronto or Montreal, or connect in Heathrow and stay overnight there. If I fly out of Halifax to Europe, I take an awesome direct flight on Condor to Frankfurt, but then I have to connect in Frankfurt to a Munich flight – and Frankfurt’s airport seems to be operating at about 3X the planned capacity. NOT a great airport. A new terminal is rising up, which will hopefully improve matters.

So after wrapping up in Munich I trained it here to lovely Heidelberg, so I could be close to my flight home tomorrow, but not be in Frankfurt – which from what I saw in a layover visit a few years back is only a must-see city if you are an insurance actuary or sell concrete.

My ride from Munich airport’s rail hub to Heidelberg was supposed to get me here by 6:30. I got here at nine. Late trains, missed connections, information counter people with the warmth of prison guards, passenger information and seat reservation screens that mostly didn’t work, no promised WiFi, and a final local train that just sat at the station for 35 minutes for no evident reason and no explanation.

My favorite part was finally getting in a taxi at my destination and learning the driver only took cash??? In a country that mostly seems to run on tapping credit and bank cards.

The German rail system is SOOO impressive in its breadth and availability, but good lord it was a mess for me. To be fair, the trains I took to Nuremberg when I flew in Sunday and then to Munich on Monday were on time and stuff worked.

So, by the time I was in my room last night, I had earned a goldfish bowl-sized Chianti.

Enough whining … I was too busy moderating a succession of panels – all good, I thought – to behave as a journalist and “cover” day two of the summit. But my editor friend who works for invidis and did the always excellent industry yearbook posted this good piece that sums things up, and allows me to go out today, see the old town and perhaps try some local beer.

Okay, more than perhaps try the beer …

Update – came across a brewer with a 10.5% dark beer. Only had a sampler so I didn’t tumble into the Neckar River.

Translated From Balthasar Meyer of invidis. If some passages read weirdly, that’s AI not quite turning German to English

Photos: Maarten Schuth/invidis/ISE)

“We will sit down for a day and let this whole conference sink in.”

Those were the words of a participant shortly after the wrap-up of DSS Europe 2024. Many others said similar things.

The DSS Europe 2024, which took place in Munich for two days, was a complete success. More than 500 participants were registered, the keynote saw at the beginning a packed main hall. The mood was very positive, the expectations of networks on a very high level once again met.

Needs for industry

The conference program was also packed, with panels in three different rooms. But the many panels and the high-profile speakers not only read well on paper, they were also necessary.

Because there is a lot to talk about in a digital signage industry, which senses new possibilities and at the same time has to get rid of their legacy. From pressure to more sustainability and the great challenge of IT security to potentially disruptive changes in the digital signage value chain.

The central role of software

Software is becoming more and more a determining component in the digital signage ecosystem. The demands on development and service are continuing to rise. This was shown by numerous panels dealing with this topic; the panel “Missing Standards in Digital Signage Software” was exemplary.

The topic of IT security is a particular challenge. In an increasingly networked world, digital signage is connected with other ecosystems, be it IT, merchandise management systems or, more recently, IOT environments that are opened up to B2B.

IT Security and Samsung Knox

As a result, silos are breaking up – good news, but the industry must be prepared for it, as invidis experts Florian Rotberg and Stefan Schieker, among others, noted in one of their five (!) Keynotes. IT security must always be considered in all business decisions, for example Lars Peters, Senior Vice President PVO at Ströer Out-of-Home Media, demanded.

DSSE 2024 - Impressionen von Tag 2 (Foto: Maarten Schuth/invidis/ISE)

The question about the future of digital signage software culminated in the presentation of or the discussions about Samsung VXT. As invidis reported, the platform vision could mean a disruption in the software landscape. The fact that this will affect other players and its relationship with Samsung was shown in the keyword “Disruption or Destruction”, which reflected the discussions. Despite all the criticism, everyone agreed: VXT is not perfect, but an innovation that the software landscape needs.

The official launch for the invidis Digital Signage Software Compass was among the many questions and uncertainties that accompanied the future of the software market. The first presentation generated a lot of interest, soon all details of the new premium offer will be announced, which brings professional, independent orientation to the signage software market.

ME – the first insights from this software benchmarking and analysis exercise were released behind closed doors, for companies that have paid for work. It is a PILE of work, as much as it would be nice to make it free for all, like just about every other notable research done in tech, reports are financed by subscriptions and licenses.

I WAS promised a review in the coming weeks.

Green signage must be on the agenda

The theme of Green Signage took a large space with its own track. Since 2021, invidis has been working on the topic, and last year it picked up speed – which is why we also launched a detailed green signage handbook.

DSSE 2024 - Impressionen von Tag 1 (Foto: Maarten Schuth/invidis/ISE)

ME – That’s Tobias Lang of Lang AG on left. SUPER knowledgeable head of family-owned AV disty in Europe. Good guy to know.

Now there was an update, and it turned out that the industry needs to do more homework – in all areas. Not because little has been done, but because there is still much to be done. Joe Cotugno of Broadsign assessed the industry’s Green Signage efforts with “0.5 of 10. We have already done a lot, but we have to do much more.”

Retail Media, a legitimate hype

Also dedicated to the topic of DooH were dedicated to some panels, especially a big hype: Instore Retail Media. Digital signage integrators have a chance to look at business with retail media networks.

DSSE 2024 - Impressionen von Tag 2 (Foto: Maarten Schuth/invidis/ISE)
But anyone who wants to enter the market must do it now, especially in Germany. Retailers want to be quickly entered the market and a lack of knowledge must be acquired quickly.

Speaking of Retail Media: The new invidis yearbook was presented in an exclusive print edition at DSS Europe. The latest findings and rankings for the digital signage industry are complemented by a Retail Media 101, which brings together the most important facts about retail media networks.

And much more

Was that all that was discussed at DSS Europe 2024? No. The second chance for retail analytics, the steep rise of Programmatic, the developments in hardware technology and developments in MENA/APAC, as well as in North America, were just a few topics that were also on the agenda. The invidis Strategy Awards were also presented again.

A fine, strong network

The abundance of content was again an excellent setting for networking – the part that for many is the real magic of DSS Europe. In addition to the traditional evening event, there was again plenty of time to inform yourself with the exhibitors or to have a confidential business conversation in a side course. Many participants reported that the DSS Europe saves several air travel every year.

And here, too, new possibilities have been added. Be it the Google Networking event the night before or the Women Networking Event of Lenovo on Thursday morning.

The value of the DSSE

At the end, both participants and organizers went home with a good feeling. The real value of the DSS Europe 2024 will be scaled once again after a day and the evaluation of new contacts will be once again clearer.

  1. craig keefner says:

    Last time I went to Munich (and Dusseldorf, Muenster and Berlin) I used the “hoppers” airline and it was nice. May have been Germanwings back then and now Lufthansa. Maybe Eurowings — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_airlines_of_Germany

Leave a comment