InfoComm Accelerating Digital Signage Focus

The “tanker” is turning. Nautical engineers (and agents of mega-change) credit the “trim tab” as a catalytic and primary instrument for setting a new course for a large vessel. A trim tab is a small rudder that helps move the big rudder which then changes the course of a ship.

The “trim tabs” – the agents of course redirection at InfoComm are showing their effect. Many, such as Mike White (Multi-Media Solutions), Jay Rogina (Spinitar), Tom Stimson (Stimson Group), Mark Valenti (The Sextant Group), Randy Lemke (InfoComm), Melissa Taggart (InfoComm), John Fuchs (InfoComm) and supply leaders such as Sam Taylor (Electrograph) have been pressing the case for acceleration of Digital Signage supply capabilities by Audio Visual Integrators through InfoComm programming as digital signage and has been emerging.

As the InfoComm tanker takes on its new course in digital signage (DS) supply improvement, the many beneficiaries will include end users who will enjoy easier access to the enabling value of DS, AV providers and System Integrators who will benefit from new offerings with the new revenues, margins and account control benefits that come with these, and DS technology providers that will enjoy added channel supply capabilities. The growth in InfoComm member supply capability will have a compounding effect to advance and profile professional capabilities, “best practices” in application and supply and overall improved supply capacity.

Over the past several years InfoComm has added to its DS educational offerings, trade show floor accessibility to primary technology providers, information publishing and dissemination and knowledge source networking.

Mike White, CEO of Multi-Media Solutions, Inc. and an International Director for Infocomm has been a vocal champion for digital signage within InfoComm reflects that “Infocomm’s Big Tent welcomes all the professionals trades that are required to provide digital signage, (Content Creators, IT Professionals, Consultants, Network Providers, A/V Integrators and Hardware and Software Manufactures). We are committed to providing the best education and networking environment through our education programs and through the world’s largest audio visual trade show “Infocomm09”. Mike White adds “to serve this growing market, we want to serve as catalyst for the accelerated growth of the digital signage industry by providing an environment so that all can be synergistically engaged”.

System Integrators and commercial audiovisual providers, which are a core of the 5,000 member, 70 years “young”, 80-country InfoComm association are a next stage of growth in digital signage. Such firms have an installed base of end users, and many are long standing suppliers with “local” supply positioning with supply ethics rooted in providing good value for money, high quality service and “solutions designed to requirements, that work”. A capable supply channel is needed to meet the accelerating demand for DS, while DS offers growth potential to AV/SI firms. The most astute of these are pushing onto the edge their growth comfort thresh-hold as they pursue the most “plum” DS opportunities.

During a recent strategic planning session Dr. Randal Lemke, Executive Director of InfoComm International said “addressing the opportunities offered by DS in a high value, responsible and scalable manner integrated with our existing and proven approaches is valuable to the sustainable, long-term success and our cautious, thoughtful approaches will show high rewards for everyone involved”.

InfoComm09, to be held June 14-19 in Orlando ( will see a next stage of DS Program roll-out. Education and networking are high priorities, with InfoComm looking to identify organizations that will be part of its next level of focus on digital signage.��

The numbers reflect strong market growth. Digital Signage in North America currently generated $1.6 billion in annual revenues in 2008 and is forecast to grow at 24% compounding annually until 2012 according to InfoTrends. The installed base of 900,000 27” or larger LCD displays is growing at 44% annually according to DisplaySearch. The deployment of 7-27” displays represents the iceberg below the surface as these smaller-form factor displays are used on retail shelves, embedded in exhibits, on service counters, in elevators and other display uses.

Jay Rogina, President of Spinitar who also serves as President of InfoComm International notes that “InfoComm’s role is to assure that audio and visual communications tools can be used to achieve the goals of user organizations. Digital Signage is a powerful visual media tool that can service a wide range of internal as well as patron and customer-facing communications needs. InfoComm is helping to advance supply and application capabilities.”

Digital signage is being used in virtually every place where people purchase, transit, wait and gather to inform and influence. Customer, patron, staff and student-facing communications are provided in a wide range of network sizes, technology configurations and business models. A tipping point has been achieved to gain advertiser interest and the technology-push has become more of a market pull.

Digital signage technology works, the ROI is proven when projects are planned and executed using long standing approaches and supply chain elements are in place. So the path is one of “connecting the dots” with straighter, thicker lines. Beautiful lines on a navigation chart toward lucrative markets.

Daily educational offerings in key areas of digital signage form part of the InfoComm09 programs, primary vendors will be exhibiting and digital signage networking opportunities are being planned.

Lyle Bunn is Principal and Strategy Architect at Bunn Co. providing objective, informed counsel and education to Digital Signage users, suppliers and investors. He is broadly recognized as a leading figure in North America’s industry. He Chairs or presents at every major digital signage event and has published about 100 articles on digital signage elements. His eBook Digital Signage Planning Guide will be released in its 4th edition in June 2009 and the SPEED Digital Signage Training for end users and suppliers will be delivered to almost a thousand people since its availability in December 2008 Lyle serves as a member of the Academy Faculty of InfoComm and was a recent participant in “InfoComm100” strategic planning.