It’s Our Secret Sauce, Can’t Say…

Chris Sheldrake

Seriously just how awful were the digital signage business briefings at IBC?

Ray Brooksby, Thomson (PRN) was the only decent speaker on offer. Ray came to discuss trends in the industry – he was very funny and engaging, a real professional. He was the only one who gave a few good insights from the field. He presented passionately by someone who knows what’s going on in the industry.

Their was however one big negative in his presentation – he mentioned right off the bat that “they had a secret sauce at PRN, and that there was no way he was sharing it” – well I’m sorry but if that is your attitude then don’t take the stage.

He was asked a few questions at the end, and the answer came back almost every time “it’s our secret sauce, can’t say”

Ridiculous. Anyway if you thought that was bad then you didn’t sit through the rest of the presentations – the only way to describe them is ‘painful’.

First up was an American consultant, Jimmy Schaeffer, from the Carmel Group USA, who wrote a book on signage last year. He could have done the presentation 6 years ago, it was so out of touch with recent developments. It was basic, clichéd and naïve, I believe it gave no value to the audience whatsoever.

Jimmy had a good delivery but his presentation showed that he watches the industry from far, far away and he just wants to sell the dream. He always came back with the word ‘relevance’ but unfortunately his presentation was not relevant to where we are now in late 2008, let alone moving forward to 2009.

Andy Holmes from DSN is a classy guy but his presentation was basically a sales pitch for his company. Apart from a few interesting details here and there it was just a ‘showcasing operation” with no real value for attendees.

If you think at this point that it cannot get any worse then you did not have to sit through the Dynamax presentation – we wondered if he could be as bad as the last Dynamax guy at presentations and he didn’t let us down.

His presentation was simply a plug for their technology with a couple of poorly staged and uninteresting testimonials from the guy at Clear Channel – all coupled with incredibly poor delivery.

That ended the first briefing entitled ‘An introduction to digital signage’ – we then had to sit through the second one – ‘Deploying digital signage’

John Anderson, a screen guy from Panasonic, started the show and it was not enjoyable. He started off by saying that “he wasn’t here to advertise for Panasonic” but then that’s exactly what he did.

His presentation got worse when he started to give advice on planning a network and developing content (do your research, produce quality content etc.).

It was simply a collection of obvious comments and naïve advice and again, nothing new.

Next up was the Sony guy. From a quick look at his background it looked like he could save the show but unfortunately he went off on a tangent with a philosophical analysis of marketing today in relation to Digital Signage and then guess what?

Yep, he proceeded to plug Sony big time.

Certainly not the worst event I have been to (we are in Amsterdam after all) but it comes close. The presentations, with the exception of the PRN guy were certainly the worst we have ever sat through.

3 Responses to “It’s Our Secret Sauce, Can’t Say…”

  1. Chris Heap Says:

    Perhaps it’s time for someone (DailyDOOH/POPAI/Screen Forum) to take a leadership role in bringing together subject matter experts and – on merit – sending them out to events, expo’s and conferences where their selection and therefore combined knowledge may actually give something of real value back to the market rather than just corporate plugs. I’m game.

  2. jim simpson Says:

    Your review is so appreciated, it was hard to believe I was reading it. I’ve only been in this industry for two years but find it to be filled with obtuse and off-the-mark commentary from almost everyone I speak to. Our startup has yet to succeed and we know why so we don’t need the obvious, obtuse and frustrating advice. Unless advertisers are there to pay the bill – in a way that is acceptable to all the participants – talking monitors and connectivity is no more than a digression and energy drain….

  3. Anon Says:

    Who spoke for Dynamax?

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