CEO Spotlight: Kevin Carbone, PRN, San Francisco

April 28th, 2017

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

This month, we welcome Kevin Carbone, PRN, San Francisco.

  1. You joined PRN in 2012, holding a couple of senior vice-president positions before being named CEO. Please tell us about your pre-PRN background and what you especially learned from your position in each company.

    My career spans my early experience as a management consultant for the Boston Consulting Group to several senior executive positions in the Silicon Valley, all of which shaped how I view business and how I lead my teams and organizations.
    The consulting experience gave me early and sustained exposure to a variety of companies and industries dealing with different forms of internal or external market disruption. I learned very quickly that an organization can never allow itself to become comfortable with the industry position it occupies, no matter how dominant that position might seem. We all know that circumstances, market conditions and technology can change very rapidly, so the organizational commitment to innovate and reinvent, if necessary, is paramount. This is as true today as it was then.
    As president of a leading digital agency in the Silicon Valley, I served many of the largest tech companies, including Cisco, HP, Intel and AMD. Our specialty was in developing and delivering high-end digital and video-based solutions at a time when the adoption of video as a marketing and communications vehicle was just beginning. We were one of only a few agencies capable of providing the high quality these clients demanded, so we were paid a premium for our services. At the same time, however, marketing organizations began to demand more from us as they increasingly and correctly placed greater emphasis on the specific performance and measurability of their marketing and sales tactics. With the sudden availability of digital and online campaign measurement tools, I learned very quickly the strategic imperative of making performance measurement a fundamental part of every solution we brought to our clients, an approach we use at PRN today.
    Immediately prior to joining PRN, I was a co-founder and CEO of a virtual events software company serving large Fortune 1000 companies. We grew the business rapidly, but our biggest challenge was in balancing the need to address the specific product demands of our largest customers with the need to invest appropriately in our long-term product roadmap, two things that often seemed very much at odds. But I realized then, and I know for certain now, that the magic is in figuring out how these objectives can work harmoniously together to produce a better product that meets the needs of both large customer and broader market. The secret to success is involving key customers in the software development process – ie. feature input, early beta access, select customizations – while communicating unambiguously the importance of maintaining product development integrity. Companies that innovate and emphasize continuous improvement in the software and services they provide, as we do at STRATACACHE and PRN, understand and embrace this inherent challenge and view it as a positive and integral element of the product development process.

  2. You were named CEO with the mandate to improve overall performance and to prepare the company for eventual sale. PRN had an excellent reputation prior to it becoming IZ•ON. Then what went wrong?

    A variety of circumstances, some self-inflicted and some external in nature, began to erode PRN’s reputation. Certainly, the great recession of 2008/09 had a negative effect on industry advertising spend, which, in turn, impacted the DOOH space. But the recession also exposed the flaws in the space, including the questionable business models pursued by many network operators, the unrealistic promises made to venue owners by many of these same operators, and the resulting loss of credibility that affected all providers, including PRN.
    More significant to PRN, however, was its 2005 acquisition by Thomson/Technicolor, the resulting shift in business and technology strategy, and the out-of-court settlement with Walmart that set PRN on a course from which it could never fully recover. In this context, and given the challenges brought on by the recession, the decision to change the name from PRN to IZ-ON Media reflected an attempt to expand outside of PRN’s core retail business in the hopes of building a media property serving venues across multiple vertical markets. In reality, PRN simply moved away from what did best: serve retailers and their shoppers. Predictably, the business struggled, and in 2014 we returned to our focus on serving the core retail customers upon which the business had been built. In 2015, we doubled down on this strategy to more aggressively re-build our business and prepare it for a possible sale.

  3. We know that, once you took over, you reorganized the leadership team, developed a strategic growth plan, reduced overhead, and negotiated key customer renewals to stabilize the business. Tell us a little about each of these.

    In a certain sense, my approach was borne out of necessity. By the time I was appointed CEO, we had already experienced several consecutive years of declining revenue, had lost some very important customers, and had seen our product innovation grind to a halt. And despite the obvious decline of our business, the staff had remained fairly large and somewhat unwieldy. We tended to behave more like a large company and less like a start-up, so decision-making was slow, communication more formal, and new product innovation largely non-existent.
    As a result, my first set of actions upon taking the CEO role was to reduce the size of the executive team, broaden each member’s influence on the organization and turn our focus to decision-making and action. We restructured our operations in order to both lower overhead and free-up investment for areas critical to top line growth. We established three simple objectives for the year (not five or six) and we committed, as a team, to holding ourselves accountable for achieving those objectives. We were extremely open and honest with the entire staff about the severity of the challenges we faced and, in return, sought their commitment to helping turn things around.
    In essence, we forced ourselves to be more decisive while freeing ourselves to take more action, and in the process involved the entire company. These actions and the commitment of the entire team were critical to our stabilizing the business in early 2015 and exceeding the targets we set for ourselves in 2015 and 2016.

  4. What is the main reason, from your point of view, that the company was purchased by STRATACACHE?

    PRN’s core strength has always been in delivering engaging in-store consumer experiences and in successfully operating monetized or advertising-based networks for our retail customers. We’ve done this far more effectively and for a much longer period of time than anyone else in the space ever has. STRATACACHE not only recognized the unique value in this, but also recognized the enormous potential in expanding this model across STRATACACHE and combining PRN’s capabilities in this area with STRATACACHE’s technology and operations leadership.

  5. I’ve seen you described as a genuine leader and team builder; that you command attention and get results. What main qualities do you think a good leader must possess in order to maintain and grow a business?

    More than anything, I believe a leader needs to be authentic. In other words, be yourself, know your own strengths and weaknesses, and be secure enough to surround yourself with highly talented and smart people who share your values and vision for the organization. I’ve always encouraged honest debate and dialogue – not only from my executive team but from all employees of the company. In my view, consistent and sound decision-making follows and leads to great execution. In tandem, an effective leader needs to communicate a clear and compelling vision of what we want to achieve and how we want to achieve it. At PRN, we know, for instance, that we want to continue to bring new personalized in-store solutions to shoppers on behalf of our retail customers and brand partners. To do this, we have to remain committed, as individual employees and as an organization, to creating and testing new solutions on behalf of our customers and to leveraging the very best technology to support them.

  6. In addition to PRN, STRATACACHE has purchased Scala, Real Digital Media, ActiVia Network, PrimaSee, OPTIKA, and a couple of other companies. Where does PRN fit in the mix? What does PRN offer these other companies and what does it gain from them?

    PRN offers a proven business model based on brand advertising and network monetization – the classic model upon which PRN was built – and we support it with a full set of organizational capabilities and a deep knowledge base borne of experience. This gives other groups within STRATACACHE the potential for new revenue. It also provides the option of business model flexibility – that is, the ability to offer customers alternative ways to fund large-scale network deployments. This has proven very powerful in the almost two years we’ve been a part of the STRATACACHE family.
    Conversely, other divisions within the STRATACACHE family have taken the opportunity to provide technology solutions to the networks and retail partners PRN already serves. Activia, for instance, delivers a full-featured, highly scalable software platform PRN can both incorporate into our existing networks and deploy into newly acquired ones. PrimaSee offers an altogether new display solution PRN can now offer its grocery and convenience customers.
    As STRATACACHE continues to grow through acquisition, I expect additional opportunities to arise.

  7. Under STRATACACHE as the holding company, do you have management independence? Can you continue to do your own research?
    I would describe it as management autonomy, which means we’re expected to execute against our own business plan, manage our own P&L and be both responsible and accountable for growing our business.
    To be sure, we work very closely with the holding company to make sure our strategic objectives are aligned with its own, and we take full advantage of opportunities to share and deploy centralized resources in the most efficient and cost-effective manner. However, we still do research at PRN that serves our retail and brand clients and supports our specific business model.
  8. When PRN joined STRATACACHE, you talked about it gaining “significantly expanded technology capabilities.” Please explain.
    At its core, STRATACACHE is a technology and marketing services company that invests heavily in technology innovation, testing and commercialization. PRN designs, tests and implements in-store solutions that engage shoppers. So becoming part of STRATACACHE gave us immediate access to a vast array of innovative technology, including all-in-one touch screen tablets with forward and rear-facing cameras, increasingly powerful and flexible media players, and feature-rich and highly scalable content distribution software for supporting and enabling several new in-store solutions.
  9. How many locations does PRN have and how many screens in total? Have you added any networks since the STRATACACHE purchase?

    PRN serves over 7,000 locations. Since being acquired we’ve added almost 4,500 new locations through our acquisition of the Lift Network from Verifone and our representation of the Pursuant Health & Wellness Network at Walmart.

  10. Please explain PRN’s The Store of NOW.
    The Store of the Now elegantly describes all of the solutions that STRATACACHE, with its breadth of technology and extensive operational capabilities, now capably delivers to the market. Fully tested, fully commercialized, in-store solutions that are deployable today, at scale, and that drive positive returns on investment for our retail customers.
    These solutions encompass a variety of technologies across all major touch points within the store, including in the aisle, at the end cap, above the department, in the fresh food and deli areas, at the TV Wall, and at checkout. More importantly, these are solutions that can be deployed and will deliver positive return on investment across entire large chains of stores, not simply confined to a few number of concept stores or ‘stores of the future’.
  11. I believe that the Store of NOW mainly involves grocery stores and QRS locations. Can the concept be applied to such retail outlets as clothing boutiques and department stores?

    Absolutely. Whether a retailer is large or small, carries multiple brands or sells only its own, or is seeking to address one specific area of the store or several, the right solution deployed with the right technology, at scale, will drive a positive return on investment. It’s about matching the solution with the specific need and scoping and sizing it appropriately.

  12. Are you using programmatic buying for your networks? Please give us your thoughts on programmatic.
    Using programmatic at retail presents some unique challenges, so to date we’ve only experimented with it. The key to greater adoption is in removing some of the friction at retail that can slow or obstruct the purchase/placement/proof-of-performance cycle of in-store digital brand advertising. The need to secure retailer approval for most in-store advertisements and the challenge of matching on-shelf product SKUs with placement inventory are just a few of the challenges. Other challenges include committing inventory in real time, retailer restrictions against non-endemic services, and the current platform models that devalue inventory while demanding too great a share of ad revenue. We do believe that programmatic offers the promise of greater buying and selling efficiency, so we will continue to experiment.    
  13. Are you incorporating mobile with any of your DOOH networks? If so, are any other STRATACACHE-owned companies involved?

    It’s accurate to say we’re actively testing mobile across a handful of our networks right now. Depending on the network, these tests either involve re-targeting, via mobile, those shoppers who’ve seen our ads in-store, enabling real-time in-store mobile on-ramping, or enabling shoppers to push content to large-screen via WiFi. In some cases we’re coordinating with other STRATACACHE-owned companies; in others, we’re working with 3rd party vendors.

  14. Please tell us about Checkout TV and how it’s used.

    Our traditional Checkout TV networks were originally deployed to educate and entertain shoppers while they waited in line. Over the years, the concept evolved to incorporate the mission of selling front-of-store services, driving return trips and encouraging future purchases, and providing an on-ramp to a retailer’s broader eCommerce and mobile ecosystem. Today, we offer a variety of Checkout platforms, including our new Lift Network that delivers, in real-time, targeted upsell offers based on actual shopper purchases.

  15. PRN’s blog has a really good explanation of 4KTV. It mentions its use in 2015 by Costco to illustrated different TVs and brands. What was the result?  
    From our view, it’s been very successful. Costco has been a great partner on this initiative. After the initial deployment in 2015, it moved quickly last year to further expand the 4K side of the Costco TV Network, and the number of 4K SKU counts relative to 1080p HDTVs appears to have grown faster than originally planned. Membership response to the program also appears to have been positive, with most members finding programming helpful and influential when shopping for 4K TVs and for comparing 4K to HDTV. It’s fair to say we’re very pleased with how this initiative has evolved for Costco. 
  16. Culture and core values seem to be important to PRN. Please explain. Have they changed at all under STRATACACHE?
    We’ve always had a customer-centric culture at PRN. Seeking customer input, working diligently to address customer needs, and maintaining a commitment to delivering the highest customer satisfaction is central to the culture at PRN, just as it is at STRATACACHE. Fundamental to our culture, as well, is how we work: with honest and open dialog, transparency, and accountability. It’s how we managed to persevere and succeed during difficult times, and it’s how we are thriving as part of STRATACACHE.

This Week’s #AVJobs

April 28th, 2017

Andrew Neale

AV Jobs provide a highly specialist Recruitment Service for Audio Visual manufacturers, distributors and resellers.

They also work within the broadcast, events and unified communications industries providing quality and experienced staff at all levels – from board members through management, field service and sales, as well as on-site technical and sales people.

Their Consultants have experience within the AV industry and fully understand all areas from sales through system design and installation, hire and events, operations and service.

Here are this week’s selection of #AVjobs from them…

    Job Type Permanent Full Time
    Location London & Home Counties
    Area Berkshire, England Bucks, England Hertfordshire, UK Middlesex, England Surrey, England City of London, England London South East, England London South West, England London North , England London North West, England
    Job Sector Sales Sales – Audio Visual Sales – Collaborative Technology Sales – European Sales – Unified Communications Sales – Channel – vendor Sales – Business Development Sales – Field Sales
    Salary £35000 – £50000 Per Annum £35k basic £50k OTE plus car allowance
    Job Type Permanent Full Time
    Location Frankfurt or Home office in Germany
    Area Germany, Europe
    Job Sector Sales Sales – Audio Visual Sales – Video Conferencing Sales – Collaborative Technology Sales – European Sales – Unified Communications Sales – Channel – vendor Sales – Business Development Sales – Field Sales
    Salary £42000 – £65000 Per Annum Euros 42k plus comms 65k OTE + Euros
    Job Type Permanent Full Time
    Location M62 corridor
    Area West Yorkshire, England
    Job Sector Sales Sales – Audio Visua lSales – Corporate Sales – Business Development Sales – Field Sales
    Salary £25000 – £50000 Per Annum £25k-£30k pa. basic £50k OTE uncapped

Brian Diver joins @Civiqscapes

April 28th, 2017

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

Brian Diver has joined CIVIQ Smartscapes as Chief Revenue Officer. He will be responsible for coordinating all revenue generation activities for the company and implementing best practices for sales strategy and processes.

Brian brings to CIVIQ over 25 years of experience leading revenue growth programs for companies and brings a wealth of knowledge and understanding of the municipal government sector both domestically and internationally. Throughout his career, he has focused on building organizations that have built long-term productive client relationships across varied industries including government, transit, education, consumer products, and retail. Fundamental to Brian’s success with customers, has been his ability to negotiate and execute strategic alliances with solution partners to bring the best the market has to offer in solving critical issues for clients

Prior to CIVIQ, Brian has successfully grown several companies as a C-level executive and was most recently the Chief Operating Officer at Certive where he led business development and acquisition activities.

In his role at CIVIQ, he will support the company’s rapid growth and deployments in cities, entertainment venues, retail complexes and universities.

Future Cities Catapult Lunchtime Lecture

April 28th, 2017

Russ Curry, Ministry of New Media

Slap bag in the middle of London Digital Signage Week is this highly popular FREE Future Cities Catapult Lunchtime Lecture.

There are only a handful of tickets left for those interested in listening to Clear Channel UK CEO, Justin Cochrane share the New World Payphones vision, including: –

  • Upgrading ageing telephone boxes on our high streets for the 21st Century
  • Breathing life back into a ‘classic’ design
  • Planting hundreds of trees in local urban areas for every phone box upgraded
  • Making streets better (and leaving a lasting legacy for the public)

As regular readers will know, payphones in London are quickly becoming a relic of the pre-digital age, with many vandalised, desecrated and no longer fit for purpose. With this in mind, New World Payphones, owned by ClearChannel UK, is on a mission to transform urban spaces across the country.

The event takes place at Urban Innovation Centre, One Sekforde Street London EC1R 0BE on Wednesday May 10, 2017 between 13:00-14:00.

Registration can be found here.

#ff @clearchannelUK @uic_uk @futurecitiescat

Promoting Awareness @InfoComm join w/ @AVUserGroup

April 27th, 2017

Andrew Neale

InfoComm International, the trade association representing the commercial audiovisual industry worldwide, and the AV User Group, a nonprofit organization of AV and technology managers and end users, have agreed to collaborate on initiatives to increase AV industry awareness among enterprise decision-makers and foster stronger relationships between the companies and professionals that build AV solutions and the businesses and institutions that operate and benefit from them.

As part of its strategic plan, InfoComm has made it a priority to act as a catalyst for market growth, in part by creating greater awareness of the AV industry in various customer verticals. The AV User Group represents an existing community of AV customers and decision-makers, providing a forum for the discussion of technologies, best practices and standards among AV end users.

Terry Friesenborg, Chief Global Officer, InfoComm International told us “Bringing our two associations together is a natural way of creating an ongoing dialog about the power of AV solutions to create positive outcomes for users,” said “We look forward to engaging worldwide with the AV User Group to better understand and promote the implementation, trends and benefits of AV technology in a variety of organizations.”

InfoComm and the AV User Group have agreed to promote each other’s efforts in various ways, including through online resources for collecting expert insight and discussing topics of interest, and to host and/or participate in new and existing InfoComm and AV User Group activities around the world. InfoComm will sponsor and present at AV User Group events; AV User Group will work with InfoComm on networking events for end users at select trade shows.

Owen Ellis, Chairman, AV User Group said “The AV User Group is ideally positioned to become a home for the enterprise decision-makers that InfoComm is seeking to engage through its outreach,” said “With our events in London, New York, Hong Kong and elsewhere, plus opportunities to collaborate with InfoComm at the InfoComm trade show in North America and Integrated Systems Europe, we see outstanding potential for working together internationally to raise the level of conversation about what’s possible through audiovisual experiences.”

The agreement between InfoComm and the AV User Group runs through 2019.

Room Booking Software & Meeting Room Panels Event

April 27th, 2017

Andrew Neale

Anders+Kern UK Ltd (A+K), a leading distributor and integrator of audio visual solutions, are hosting their room booking and meeting panels event at the Royal Danish Embassy during London Digital Signage Week on Wednesday May 10, 2017.

The event, which is targeted at Facilities and IT professionals, is being organised in association with the Danish developer of the Concierge room booking solution, Fischer & Kerrn.

The afternoon (from 1 to 6pm) will showcase the best in room and resource booking software and will provide attendees with the opportunity to test out the latest that room booking software has to offer.

Fischer & Kerrn will be demonstrating their Concierge Booking software and meeting room booking panels. Concierge Booking is compatible with Microsoft Outlook and handles all aspects of booking meeting rooms, desks, parking spaces, resources and other services for events such as invoicing. Evoko Liso, the room booking manager from Evoko will also be on display at the event.

In addition, the latest collaborative technologies from A+K’s newest partner i3-Technologies will also be showcased on the 10 May. Products exhibited will include the new all-in-one meeting display board the i3HUDDLE 2.0 and the i3SNAP, which is an innovative solution allowing users to take and share digital meeting notes with ease.

There will also be the opportunity throughout the afternoon for attendees to speak with room booking technology experts from both Anders+Kern and Fischer & Kerrn about the bespoke options that are available to them.

On this year’s event, Steven Black, Managing Director of Anders+Kern, told us “We are looking forward to welcoming attendees to an afternoon where professionals can explore how they can enhance their current workplace utilisation. We believe the afternoon will be of real benefit to those who want to improve workflows within their business and increase efficiency”.

The Royal Danish Embassy is located in prestigious Knightsbridge, near Harrods. Danish refreshments will be available throughout the afternoon. A+K welcomes all those interested to sign up for the event either by following the room booking event website link, by emailing or calling 01638 510900. Due to security implications at the Embassy, pre-booking is essential.

London Digital Signage Week takes place May 8-12, 2017 and as with its counterpart in New York, the week is for anyone involved with digital signage and interested in retail, employee communications, smart cities, digital out of home and of course digital signage!

Deloitte Launch LHR’s First Class Immersion Opportunity

April 27th, 2017

Maddie Cotterill

This week business advisory firm Deloitte begin their first ever UK Airport advertising campaign as the launch partner of Heathrow’s latest and most exclusive digital opportunity, the T5 Immersion.

Located in the brand new British Airways first class security route, the Immersion consists of 15 HD digital totems that line the exclusive passenger route leading from security search directly into the first class Lounge. The cascading screens, adapted from a design originally produced by Admemori for Nice airport, create a visually stunning impact in this intimate location as passengers make their way to the lounge, fully immersing them in Deloitte’s brand message.

Steve Cox, Marketing Director at JCDecaux Airport told us “At JCDecaux we’re always trying to provide advertising solutions that deliver both innovative and effective opportunities for advertisers, and engaging and memorable experiences for Heathrow’s elite passengers. With the striking T5 Immersion we feel we’ve truly succeeded.”

Taking the Immersion opportunity will provide Deloitte with rare access to an elite group of global travellers. Over 2,000 passengers will pass through the exclusive security route every day, including British Airways First Class ticket holders, Gold Card members and their guests. Powerful business leaders and the world’s wealthiest leisure passengers, these are the most select and discerning customers travelling through Heathrow.

Having a presence in this prime location not only gives Deloitte the opportunity to influence the most senior level business decision makers, but projects values onto the brand that are associated with this premium airport service: trust, reliability and internationality.

Mark FitzPatrick, managing partner for clients & markets at Deloitte UK, explained the rationale for the campaign “Our campaign has a simple objective: to answer the question, Why Deloitte? We are doing this by amplifying the characteristics our clients say set us apart. They see Deloitte as the firm that delivers, makes an impact and takes action. Put simply, it’s what we do that makes the difference. This campaign will help us to create a distinctive and consistent market position.”

To extend their reach to the wider business traveller audience, Deloitte have booked additional business-focused digital networks across Heathrow. A presence on the new Business Lounge iVisions network, which covers 12 lounges across the airport’s 4 terminals, and the Heathrow Express digital gives Deloitte the potential to reach 2.2million influential business travellers during their 11 week campaign.

The campaign was booked by Talon and Electric Glue through JCDecaux Airport and will run for 11 weeks.

This Year’s 2017 CEO Spotlights

April 27th, 2017

Maddie Cotterill

Up tomorrow in our CEO Spotlight (the last Friday in every month) is PRN’s Kevin Carbone. We’ve already seen so far this year; Clear Channel Outdoor’s Scott Wells in February and Grandi Stazioni’s Stefano Mereu in March.

Following that (in no particular order) we have; Core Out of Home’s Umut Senol (formerly Clear Channel Turkey), Val Morgan Outdoor’s Anthony Deeble, Elonex Outdoor’s Nick Smith, Multimedia Outdoors Portugal’s Vasco Perestrelo, Kong Outdoor’s Ross Barrett and Go2Digital’s Edin Pasalic.

All previous CEO Spotlights (and we have almost 10 years’ worth now) are available online (click here), as well as in print: –

A more pictorial look at this year’s featured CEOs’ networks will be available in print in DOOH INSIGHTS: Volume 6 which will be published at the end of September in time for various UK upfronts and New York Digital Signage Week.

‘Live Stream’ Billboard Celebrity PSA Campaign Promotes Proper Recycling

April 26th, 2017

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

Lamar Advertising Company (Nasdaq: LAMR) and nonprofit organization Recycle Across America (RAA) are once again joining forces to promote proper recycling. Last year, Lamar and RAA made history with the first-ever celebrity PSA campaign live-streamed to digital billboards for Earth Week. This week, on the heels of that anniversary, Lamar is donating the use of hundreds of digital billboards across the country, which will display a celebrity PSA campaign live-streamed from a photo shoot in Providence on April 26th.

The live-stream photo shoot is expected to result in more than four million PSA ad spots across the U.S. promoting RAA’s Let’s Recycle RIght! campaign. Lamar is providing use of the digital billboards at no cost to RAA during the event on April 26 and for the remainder of Earth Month (through April 30).

The April 26th evening event called ‘Let’s Recycle RIght!’ will be hosted at the Providence Public Library in Providence, RI. Famed celebrity photographer Timothy White is donating his talent to conduct the live-stream photo shoot of local celebrities and VIPs who are lending themselves to promote the nonprofit standardized labeling solution for recycling bins. Rhode Island is the first state in the U.S. to adopt RAA’s standardized recycling bin labeling solution, and Rhode Island Resource Recovery will be recognized at the celebration at the Providence Public Library.

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The Global Digital Signage Conference

April 26th, 2017

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

Many people told us that a ‘Digital Signage Week’ needed its own dedicated event, focussing on the technology and its uses. We listened, we acted and so we have it – the first ever GLOBAL DIGITAL SIGNAGE CONFERENCE takes place Thursday May 11, 2017 as part of London Digital Signage Week (May 8-12, 2017) and it’s already looking like being a truly thrilling affair.

We’d like to thank BroadSign, NEC Display Solutions and Scala for stepping up to the mark and sponsoring this inaugural event, as well as thanking the over-arching sponsors of London Digital Signage Week; Digital Signage Expo (itself, the world’s largest and longest running conference and trade show exclusively dedicated to showcasing innovative digital display and interactive technology solutions for customer and employee communications), NEC Display Solutions, the Retail Digital Signage Expo (an event took place earlier this week on Monday and Tuesday) and Scala.

We always like to remind people, especially the out of home folks, that without Digital Signage there would be no Digital Out of Home but without this technology there wouldn’t be as much innovation in a number of industry verticals.

We’ve assembled, what we think is one of our best speaker line ups ever, and in doing so, have tried to cover the software side of things, AV and IT, architecture and design, retail, employee communications, thrown in a little bit about the future of hardware appliances and content, as well as the obligatory digital out of home.

Unlike many other conference organisers, we are not in the events business, we are in the business of INSPIRING PEOPLE and we think that if you look at the list of prestigious speakers we have, peruse the presentation titles and read through the short abstracts that try to do the speaker and subject justice, we think you will agree that this will be one of our best events ever: –


09.30 Welcome | Adrian J Cotterill

09.45 Music Led Me to Digital Signage, Then It All Went Wrong | James Abdool | Head of Digital Experience | Arcadis

James Abdool ‘discovered’ the digital signage industry whilst building a very successful business streaming music into the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors. After selling the company he immediately made the mistake of focussing too much on ‘digital signage’ and not enough on the problems it can solve – so here’s what he did next!

10:15 Mobile Devices, Integrated Systems, and the Spaces Between | Rob Badenoch | Associate Principal | TAD Associates

This is a tour through the world of technology consulting, where the devices in our pockets increasingly impact the bricks-and-mortar decisions of modern building infrastructure and the surrounding media landscape. The worlds of consumer electronics, architecture, and IT continue to collide, producing opportunities and pitfalls alike. This will be a discussion of technology design for the modern workplace, where our users bring expectations from the consumer electronics and entertainment industries, rather than the office. This has led us to design immersive media, augmented reality, and maker spaces into the enterprise work environment, while extending our expertise to include content and experience design. What does this all mean for the digital signage industry?

11:00 COFFEE

11.30 A Fireside Chat with Eben Upton CBE | Founder | Raspberry Pi Foundation

Eben Upton CBE is one of the founders, and a former trustee of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, and now CEO of Raspberry Pi (Trading) Ltd., the wholly owned subsidiary which runs the engineering and trading activities of the Foundation. He’s the man responsible for the overall software and hardware architecture of the Raspberry Pi device.

There has been intense interest in the use of the Raspberry Pi for digital signage for several years but all of the excitement around it reached a crescendo late last year when NEC Display Solutions revealed that it had spent the previous 18 months working on a collaboration based on the latter’s OPEN MODULAR INTELLIGENCE or OMI, being built into a number of their displays.

This fireside chat, moderated by DailyDOOH’s Editor in Chief Adrian Cotterill, will dive into more detail on the collaboration (which clearly showed NEC’s confidence with the Raspberry Pi’s ability to provide a platform that can be used in a variety of environments) and what it might mean for the digital signage industry.

12:00 Pride and Prejudice | Giovanni Flore | Digital Signage Project Management | Benetton

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a retailer in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of digital signage. Is that true? Fashion brand Benetton has continually been at the forefront of retail innovation – both with and without technology. Benetton’s Retail Digital Signage Project Manager, Giovanni Flore will explain how digital signage has played its part in the growth of the brand. Giovanni Flore has delivered incredible retail experiences with an experimental, and often, a non-commercial focussed process and during his presentation he will take a look at some of the best and worst practises he has witnessed and will also warn the audience about the use of technology for technology’s sake.

12:30 What Have We Learnt In Thirty Years of Digital Signage? | Peter Cherna | Chief Product Officer | Scala

Scala started life in 1987 whilst Peter Cherna was still a student at McGill University. After graduating, he spent almost five years at Commodore Business Machines before joining Scala in 1993 as a software engineer. If anyone can be best described as a ‘digital signage pioneer’, it’s Peter. With a lifetime of roles as VP Engineering, Senior VP of Technology, CTO and currently Chief Product Officer he knows the Scala platform and the wider digital signage industry inside out.

There is no-one better suited to talk about the prehistory of digital signage, explore the promise of technology encountered along the way (both fulfilled and otherwise) and share insights as to what experience has taught us about success in the digital signage industry.

13.00 LUNCH

14:00 Communicate, Collaborate, Utilise (But Guess What? It’s Not Digital Signage) | Sarah Joyce | Managing Director | Electrosonic and Paul Louden | Sales Director | Electrosonic in conversation with Adrian J Cotterill

Electrosonic, an international audio-visual company that provides systems integration, technical design, project management and support of AV products and systems, has always been focused on providing the best collaboration tools and services to help businesses improve communication, increase productivity and lower operational costs.

They build an extraordinary amount of innovative environments using business critical technology and create tailored, state-of-the-art solutions for a wide range of markets and applications including museums, theme parks, video conferencing, meeting rooms, control rooms and video walls.

Rarely though do they use the term digital signage with their customers and DailyDOOH’s Editor in Chief Adrian Cotterill aims to find out why.

14:45 Collaboration in the Context of OOH | Gina Kuck | Manager of Commercial Creative Services | Daktronics

Collaboration is far from a new idea, but the way it’s leveraged in multiple digital signage verticals has evolved to just the right state that it’s worth revisiting. An acknowledged LED content expert, Gina Kuck manages Commercial Creative Services for Daktroncis and she’s very focused on providing content and solutions for LED display optimisation. Gina believes that all of the verticals can and should learn from the follies and triumphs of each other.


15:45 The Future for Digital Signage – The View From The Outside In | Josko Grljevic | Chief Technology Officer | Exterion Media

Josko Grljevic is new to the world of digital signage but with a solid background at, Trainline and Barclays, not to the world of technology. As Exterion Media’s new CTO, he has been tasked with leading the UK media owner’s transition into a digital media company – all powered by data!

The OOH industry is ready for change and Exterion’s Hello London partnership is an example of this innovation, but we are told, that there is much more to come. Josko’s view on our digital signage industry is a unique one, he believes that the future for digital signage is bright BUT he will tell us what types of change that we should expect and how we can all accelerate transiion in the right direction.

16:15 Anything Is Possible. How To Create Retail Theatre And Sell Ads With Digital Signage | Guy Cheston | Media Sales Director | Harrods

Guy Cheston is Media Sales Director for Britain’s best-loved department store. There are few places in the world that, once visited, are never forgotten – Harrods is certainly one of them and it has become a must-visit for anyone in London. Guy is probably the world’s foremost authority in retail related media sales and one of the best practitioners of retail digital signage (so good in fact, that you won’t notice the technology in the store, just the ‘retail theatre’). Guy will explain how it all started, the lessons he’s learnt on the way, how his team works, why he brought in-house their own magazine and technology people and how he seamlessly sells media campaigns and more!

17.00 Closing Remarks | Adrian J Cotterill | Editor-in-Chief | DailyDOOH

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Registration is now open and can be found here.

London Digital Signage Week takes place May 8-12, 2017 and as with its counterpart in New York, the week is for anyone involved with digital signage and interested in retail, employee communications, smart cities, digital out of home and of course digital signage!