The Digital Signage Federation, the only independent not-for-profit trade organization serving the digital signage industry, announced today (Feb. 10/16) that it has finalized a working relationship with the organization formerly known as OVAB Europe, which becomes DSF Europe, an independent affiliate of the DSF.
The change will begin in the coming week, once officially approved by OVAB Europe members.
This move is expected to give major benefits to both organizations, Randy Dearborn, DSF chairman, and vice-president, multimedia technologies, MGM Resorts International, Las Vegas, and Ken Goldberg, DSF past-chairman, and CEO, Real Digital Media, Sarasota, Florida, said in an exclusive interview with DailyDOOH.
OVAB has been very much involved on the business climate and in developing standards related to best practices, content and RFPs, while DSF has been mainly involved in education for its members and advocacy on behalf of the digital signage industry. DSF has a much bigger and fragmented membership (about 702 individuals representing about 285 organizations from all sectors of the industry) while OVAB has about 40 company members, mainly representing various networks.
“This is the first step to DSF becoming representatives of the global industry,” said Goldberg, adding that discussions for this agreement had been in the works for about a year. “We want to expand our reach and do advocacy for all. First, we have a lot to learn about the European digital signage networks, how and where they operate, their activities, and about the business climate in Europe, while the DSF can offer education, and advocacy on behalf of the industry as a whole. We want to build membership in Europe. We both have a lot to gain.”
The agreement is also expected to help bring much more attention to the digital signage industry as a strong media among advertising and media agencies.
It also means that the charter of OVAB will need to be broadened. DSF Europe will maintain its own budget and annual agenda, participate in worldwide event and initiative planning, and is expected to have a seat on the DSF Board of Directors. This affiliation recognizes the global nature of digital signage activity and the need for an industry association on a similar scale. It is expected to help drive DSF membership and participation in both North America and Europe where many multi-national companies already do business, providing education, professional development and programming support for those organizations seeking to invest in or become more active in the digital signage sector.
Dirk Huelsermann, head of VUKUNET EMEA, who is founding president of OVAB Europe and and head of association since its founding in 2008, will now be president of DSF Europe.
“Our Board of Directors believes strongly that working closely with the DSF will allow us to build on a strong foundation to expedite the growth of DSF Europe,” said Huelsermann. “This affiliation will allow us to offer members additional educational and professional development opportunities and become a much more inclusive trade organization.”
“Just as DSF filled a void with its inception six years ago, now is the right time to unify industry advocacy and advancement around the world,” said Goldberg. “Establishing DSF Europe is just the start. Our objective is to increase opportunities and visibility for members doing business in the digital signage space, regardless of geographic location.”
“As we expand as a global industry, this agreement with OVAB gives us a strong platform,” said Dearborn. “We’ll be able to speak as a single voice and advocate for all.”
The Board of DSF Europe (OVAB) currently meets formally twice a year (One of these meetings is often in Munich.) The Board of DSF meets three times a year in person in various cities and once by telephone conference. This year’s meetings are scheduled for Charlotte, North Carolina; Minneapolis, Minnesota; and Scottsdale, Arizona. A members’ networking event is usually scheduled around the same time to build membership, awareness of the organization, and sometimes to help develop regional councils.
There is no decision yet as to a DSF Europe Board representative on the DSF Board and there are no plans at this time for a DSF representative on the European Board.
DSF was founded six years ago during Digital Signage Expo. Its Mission is to support and promote the common business interests of the world-wide digital signage, interactive technologies and the digital out-of-home network industries. The DSF is a not-for-profit independent voice of the digital signage industry reflecting the diversity of its membership. It promotes professional recognition through certifications, continuing education, conferences, publications, and presentations offered by the DSF and affiliate groups.
It provides regulatory advocacy to leverage the collective strength of members and represent their interests at the higher levels of government and the community. The DSF provides leadership and networking opportunities focused on building a strong foundation for the advancement of the digital signage industry.