Ben Ziglin thinks that the Sign Industry has one major plus going forward as more and more sign companies get into the digital signage world: Sign companies are creative, know graphic design, and should be able to offer great content creation.
Ziglin, founder of Ziglin Signs, located in Washington, Missouri, recognizes that sign companies have a lot of catching up to do when it comes to learning about digital signage. But, he says, as they learn more about integrating content creative with content management, and about other aspects of the digital signage business, they should be able to move ahead quickly.
Ziglin is sending four of his own employees to the educational day that will precede #2013SignExpo next week in Las Vegas so that they will learn more.
Ziglin himself is already into digital signage at ZM-Media, in which he is a partner. This company, which has its own advertising sales staff, already has one non-profit fitness chain with 15 locations and between two and five screens in each, plus another six smaller clients. Content management is currently with CoolSign after ZM investigated several software companies, but Ziglin says that he is leaning towards a cloud-based operation eventually.
“Digital signage is complex,” he says. “Some has been dumbed down a lot to make it easier but it’s still years ahead. Sign companies have a lot to learn.” While he may be exaggerating the numbers – or maybe not – when he says, “There’s a 1,000 companies selling boxes, 1,000 selling screens, 1,000 selling content management. Sign companies will have to step up and learn but they have the advantage of knowing graphic design and creative content. They’ve already been involved in 2D, 3D, animation. Content management and content creation have to partner.”
Ziglin is also president of the new Tri-State Sign Association (Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri). The three states’ individual sign groups had already worked together on the annual Tri-State Sign Expo so to join up as an association was a logical step, he says. The 2012 exhibition had an attendance of 460 with 66 exhibitors and, as usual, raised funds ($23,000 in 2012) for local scholarships through a golf tournament and other related activities.
Ziglin expects that the 2013 Tri-State Expo, scheduled for Aug. 8-10 at Downstream Casino Resort in Joplin, Missouri, will also see a push towards digital signage.
As for the Digital Zone at International Sign Expo, “This is the first time for us, a big step. I hope a lot of attendees will use it.”