Twenty Stands Surely A Show Does Not Make

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

October 2008 (i.e last year) we write ‘Madness And The European Digital Signage Show‘ and I am afraid it is going to be much the same story this year however we (and others) try to spin it!

kioskcommHow can twenty stands split roughly 70% kiosk and 30% digital signage be any sort of show? It takes less than 5 minutes to walk around we are told. A show like this can make no economic sense and surely does both industries a disservice.

Andrew and I are due to visit Kioskcom / Digital SIgnage show at Olympia tomorrow (I’m sorry we resolutely refuse to add the suffix ‘European’ in any description of the digital signage show) but that’s only because we have a couple of meetings already scheduled.

One rumour doing the rounds was that they nearly pulled the show at the last minute and you know what, it may have been better if they had.

We suspect that even to get the exhibitors that they have they did some rock bottom deals – again to re-iterate this makes no financial sense to organiser, exhibitor or the punter who gives up valuable time to visit. What a joke!

There were also some exhibitor no-shows we believe.

Ronni Guggenheim’s much touted Minicom (sponsored by Scala no less) Experts tour must have taken all of 1 minute twenty seconds.

Minicom Digital Signage, the leader in “last mile” player-to-screen connectivity platforms for the Digital Signage marketplace, and KioskCom Ltd the organizers of The Digital Signage Show Europe and Self Service Expo, announce this week the bringing of the successful “Digital Signage Expert Tour” to the event ot be at Olympia. The Digital Signage Expert Tour is an educational framework, helping visitors understand and experience the full digital out-of-home application on the show floor. The “tour” is a free service during the show from September 30th to October 1st at Olympia, London.

This free tour will provide an overview of a selection of carefully hand-picked exhibitors following the accurate path of the digital signage supply chain, from content creation to traffic management, outlining how they fit into the overall Digital Signage puzzle. “The tour was an outstanding success at Screenmedia Expo London and Infocomm Orlando, providing a groundbreaking platform of education for the visitors of the shows. Traditionally, a visitor finds it difficult to get a bird’s eye view of the overall application. The Digital Signage Experts’ Tour answers this need by providing the full end-to-end story with real live demos of each piece in the puzzle, an overview of the solution which a visitor would normally not get.”

In Addition, Minicom Digital Signage is launching for the first time an innovative communication method, allowing participants to listen to the tour guide’s explanations without surrounding interferences. This method utilizes a ListenTech tour audio system and ensures that listeners hear comprehensively, without interruption.

The tour is schedule to happen on Wednesday 30th at 10.30am and 2.30pm and on Thursday 1st at 10.00am and 12.30pm. Just come along to stand 140.

5 Responses to “Twenty Stands Surely A Show Does Not Make”

  1. Jason Cremins Says:

    It seems like my post below re. IBC applies to the Kiosk and Digital Signage show at Olympia:


    Jason Cremins Says:
    September 16th, 2009 at 13:49 @576

    Pleased we gave it a wide berth as I visited last year and was far from impressed with the DS zone. From reports of this year, it has not moved forward and if anything was worse.

    There are far better ways of spending thousands of £$€ to generate quantifiable business opportunities, so trade shows/events have to be something special to attract interest from vendors.

    Unless a show is truely focused on Digital Signage/DOOH, I for one will continue to keep my hand in my pocket.


    We have a pop-up stand on a partners stand at the show and I am swinging by tomorrow to say hello and for a couple of meetings with others attending. But I am so glad I have not paid out anymore than a train ticket to get there.

    Can we please just have one UK show run by those that are committed to the industry (Screenmedia Expo) and can everyone else please pack up and go home as they are doing more harm than good.

  2. Lawrence Dvorchik Says:

    A show makes sense if the attendees are viable business opportunities for the exhibitors, which based upon yesterday’s feedback, seems to be the case.

    Is it a stand-alone digital out-of-home event? Absolutely not. What this event is is an opportunity for those companies that are looking at digital signage – and not just DOOH, but all aspects of digital signage – and/or kiosks and self-service to come and meet with companies that can help them with their deployment. Additionally,there are roughly 50 stands at the show, not 20.

    It is absurd to think that the only viable events for attendees and exhibitors are those that are 100% focused on digital signage/DOOH. For some reason all of the DailyDOOH contributors seem hung up on that aspect, and refuse to look at the potential business opportunities that will come from a show like this, and the attendees that visit.

    Many exhibitors sell both digital signage and kiosk solutions. If a company sells both kiosk and didigtal signage solutions, does that make them less qualified or less of a possible solution than a company that only sells digital signage? i think not.

    I think your readers are being done a disservice by the inference you continue to make about solution providers in this space.

  3. Ronni Guggenheim Says:

    I share your concern with respect to too many shows, too little presence and as discussed around IBC too many show organizers trying to jump on the wagon. While at Viscom we have around 100 registrations for our Digital Signage Experts Tour, I admit that the tour at this show is not as successful. Looking closer, it appears the reason is, once again the fact that it is a pure networking show and only known faces walk the floor to shake each others’s hands.

    If exhibitions don’t start to add real education, hence attracting more buyers and tangible business, these shows will not fly. This is exactly what we were targeting with the tours, and I have to say that we are proud to have partnered with Scala, confirming the need for more information, more education and a holistic view at the food chain.

    We are talking to the organizers to find ways together with them to improve the overall concept, and I am sure you would have contributions and ideas as well. I can witness that they are open to hear, listen, learn and cooperate and it is in the industry’s interest to help these valid shows to develop valid concepts.

  4. Paul Mayer Says:

    But surely none of this is new? Broadline, IT-type exhibitions, like the Which Computer Show, and more niche CADCAM-type exhibitions, were around in the late eighties (that I can remember). These were replaced with different names but the same exhibitors. I can see from the posts that the points of view of the ‘usual suspects’ have not changed.

    Whether we like it or not, the kiosk and digital signage markets get completely lost in a large exhibition like CeBit or IBC that’s why KioskCom / Digital Signage exists. Exhibitions are an important part of a balanced marketing communications strategy. Expecting an ROI from a single exhibition is naive at best. If one is looking for quantifiable business from an exhibition in order to justify the cost then feel free to roll the dice and take your chance. I was recently contacted by someone who visited our stand at KioskCom in Vegas three years ago but who didn’t leave a card, buy anything or make contact until now. That is why we take a more measured view of exhibitions and their worth.

    IMHO, whether or not you label it a European event is immaterial. Yes, the current KioskCom / Digital Signage Exhibition at Olympia is smaller and more poorly attended than ever. And, yes there are as many people trying to sell as there are people intending to buy. But, given the state of the global economy, surely this is to be expected.

    One thing is for certain, the show will be bigger next year, and I for one will be considering attendance as part of an integrated strategy. After all, you don’t have to spend a fortune to have a presence.

  5. Minicom Says:

    @Guggenheim: Do you think all the industry folks are stupid and you can bullshit them. You are talking to organizer to get free space at the exhibition, that is the minicom way. If all the companies are like you, no exhibition would be held and do not tell us you are the robin hood of the industry.

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