Well it’s a bank holiday weekend here in the UK (Monday 3rd May is a vacation day) so we have only one proper working day (Tuesday) between now and #ScreenMediaExpo (May 5th and 6th, Earls Court, London).
Mark Pigou and his team seem to have done an excellent job leading up to the event and if you are dithering over attending or not – don’t!! Get on a plane or train and get to Earls Court for what we think will be a fabulous European event.
Anyway, we thought with so little time between now and the event that we would do our very own ‘Heroes and Zeroes’ post; congratulating and thanking those that ought to be applauded and goading those idiots who just don’t get it.
So here goes…
ALL of the exhibitors are of course big heroes but we can (still) break them down into a number of categories and thank a few a bit more personally…
- There are a number of first time exhibitors at #ScreenMediaExpo this year and in no particular order we think it is fantastic that the likes of; Harris Broadcasting, Intel Corp, NCR, Mitsubishi, Christie Digital, Barco, PSco and Prysm have all decided to exhibit
- The little guys make up an essential part of the ecosystem and it’s great to see them put their hand in their own pocket and take stand space, big hats off to folks like: DOOHjobs DOOHstuff and Iconic Images
- There a number of long standing exhibitors – folks who keep coming back year after year. It’s great to see such continual support from the likes of Sony, Daktronics, Hyundai, Arch, Minicom, signagelive, BF Group and BLUEFOX
- There are also some really exciting other ‘newbies’, we are particularly excited to see Vizrt and never.no exhibiting for example.
We think that #ScreenMediaExpo does a lot to reach out to end users who actually buy stuff. #ScreenMediaExpo also goes to a number of (obviously) money losing efforts to promote all of this to the media community and the organisers should be lauded for their efforts. There are for example well over 50 legitimate members of the press registered to attend next week – surely great PR for any exhibitor with a booth?
Bottom line #ScreenMediaExpo is often footing the bill to promote the industry whereas folks like Neo Media Group, Digicom, EnQii and others (to name and shame just a few of the supposed big players) spend never a penny. If the so-called big players won’t invest, then seriously, you could ask what is the point?
To that end I am afraid we have to name and shame…
- Samsung where were you? Where were you?
- Digicom are fast becoming like Cisco – the DEFINITE first to volunteer for a speaking slot the ABSOLUTE last to put hand in pocket to exhibit. One feels that they think they are being extremely ‘clever’ – “oooh we are saving money on marketing by speaking” we can hear them say and of course continually getting ‘one-over’ on organisers. One thing that really got our goat this week was one of the @digicomooh tweets, we quote “Insight advisory arm launched – exciting! Come and chat about it at #ScreenMediaExpo – call Digicom HQ to arrange a time. Hope to see you!” posted at 1:21 PM Apr 28th. With NO booth what the hell are they going to do? Meet in the corridor, meet in the bar or perhaps go down the pub and sink a few pints of Guinness – oh yes all very professional! Beware Tom and Co. we’ve marked your card and we will call you every time you dare attempt to do this. You are either part of the industry and want to see it grow or you are not. C’est simple. Organisers too will soon get wise and you will get no air time.
- Those sharing stands. We understand the recession but seeing big vendors (try and) showcase by supplying kit to other exhibitors is cheeky and does NOT show them in a good light. Do these big vendors actually believe in digital signage. We certainly have to question some of them and their motives. Many of them spend $100,000’s at InfoComm (a GREAT show so don’t get us wrong) but they are typically intra-industry and all things AV – the opposite to digital signage and in particularly DOOH which is unique in many ways to #ScreenMediaExpo. Surely the bang for the buck that an exhibitor would get at #ScreenMediaExpo is huge compared to other shows. EnQii for example! Where on earth were you and what are you thinking of not being at the largest dedicated trade show in Europe?
- We have an ongoing frustration with many of the screen manufacturers (those not mentioned as HEROES above at least) – the likes of LG, NEC and Panasonic. If these three really want the industry to grow then they need to support shows such as this. They all visit in droves (we spent hours being ‘interviewed’ by hordes of LG employees last year at #ScreenMediaExpo) but do little to put their money where their mouth is.
The industry as a whole needs to ask itself where it thinks it is going. There are far too many hangers on. Regular readers will know that we ourselves have an issue with fellow online portal sites – all of them happy to plaster their logos all over events – never happy to buy exhibit space and never prepared to send employees (well for those who have more than one) to cover the events. Gail, Jorge, Onyee, Andrew and I will be at #ScreenMediaExpo – yes it is sort-of local to us but don’t forget that two of those folks are being flown in from abroad for the occasion!
#ScreenMediaExpo is not responsible for the success or not of the industry, they are there (like #dse2011 and like #CETW) to facilitate a forum for growth and business.
As Ed Rooney said in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986) “Wake up and smell the coffee, Mrs. Bueller. It’s a fool’s paradise” and we’d end our diatribe by saying that without everyone in the industry taking equal part we are always going to be in an illusory state of wellbeing.