DSE 2019 Preview

DSE 2018
(Image credit: Exponation)

Now that the hullabaloo of CES and ISE have passed, the industry is turning its focus to Digital Signage Expo (DSE), a comprehensive international event dedicated to digital signage solutions from retail to entertainment and beyond. DSE will take place March 26-29 in Las Vegas, NV.

“We’ve really increased our options for integrators at the 2019 show,” said Andrea Varrone, DSCE, show director, Digital Signage Expo. “We have an entire track of programs geared just toward that segment of the industry. Between the education and the demos of innovations on the show floor, integrators will walk away confident that they have the expertise to add revenue and future-proof their businesses for more opportunities and competitive relevance.”

This year’s keynote will be presented by Tom Goodwin of Zenith, who will address the ways the pro AV industry can drive innovation and transform all industries by embracing the power of new technology. “I’m very excited about the keynote,” said Laura Davis-Taylor, Digital Signage Federation board member and co-founder of High Street Collective. “He’s someone I actively follow, and he will be a fresh, enlightened voice for the industry.”

BONUS: DSE is giving our readers a discount for the 2019 show! Integrators and end users can use code "SCNDSE" for 15% off conference packages. Click here to register. 

Digital signage technology is often thought of as cutting-edge innovation. With everyone from mount manufacturers to data visualization experts exhibiting at DSE 2019, what do industry experts expect to see at the show?

“The digital transformation is happening in more and more vertical markets,” said Varrone. “I expect to see exciting new technologies for employees, consumers, and community members. Along with this, we’ll also see advancements in analytics.”

“At DSE 2019, we should be seeing solutions geared toward machine vision with deep learning,” said Manolo Almagro, managing partner, Q Division.

Bryan Meszaros, CEO and founder of digital experience design agency OpenEye Global and president of the Society of Experiential Graphic Designers, agrees. “End users want to know who their audience is—and so should integrators and content creators. Data visualization can be used to create a visual story, and we should use it to our advantage.”

LED displays will continue to be a topic of conversation, with a focus on tighter pixel pitches, he notes. “Who says they have to be big? We saw earlier this year at shows like NRF 2019 that the shelf is an important area that has the ability to help retailers make an impact in the aisle.”

In terms of trends, Davis-Taylor says she is looking forward to “encountering some new flavors of place-based digital that expand the boundaries of what’s expected from a digital signage show. The category is bleeding into exciting new platforms and I’m really looking forward to discovering some new things!”

When looking for trends and products at the show, Alan C. Brawn, DSCE, DSDE, principal, Brawn Consulting, recommends looking beyond the “obvious glitz and glamor that is the main focus of the big booths.” The larger booths, he says, have hidden gems within and “elements of value” that aren’t being actively advertised. “Look beyond the displays for developments in analytics, IoT, artificial intelligence, mobility connectivity, managed services, content creation, etc.,” he concluded.

Content Creation

Content is king—we’ve heard that since the early days of digital signage. As we move toward becoming an experience-driven industry, the idea rings true now more than ever.

According to Meszaros, DSE is a show that fosters collaboration across all facets of the digital signage industry. He believes content creators, experience designers, integrators, and manufacturers are all looking for partners at the show and neither side is unapproachable. “The mindset of a traditional integrator needs to change in order for us to create successful relationships. Design isn’t a ‘fluff’ term—it’s a necessary part of any project and requires a multitude of skillsets to execute on the vision,” he said.

Almagro suggested integrators conduct an outreach effort before they even hit the show floor, researching content creators and experience designers and getting in touch with the ones who are a fit for their respective markets. “Select a partner who truly understands what people want and need out of their experiences—for example, a designer who understands how people shop if you’re in the retail sector of digital signage,” he recommended. “Look for a pedigree that goes beyond just digital signage and is inclusive of data-driven experiences.”

“The reality is that the majority of designers are hybrid practitioners. They can understand the tech, but the execution of it is not necessarily something they want to take on,” Meszaros said. “Both integrators and designers need to understand that they have a role in the project, but they need to be flexible about what the role actually is. No content agency or designer wants to be told how something should come together—they want an open forum for collaboration.”

2019 and Beyond

Digital Signage Expo typically sets the tone for the industry, debuting new technologies, providing an environment for fostering new (and old) relationships, and educating the community about the latest business and tech trends.

Braun had one final bit of advice for attendees: “The most important thing to do at the show—from this consultant’s perspective—is to listen and get out of one’s own bubble and comfort zone. Listen to the end user attendees. Listen to the exhibitors and their perspectives and then compare. The truth lies beyond what we know today.”

Spotlight on Digital Signage

Manufacturers gave SCN a sneak preview of the innovations they plan to showcase at DSE 2019. Scroll through the gallery below to learn more.

BONUS: DSE is giving our readers a discount for the 2019 show! Integrators and end users can use code "SCNDSE" for 15% off conference packages. Click here to register. 

Megan A. Dutta

Megan A. Dutta is a pro AV industry journalist, and the former content director for Systems Contractor News (SCN) and Digital Signage Magazine, both Future U.S. publications. Dutta previously served as the marketing communications manager at Peerless-AV, where she led the company’s marketing and communications department. Dutta is the recipient of AVIXA's 2017 Young AV Professional Award and Women in Consumer Technology's 2018 Woman to Watch Award. Dutta is co-founder of Women of Digital Signage, an organization designed to provide a pathway to promote networking, mentoring, and personal growth.