There’s someone else at the top of their game at the moment and that’s the invidis consulting guys in Munich who probably haven’t yet come down off of a deserved ‘high’ after having arranged one of the best digital signage conferences we have been to in the last couple of years.
As our Paris correspondent Russ Curry wrote yesterday “the 4th OVAB Europe Digital Signage Conference got off to a cracking start in Munich on Tuesday with a slick presentation by organizers Oliver Schwede and Florian Rotberg to the three hundred or so professionals assembled at the Kempinski Hotel at the airport.”
Asked ourselves on Skype last night when we had all got home, how the conference was, we told Bill Gerba “very very good, probably 8.5 or 9 out of 10” to which he replied “wow, high marks coming from you” – yet that seriously does sum up just how good we thought the event was.
The venue was absolutely fantastic. Great hotel, it was a brilliant idea having the hotel and conference location at the airport itself as it made it so easy to get in and out. The conference room was superb, great projection equipment, great audio, nice service – everything about it was spot on. The food was also very good and the breakout sessions just the right length to network and visit the small cluster of exhibitors who took space in the spacious hotel lobby exhibiting their wares (NEC had a big presence but nice also to see a network, ECE flatmedia be there).
The evening event on the Tuesday was held only 100 yards or so away from the conference and hotel venue at the Airbräu which like many Munich drinking establishments had its own micro-brewery and needless to say the beer and food all went down rather well – the fact that they had Obatzda, a Bavarian cheese specialty, which is one of my absolute favourite snacks helped as well.
We thought that many people would spend a polite hour or so at this event and then wonder off and do their own thing but at about 23:00 dozens of us who were still there got kicked out! Truly a great way to meet new people and have some fun.
A conference is not a rewarding conference of course without good speakers and this one had many.
- Russ has already made mention “Instead of the traditional power point presentation, the dynamic duo practice what they preach and used a touch-screen monitor to drive their keynote address” and that was a great way to start the day – two people on stage, sharing the speaking helped engage and captivate the audience and really got people ‘into’ the conference quickly and effortlessly.
- The audience thoroughly enjoyed the three presentations that immediately followed by networks (and speakers) of note: Stefan Kuhlow of Ströer, Oliver Popplebaum of ECE Flatmedia and Yasmina Siadatan of Amscreen. All of whom had success stories and things worthy of sharing.
- The next session was slightly technical in nature and Jason Cremins, signagelive did a great job talking about SMIL and some of the technologies and trends that may be a threat or saviour to the industry. Andreas Soupliotis, CEO Ayuda Media Systems shook the audience up and really got people thinking in his speech about an open source approach to digital signage. There were plenty of conversations about this throughout the rest of the day and the next!
- Vincent Letang from ScreenDigest / iSuppli did his usual ‘good job’ making numbers and statistics interesting and effectively turning them into trends and he needs to be a regular speaker at events like this we believe – keeping everyone abreast of real numbers.
I did the day’s wrap- up and I cannot thank the organisers enough for giving me the opportunity to do that. As I think (okay, I know) my teachers used to say at skool “he does love the sound of his own voice” and to be given the stage and wrap up (and hopefully refer back to all the day’s speakers) was a great opportunity. My complete presentation (still minus my notes and thanks, but that will be added) can be found here.
One slight negative, and it’s unfortunately becoming more common at events these days, is when (some of the) speakers don’t stay for the whole day. I appreciate that we are all busy and perhaps have other things to do (don’t we all) but I think it shows a lack of respect to the organisers, the audience and their fellow speakers by not doing so. I won’t pick on anyone (okay, I will) but the Intel guy presented then left the room, stood outside chatting and missed my wrap-up and my mentions and refer backs to him and his speech. Thanks then to the majority who stayed throughout the day and took full part in all the proceedings.