Digital Signage Investors Conference

Strategy Institute announces the fourth annual “Digital Signage Investor Conference” taking place on October 6 and 7, 2009 in New York City.

Despite a bleak advertising landscape over the last 12 months, the industry has been a bright light and continues to stay energized. Veronis Suhler Stevenson recently valued the sector at as much as $2.5 billion.

“Who would have thought digital signage would be the ‘safe haven’ and vehicle for growth in the advertising meltdown of the current financial crisis,” said Tom Blaisdell, general partner at DCM, a venture capital firm with offices in Silicon Valley, Beijing and Tokyo.

More venture capital injection is expected for the sector and a panel featuring DCM, Syncom Venture Partners, Claremont Creek Ventures and PRIVEQ Capital Funds will delve into what investors are looking for now and the funding available.

True to last year’s discussions and predictions at the event, 2009 deals so far have centered on consolidation. ZOOM Media has been leading the way, acquiring ClubCom and SmartOne Media in the first quarter. Shortly after receiving $30 million in funding from ABS Capital, it again added to its network presence by purchasing the Wellness Health Education Network.

In October 2008, Fuelcast, an at-the-pump digital network merged with Bhootan, a digital OOH company in the retail sector. The two organizations have since been rebranded as Outcast and recently announced a joint venture with another at-the-pump network.

“Today’s network lack the reach and breadth of market coverage to capitalize on the looming shift in ad spend,” said Matthew Stoudt, CEO of Outcast. “Industry consolidation, therefore, is a necessity and those that aren’t a part of it will be dead within six months.”

Stoudt, along with Andy Querin, president and COO of ZOOM Media Canada are part of the speaker line up that also includes:

• Beth Ann Kaminkow, President & COO, TracyLocke
• Ana C. Stewart, CEO, i-design Group Ltd. (UK)
• Ajay Chowdhury, CEO, EnQii Group
• John McMenamin, CEO, Ripple TV
• Jeff Bell, Chairman, DOmedia
• Chris Borek, Senior Manager, Digital Marketing, Target
• Jason Helfstein, Executive Director, Media & Internet Equity Research, Oppenheimer & Co.

“The Digital Signage Industry stakeholders will determine the worth of their companies, network and connect with corporate buyers, consolidators & partners and also learn how to replicate the success of companies that have already obtained funding at this conference,” said Yashod Bhardwaj, Project Manager at Strategy Institute.

Building on the success of its previous events, the “Digital Signage Investor Conference” brings together the industry’s top leaders for two days of interactive learning and investment match-up opportunities. It is the only industry event dedicated to providing intelligence and networking among investors, network operators and solutions providers.