At the end of February, the latest and greatest innovations will be showcased at the tenth annual Digital Signage Expo (DSE). Taking place February 26-28 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, those both established and new to the industry will be invited to take a look at what’s new in digital signage. “What we’d like to think of DSE as is the annual event where a lot of innovation is showcased,” says Chris Gibbs, president and COO of Exponation, which owns and produces DSE. “It’s like a little World’s Fair of the future.”
Over the past ten years, DSE has come a long way from its 10,000-square-foot show floor at the first expo in San Francisco in 2004. The industry itself has also progressed, and the barriers and costs to entering the market and purchasing displays have been significantly reduced. “When we first started this show, it was really cool technology, but only companies that had pretty hefty capital budgets were really investing in it,” says Gibbs. “The barrier of entry for different organizations to get into this market is becoming lower and lower so there’s more opportunities for companies like sign shops.
“All these different benefits are starting to hit smaller markets and those markets need to be served. It seems to me that sign builders, AV integrators, all these people out there that are in these smaller, local, regional markets are in the perfect position to take advantage of that and serve those areas,” continues Gibbs.
This year, DSE’s 2013 expo boasts a show floor of over 68,000 square feet, 200+ exhibitors, and a pre-registered number of attendees that is tracking higher than this time last year.
Technology & Products
Gibbs says that there have been a number of advances in technology this year, as well. Attendees can expect to see ultra-HD and transparent displays, mobile integration, large video wall applications, and small format video applications for devices like tablets.
One of the biggest trends this year is the development of interactivity via gestural or touch displays. “Because so many consumers have smart phones in their pockets, they’re looking for that same functionality when they come up to a screen,” says Gibbs. “So most screens now if they’re at eye level, if they’re within touching distance of a consumer, are almost forced to be interactive.”
In addition to viewing the latest products, attendees will also be able to take advantage of a variety of educational opportunities. And those new to the industry will want to check out the Digital Signage Expert Group’s one-day seminars. These seminars provide a powerful understanding and overview of the industry without getting overly technical. At the end of the seminar, participants take a test to become certified as a Digital Signage Expert.
For those already certified, DSE’s education seminars offer credits to renew that certification. (Note: Digital signage industry professionals who hold a certification need to acquire 15 ERC credits (i.e. fifteen additional hours of education) over three years to renew their certifications.)
“The whole point is that this is a place they can get a lot of these different credits,” says Gibbs. “Not only can they get certified, but if they come back to the show the following year, they can get credits towards their certification so they can keep their certification active.”
In addition to paid seminars, DSE is also offering over forty free educational sessions and workshops on the show floor. The free sessions are dedicated to digital signage, interactive technology, and digital content.
For those attendees looking to learn more about what’s on the horizon for digital signage, DSE offers two keynotes.
1. “Looking Forward by Looking Back: A Futuristic Retrospective on the Trends in Display & Digital Signage,” by Dr. Peter Bocko, CTO, Corning Glass Technology
Wednesday, February 27, 7:30-9:00 am
“He’s going to be speaking about a lot of what he sees in the future for, not just digital signage, but everything we do in our life when it comes to digital and glass and touch and how it’s going to interact with our lives,” says Gibbs.
To get an idea of what to expect, check out Corning Glass’s two videos, which explore “A Day of Glass”: Part 1 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Cf7IL_eZ38) and Part 2 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZkHpNnXLB0)
2. “Digital Signage 2020: Eyes on the Future,” Moderator: Richard Lebovitz; Panelists: Curt Bailey, Tim Huckaby, Christine Outram, and Jared Schiffman
Thursday, February 28, 7:30-9:00 am
The presentation will cover cutting-edge display applications that are expected to develop over the next ten years.
Attendees are also invited to DSE’s Networking Reception on Wednesday, February 27, from 5:30-7:00 pm at the Renaissance Hotel.
The event is free for show attendees and is an excellent opportunity to network off the show floor. The reception will also be commemorating DSE’s tenth anniversary.
Directly following the reception will be the DSE 2013 Awards Dinner at the Paris Hotel, which celebrates the Apex & Digital Content award winners.
For those shops thinking about incorporating digital signage into their offerings, the Digital Signage Expo has a lot to offer. “At minimum, the sign companies should be looking at companies they can partner with to grow both of their bottom lines,” says Gibbs. “If you want to stay ahead of this curve and you want to make sure you’re incorporating this into your business, there’s really no other place that can do it like DSE.”
Digital Signage Expo 2013 will be at the Las Vegas Convention Center February 26-28. For more information about DSE or to register to attend and learn more about digital signage, go to www.DSEnow.com.
By Ashley Bray
All photos courtesy of DSE & Exponation.