Best Exhibitions To Attend

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

Laura Taylor from Brainstorm Communications asked us the following: –

“I am trying to assess which – out of the many exhibitions that are cropping up for digital out of home – are the best ones to go to?

I imagine you go to a lot of them and was hoping you would be able to help me decide on which to pop along to and which to potentially exhibit at?”

Dear Laura

Avoid any shows with the word ‘kiosk’ in them and especially any Digital Signage events that are attached to Kiosk shows. I’m afraid that Kiosk organisers just don’t get digital signage and unless you have a product or service that meets the needs of both kiosk and signage then we suggest you steer well clear.

We make no secret of the fact that we have a couple of favourite shows. Next year the ‘MUST attend’ dedicated Digital Signage events are Digital Signage Expo 2009 in February in Las Vegas and Screen Expo Europe in April in London.

Stay clear of the much smaller Digital Signage Expo event in Pennsylvania in September.

The other MUST attend show, first in the calendar actually, is the Integrated Systems Europe event in Amsterdam at the beginning of February 2009. This is getting much more traction in the digital signage and digital out of home worlds and generally just gets better and better the longer it goes on. Last year all of the big digital signage vendors, with the exception of Broadsign, were there. Very well worth exhibiting AND attending.

We also thoroughly recommend InfoComm 2009 which next year is being held in Orlando, Florida – whilst ostensibly a systems integrator, audio / visual event it is again getting much more traction with the digital signage world and with over 30,000 attendees it’s a show (and an experience) not to be missed.

This year we know that many digital signage vendors are venturing to Amsterdam for IBC in September We like IBC a lot and usually go BUT it’s a broadcasting event and only over the last couple of years has it dipped its toe in the digital signage waters by having a specific digital signage area.

IBC have segregated the Digital Signage area off from the rest of the show and we don’t like the look of it at all. We would much rather have it integrated into the rest of the show. Think twice before exhibiting and if you do (exhibit) then think carefully where you want to be – we think it would make much more sense to be on the main show floor.

Lastly as we know that you work in retail here are two retail suggestions for you…

The best global retail show by far is EuroShop in Düsseldorf BUT it’s a triennial event and the next one isn’t until February / March 2011 !!!

The National Retail Federation (NRF) event this year was big but a bit disappointing. It’s in New York again next year in January and we would recommend giving it one more try.

About Brainstorm Communications

Brainstorm is a creative communications agency. We specialise in communicating messages for international brands and world class clients. Be it product, training, strategy or brand, we create and deliver messages to both internal and external audiences.

2 Responses to “Best Exhibitions To Attend”

  1. Jim Simpson Says:


    Thanks for handling that question. As a local market startup, the shows I’ve been to have not addressed the “rational start up”. Almost everyone I’ve spoken to says they handle almost everything, but none have a clue how to make money from day one. From my very limited experience it appears to me that there are many other vertical and horizontal marketing issues the shows do not address. The special “Content Day”, for example, as described by the show in Philadelphia, includes what they described as discussions of how to provide low cost content. However, when you look at the presenters you find they are content creators who have never done anything for free (and for the record who would)?

    As a local startup though, we have found that there is plenty of local, low cost, beneficial and exciting “events and happenings” content available for our restaurant, hotel and pub monitor program, yet no event I’ve seen anywhere addresses how to capture and channel it. The technology is simple, if you have clients, so the shows that focus on technology, in my humble opinion, are a waste of time for sales and marketing driven OOHV startups.

    It doesn’t take a tech guru to understand that small, local startups are going to be necessary to penetrate local markets. As a small company that knows we have to have a successful selling model almost from day one, we spent the first couple months organizing the technology and then over a year – and it will be longer – to acquire and “monetize” the market specific and localized content with advertising. The shows were not very helpful once we found our tech/software providers.

    So, it would be great if there were a show just for the “locals” that are sales driven, who know the newest monitor is just a distraction, and really do have to face the daily task of doing it all on a shoestring. I’d like to suggest just such a conference for the US Midwest…the worst economic model in which to start up. Monitors, players and software providers in a separate room from the round table discussions trying to identify the key success components for local independents. The “if you can make it there you can make it anywhere” entrepreneurial tone here certainly refers to a challenging business environment but is, ultimately, going to be necessary to proof out the viability of this exciting, “new media” industry.

  2. Lawrence Dvorchik Says:

    As a regular reader of the DailyDOOH, I appreciate the insight you provide professionals in this industry. I think we can agree that a thorough analysis of successful Customer Facing Technology (CFT) deployments is an asset and anyone interested in DOOH should seek out case studies on successful deployments and learn from them.

    Where I would have to disagree with you, is in your statement that “Kiosk show organizers just don’t get digital signage”. Actually, many of the important successes that should be examined come from DOOH’s sister market, the kiosk industry.

    For 13 years I’ve been involved at all levels of the CFT industry, from kiosks to websites to handhelds to digital signage. I’ve worked with thousands of deployers (purchasers) and technology / service providers, conducted research and industry analysis, and demonstrated the benefits of these CFTs to the mainstream universe – retailers, hotels, travel, government, food service, etc.

    My work has brought a number of “hot buttons” DOOH issues to my attention, including:
    • Securing funding, Senior/Executive level buy-off and organizational support (current and ongoing)
    • Exploring and selecting the appropriate technology for the project
    • Creating relevant and engaging content, and ensuring your content is presented in the right context
    • Improving the customer experience
    • Providing ROI metrics to purchasers
    • Increasing revenues with the deployment while reducing operational expenses

    These same issues have been a staple of the kiosk industry. The only difference is that they’ve been discussed and addressed within the kiosk market, and action plans based on these conversations now are used as the platform for many DOOH deployments.

    Kiosks and digital signage share an incredible amount of analogous DNA, so I think it would be wise to explore events that cover both areas versus avoiding them because those mediums – exhibitions included – will help them to most quickly launch and succeed with their project.

    From an attendee/session perspective (as Jim’s response was), the speakers at our events have been hand selected an vetted thoroughly. These sessions are conducted by speakers who have actually done the implementations so we can inform people (like Jim) of what they can do for successful deployments. We focus on the strategy and how-to’s in those sessions, leaving other areas, including the exhibition floor for technology issues and demonstrations

    As in your posting of May 15, 2008 titled “Only Do Great Tradeshows”,, you clearly agree that is THE critical element, and the organizers of the largest Kiosk and Digital Signage Events make a compelling case.

    I’d like to invite you The Digital Signage Show in NYC in October as a guest in the hopes that the experience will change your outlook on this subject.

    Lawrence Dvorchik
    GM – The Digital Signage Show
    GM – KioskCom Self-Service Expo
    Las Vegas ◊ New York ◊ London

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