What to See at New York Digital Signage Week

10/16/2017 5:02:00 PM
By Rich Ventura, NEC
With the coming of fall we look forward to college football, pumpkin everything, chili cooking in the crock pot, and the New York Digital Signage Week (NYDSW). Seems like every year this event becomes larger and larger, and this year is no exception; the last report I saw listed 30-plus events over the five day period. In its fifth year, this week has become an important opportunity for organizations looking at all aspects of the digital signage industry. Outside of Digital Signage Expo, where else will one have meetings with key influencers focusing on hardware, software, content, analytics, advertising, investment, measurement, IoT, and agencies? To best understand the week we break it down into five parts: Technology, Associations, Education, Experiences, and Networking.

Technology
Each of the main display vendors (NEC, Planar/Leyard, Samsung, LG, Barco, Christie) is hosting events focused around new emerging technologies, solutions, and partnerships. Through these events, attendees are able to engage and learn about solutions that will influence their business. Many of these events have training (some even CTS based) focused toward the integrators and consultants to help deliver the right solutions for the projects. At these events, you also have the opportunity to meet many of the industry leaders in software, hardware, content, and other aspects needed to make the digital signage deployment successful. I highly recommend attending as many as you can, but of course, make sure to attend the 24th Annual NEC Showcase. Other events that are being put on by technology companies (BrightSign, GroundTruth, Scala) are not-to-miss events.

Associations
Trade associations are very important for this industry. NYDSW is speaks to all levels of the digital signage, digital out-of-home (DOOH), and out-of-home (OOH) spaces, and the associations are keys to that information. The Digital Signage Federation is hosting the “Coffee and Controversy” event with a focus on the global industry, as well as how the DOOH space has changed over the years. Speakers at this event will cover many important aspects of the industry (privacy, measurement, global differentiation, market drivers, market expansion) while also creating a little controversy here and there. It is a must-see and space is very limited.

The DPAA’s Video Everywhere Summit focuses on the fostering collaboration between agencies and digital place-based networks. Through this event, different aspects of the DOOH and OOH communities are able to share information pertinent to the market and business. Another key association with focus on this week is SEGD and the XLAB conference. SEGD brings a different perspective of the industry with its focus on design, fabrication, architecture, and strategy, and its engagement with content-rich, experiential spaces. What is great about XLAB is that besides having a conference, there is also a tour of installations and projects all over the greater NYC area.

Education
I would be failing without pointing out all of the education opportunities that NYDSW makes available for attendees. Ranging from product and platform education, to standards, to CTS-certified courses, there is something for every level of attendee. I believe there are more than 10 CTS-certified courses going on during the week. That alone should drive the integrators and consultants to NYC for the gathering. Add in education coming from industry experts and keynotes at all of the events, and this is a can’t-miss convention for anyone involved in the industry

Experiences
What would digital signage be without some experiences? At NYDSW, there are a lot of experiences to see. Many of the events mentioned above will have some amazing experiences (retail solution, large-venue solutions, interactive solutions, etc.), but there are also some engrossing tours and opportunities to experience digital signage firsthand—the most obvious from just standing in the middle of Times Square and looking around. Once you get over that dizziness, there are events being put on at Madam Tussaud’s, the Microsoft Store, Google offices, Samsung offices, and many other locations. This is the opportunity to see installed solutions and engage with many of the key individuals who designed and/or powered the amazing technology. What a great living and breathing case study for sure!

Networking
The last major reason to come to NYDSW has to be the networking. Every single event during this week is about making new connections and deepening existing ones. Some organizations have private networking parties, while others are open for registration. Building out a plan and strategy for the week will allow you to connect with key industry leaders, technology mavens, large and small network operators, your next hardware/software partner, potential investors, and likeminded individuals from all over the globe. Networking is the lifeblood of the industry and this is an amazing opportunity to build on that network.

Everyone asks me where I will be this week. I can tell you that every night I have at least two to three events on my schedule. Ranging from networking events (PJSC, Brightsign, DSF) to showcases (NEC) to association events (DSF, SEGD) to tours of NYC, you will find me fully experiencing what NYDSW week means: It’s about the technology, the networking, the education, the experiences, and the engagement.

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