This year the Digital Signage Expo ends just before Valentine's Day, but show organizers are betting attendees will fall for the slate of events they've put together for this year's show.
Chris Gibbs, the president and COO of show organizer Exponation LLC, recently sat down to talk to Digital Signage Today about what attendees and exhibitors can expect from the 2014 edition of the digital signage industry's signature trade show and expo.
The show's educational programming continues to evolve and change every year to meet the evolving demands of the industry, Gibbs said. For instance, this year marks the first time the show will offer — in conjunction with the Digital Signage Experts Group — the DSEG's Digital Signage Certified Expert Program all in Spanish, with the Programa de Certificación Señalización Digital en Español.
The DSE also is offering another brand new session this year, "Is Digital Signage Profitable? The Go or No-Go Decision," aimed at integrators and traditional signage companies. The program aims to answer the question for integrators and sign manufacturers, "Why do I need to put this in my quiver of offerings?" Gibbs said. "We're rying to get that constituent base to understand and be excited about it, because they already have a strong customer base."
And the Platt Retail Institute will be offering its PRI Retail Forum, "Omnichannel and the Future of Retail," which will look at how "advancements in digital technology are causing a seismic shift in consumer purchase behavior," according to the DSE website.
Those are included in the pre-show programming on Tuesday, Feb. 11, while the following two days of the show will kick off with keynote breakfasts:
- "Digital Signage Futurecasting: Insights and Predictions," from Jose Avalos, the visual retail worldwide director for the Intelligent Systems Group at Intel Corp.
- "Creating Engaging Experiences in a Digitally Distracted World," from David Kepron, the creative director for Brand Experience Studio.
While it's too early to know for certain the exact number of exhibitors on the show floor, Gibbs said he expects the final tally to be in the 170s or 180s. The show's footprint, its total square footage and the products on display, should make it the largest DSE to date, he said. "There should be more product and innovation to see than ever before this year."
The show also is seeing an uptick in both exhibitors and attendees coming from outside of North America, according to Gibbs. "So it's exciting that the show is really reaching out and capturing an international excitement and attracting attendees from across the globe."
Based on what he's seen so far, Gibbs said the attendance numbers appear to be tracking well with last year's numbers. "I'm hoping to beat those numbers, but more specifically I'm hoping to beat them with the right people, the right people that our exhibitors want to see."
As for highlights from the show floor, Gibbs said he expects to see a few key trends taking shape:
"We'll see more usage of interactivity, I think, than we have in the past," he said. "Year in and year out, we continue to see interactivity stepping up more each year."
Exhibitors likely will show new applications for interactivity and new ways in which digital signage technology is interfacing directly with the consumer, he said. Much of that is being driven by the wider acceptance of tablets and smartphones by consumers who are increasingly likely to use them in their daily lives, pushing vendors to put together solutions aimed at those platforms, he said.
"We're also going to see a lot of 4k," he said. "Ultra HD technology is coming on very, very strong ... We saw a few screens last year; I think we'll see many more this year and some other interesting applications."
As the cost of the 4K displays starts to go down, he said, the number and speed of 4K rollouts will increase, and there will probably be an increase in offerings at the show geared toward meeting the requirements for those deployments.
Still, he said, one of the best things about the DSE show is what you don't know you'll be seeing.
"One thing that I always say is that the thing that typically turns out to be the coolest thing is the thing that I see at the show that I won't know about until I'm there," he said. "That's the beauty of DSE ... I love the few moments I steal where I typically walk around the show and just kind of become an attendee and try to experience the stuff as an attendee would — and that's where you see the hidden gems."
Digital Signage Expo 2014, co-located with the Digital Content Show, is scheduled for Feb. 11-13, with access to the Exhibit Hall on Feb. 12 and 13 at the Sands Expo & Convention Center in Las Vegas. For more information, visit www.digitalsignageexpo.net.
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Photo courtesy of DSE.