Digital Signage Expo 2016 ran from March 15-18 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, featuring more than 200 exhibitors displaying the latest trends in software, hardware and content delivery from nearly every corner of the world. On-floor workshops helped attendees see in-depth information about specific products and technologies.
Many end users like me attended the show, but not every organization is capable of designing and planning its own digital signage network, not to mention overseeing or deploying a successful installation. DSE provided a great opportunity for systems integrators in attendance to network with potential customers and to learn what end users really need. DSE provided the opportunity for integrators to consider expanding their services to accommodate these potential customers, which can increase the perceived value of hiring a professional AV integrator to ensure that an installation or digital network expansion goes smoothly. Simply put, the more you know about a customer’s business, the more opportunity you have to recommend solutions that drive additional revenue through that digital signage communications network
While visiting the DSE exhibit floor, my goal was to be on the lookout for new and upcoming hardware, such as brighter display technology designed to make the content pop, and did I ever find it! The new and improved indoor and outdoor displays show just how far technology has come. The displays showcased were simply amazing in color and clarity, and the nits offered make it clear why outdoor signage is becoming such a big player in the digital signage world.
On the topic of outdoor signage, there was also an on-floor workshop geared specifically on what to do, and more importantly, what not to do when designing an outdoor installation. Placement is everything, whether used in the retail realm where attracting new customers is objective number one, or even when implementing an outdoor sign used to welcome visitors or other messages for corporate communications. You want to ensure you have the best location for the oncoming traffic to view.
In addition to where an outdoor sign should be displayed, that workshop taught me that content, which is still king when it comes to digital signage, is an entirely different animal. The colors used, as well as those not used, are completely different from what is shown on an indoor display. Colors have to be brighter, more deeply hued and pop, something I like to refer to as “cartoon” colors. Without the right content, specifically color, the outdoor sign won’t satisfy its intended purpose.
Another impression I came back with from DSE was the number of hardware vendors that have collaborated with content creation software vendors. Having those integrated allows for one-stop shopping for end users. This will help professional AV integrators to branch out to include this capability without stepping out of their comfort zone. Certainly, having such knowledge might help steer a customer in your direction instead of to another systems integration firm.
Understanding how various software packages work, including those that focus on content management, is another important tool, and should be part of an integrator’s arsenal.
If you attended DSE and stopped by the Digital Signage Federation (DSF) booth, you would have discovered a new Systems Integrator Committee, comprised of organizations that focus on delivering solutions related to digital signage. This committee represents DSF constituents from the traditional reseller, commercial AV, distribution and value-added reseller communities. Each brings a different level of understanding to help the DSF serve the needs of this industry sector.
Hope to see you in Las Vegas at DSE 2017, March 28-30!
Editor’s Note: Author Penny Carter is a member of the Digital Signage Federation (DSF), which holds monthly Hangout events on a variety of industry topics. More information on DSF events can be found on the DSF website. Both DSF members and non-members may join any of the DSF’s scheduled Hangout discussions for free – but registration is required and can be accessed on the DSF website events page at http://digitalsignagefederation.com/industryevents.