Madness And The European Digital Signage Show

Russ Curry, Ministry of New Media

Ignoring the well-intentioned advice to ‘avoid all shows with the words “kiosk” attached to them’ I traveled from Paris to, what I thought was the ‘The European Digital Signage Show’ at London’s Olympia last week

The show was also called ‘KioskCom Self Service Expo’ and so the idea was to have two shows in one of course.

Check-in was smooth and the welcome friendly, but my first disappointment was to go down the entrance stairs and walk straight into a brick wall, or so it seemed.

Used to other shows at the Olympia, I hadn’t realised that there was a much smaller hall and that I could pretty much walk up and down all the corridors in ten minutes.

Luckily, the Official Event Guide was very clear and well laid out, so it didn’t take me very long to figure out that out of a total of 73 stands, only 9 or 10 were dedicated to ‘Digital Signage’ (hardware, software & systems) and that a further 14 were taken by various exhibitors working in both Kiosks and Digital Signage.

So if I’d wanted to talk to absolutely everybody loosely connected with Digital Signage, I could get through the show in a good half day!

Anyway, I went straight over to the Digital Signage Theatre for the first presentation billed as ‘The 10 Rules of Digital Signage’, ably presented by Morgan Angove of Dagobert (standing in for Olivier Debin) – it’s interesting to note that there are now eleven of these golden rules!!!

The room was well-filled for this (the staff at DailyDOOH have been BIG fans of these rules and seem happy to publicise them whenever they can) and the following presentation by Pierre Gillet of Roku, but the audience unfortunately thinned out decidedly during the course of the day.

I felt really bad for MediaTile CEO Keith Kelsen who had flown in from California to present ROI case studies on Rolls Royce and Continental Airlines, which I would have imagined would have pulled in, at least a small crowd, but alas, his smooth and clear presentation was only appreciated by the handful of us left by then.

I felt even worse for Iain O’Kane who followed, since by that time we were down to three people in the audience – I felt so bad in fact that I offered to move around the room to try to fill it up, but to no avail.

I have to confess to not having the strength to hang in for Philip Grannum for the last speech of the day – I’m not even sure if he had the courage to go through with it.

Meanwhile, every time that I passed the Self Service Theatre, unfortunately located on the way to the toilets, it seemed VERY well attended.

OK, so not many visitors were interested in the presentations, but was the event worth while?

I don’t know the visitor profile, but I’d say that if anyone came to the kiosk show and discovered Digital Signage through the event, then that would be a ‘good thing’.

However, if that really was the aim, then I’d have expected to see a ‘Digital Signage Village’ grouping the players with presentations along the lines of ‘Discovering Digital Signage’ – similar in fact to what the SIGN UK event in Birmingham does every year.

That wasn’t the case of course and to label a show like this as ‘The European Digital Signage Show’ was at the very least misleading, if not downright pretentious.

So, will I be attending next year?  Err, no, I’ll be taking that advice next time and avoiding like the plague all shows with the word ‘Kiosk’ in or near the title.

By a curious coincidence on this trip, I bumped into Suggs of Madness whilst sharing a coffee in Soho with Dave Robinson, founder of Stiff Records, on what would have been my second day at the exhibition if I had returned for a second day … but that’s another story!!!

Leave a Reply