Flat the New Up?… Try Again

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At times, I sound like a cheerleader on this page. But then, it’s been easy. Digital Signage has been on such rapid upswing for the past several years. Not much cheerleading needed. We’ve been winning the game through all quarters. And even in a recession in the larger economy, digital signage continues to power ahead.

On January 22nd, as I was sitting down to write this column, DisplaySearch, the Austin, TX-based research company, released its “2009-2010 Digital Signage/Large Format Commercial Display Forecast”. I might ask, do you want the good news first, or the bad news? Except in this case, there is no bad news. The bottom line: independent researchers, not cheerleaders, are still predicting strong growth this year for digital signage.

According to DisplaySearch, sales of flat panel TVs are behind expectations. No surprise there. Consumers are not buying a lot of non-essentials this year (so far). This is where we come in. “Alternate markets for larger-format flat-panel displays like commercial-use advertising and communication are starting to pique display manufacturer’s interests again. This growing market segment is poised for growth despite the economically challenging climate facing the world in 2009 and 2010”, according to the report.

Unit volume for LCD and plasma displays used for public display applications (digital signage and large format commercial displays) rose 13% year over year worldwide, according to the DisplaySearch Q4’08 Quarterly FPD Public Display Shipment and Forecast Report. Growth of 44% is forecast for 2009, which is revised down from previous forecasts.

Did you catch that? Growth in digital signage is revised down, so we’ll only see 44% growth this year. Anyone out there disappointed in that number? “Flat is the new up” for 2009? Not in this market, folks. Up 44% is the new up.

To good news, I’ll add our own better news: While Digital Signage has been on a rapid upswing for the past several years, there has still been a lack of understanding of how to tie disparate elements together to ensure successful rollouts.

In order to quickly bring AV, IT, Out-Of-Home marketing, advertising, and content creation professionals up to speed to prosper in the booming digital signage market, Brawn Consulting together with NewBay Media have announced the launch of the industry’s only comprehensive training and certification program exclusively for digital signage. The new program is being launched by the Digital Signage Experts Group (DSEG), formed and led by industry veteran Alan Brawn, together with the official and exclusive DSEG publishing partner, NewBay Media (publisher of Digital Signage magazine). The DSEG program incorporates elements of “SPEED” digital signage training developed by Lyle Bunn, who will serve on the Advisory Board and as a presenter. Regional training, certification, and educational events are being planned for a variety of U.S. locations through 2009 and beyond.

I’m proud to have engineered this launch with Alan Brawn, to bring proven ROI strategies to professionals from AV, IT, Retail, Advertising, or content creation, so they can take the guesswork of digital signage rollouts and digital signage service business models. Stay tuned for details on this comprehensive new program put together by the industry’s top players. Visit www.digitalsignageexperts.org for more information or contact Alan C. Brawn at (alan@brawnconsulting.com) with inquiries about registration for DSCE certification. We’ll be announcing 2009 regional events soon.





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