The digital signage and digital out-of-home advertising industries take Manhattan next week as both converge on New York City for a series of events, running the scales from advertising to hardware to investments.
The Digital Place-based Advertising Association's Digital Media Summit is set for 8 a.m.-5 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 16, at the Hilton New York in Midtown — and the DPAA is saying it will be its largest Digital Media Summit yet, with 500 agencies, brand marketers, networks, and research and technology partners in attendance for the full-day event.
According to the DPAA, the program is packed with industry thought leaders and panels on key issues facing the digital place-based (or digital out-of-home) advertising industry, including case studies from leading brands; the brand marketers point of view on digital place-based; techniques to leverage social and mobile technology to deepen consumer engagement; and the latest advances in research. The Summit also will feature a creative keynote address by the chief creative officer for SapientNitro.
New for this year, the DPAA is holding a "Media Lab" filled with an "all-star lineup of networks and suppliers showcasing the latest advertising and marketing solutions."
That evening will also see an invitation-only, end-user VIP reception put on by NEC Display Solutions of America, in advance of its New York Showcase the next day.
The New York stop on NEC's national Showcase tour is set for 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 17, at the Affinia Manhattan Hotel. The showcase will include a tech showcase open house and two seminars, one focusing on projector technology and another focusing on video wall setup and color calibration.
NEC's Director of Sales, Vertical Solutions, Richard Ventura, said the New York Showcase is "kind of the culmination" of the road show showcases NEC held this year across the U.S., from San Francisco to Houston to Atlanta — but while the earlier showcases were "pure NEC," the New York event also includes several different NEC partners.
"It's an opportunity for end-users, consultants, designers, digital signage network operators, you name it, to come in, spend some time with NEC, see a lot of the new products we have, actually meet some of our partners," he said, "and see how our products fit into the various different solutions, as well see some of the presentations and trainings we have going on."
In one seminar, "Creating Creative Environments - The Future of Projection," AV technologies and rAVe Publications founder Gary Kayye will take a look at "how projection technology isn't just for classrooms, boardrooms and meeting rooms anymore. In fact, it's all about creating immersive environments, setting a mood, accessing an emotion and taking you away to wherever the presenter wants you to go ... Gary will use real-world case studies to illustrate how creative people create using projection displays," according to the NEC website.
In the second, Michael Ferrer, the national manager for solution sales and operations for NEC will hold a "Video Wall Setup and Color Calibration Training." Participants in Ferrer's training at earlier showcases found the seminars "to be unbelievably informative," as he goes through the whole process of how to actually put together a video wall from the types of cable that are needed to proper ventilation, Ventura said.
"We see this all the time, someone'll sell a video wall; they'll put it up on the wall and never calibrate it, so the colors end up looking off, and you get an upset customer," he said. "Michael really goes though the whole process of color calibration ... and showing just how you can make that video wall look clear and crisp and have just a solid installation from the beginning."
NEC also will host a consultant's cocktail reception that night from 5-7:30 p.m.
Also on Wednesday, the two-day Digital Signage Investor Conference kicks off at the Hilton New York. The first day's schedule includes sessions such as "From Rollups to M&A: An Investor's View on Achieving Scale and Creating a Valuable Platform," which looks at how "fragmentation in the digital signage/OOH industry right now indicates it's ripe for consolidation. This provides opportunity for investors as well as companies looking to be bought-out."
There's also a "Speed Networking Session" and sessions on "Growth, Acquisitions, Expansion and Priorities in DOOH" and "Comprehensive DOOH Market Insights to Inform and Guide Your Decision-Making" – as well as a cocktail reception at 5:30 p.m.
On the 18th, the Investor Conference will see an opening address on "The Realities and Opportunities of Digital Media Investment from a Seasoned Investor," as well as a session, "Creating the Framework of a Successful Merger to Drive Growth and Value for Investors," from ComQi CEO Ajay Chowdhury. (Last year EnQii and MiniCom pulled off one of the most significant mergers in digital signage industry history to form ComQi. The session looks at the results "one year out," according to the conference website.)
The second days also will see sessions running the gamut from "Innovating and Investing in Digital Signage/OOH: Maximizing Value Creation" to "Why Is the Healthcare Vertical Profitable and What Can Investors Learn from It?"
Seeing so many people from so many different companies and verticals converging on the city, all focused on digital signage, is something to see, Ventura said.
"It's pretty exciting that they're having all these things going on," he said of the confluence of events in one place next week. "You've got a lot of companies gathering in New York, maybe in different conferences, but they're all gathering in New York and all around the same topics ... It's also showing all of us ... really how much this industry is growing. Think about it, a few years ago could you imagine having that many conferences going on at the same time in the same city at different locales? I don't think we could've imagined that a few years ago."
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Christopher is the editor of DigitalSignageToday.com. A longtime freelance writer and reporter, he's bringing a fresh perspective and critical take on the industry.