DSE (Quick) Thoughts After Day 1

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

182 exhibitors we believe, up from 150 last year. Show is busy. Wednesday morning there was a discernible crowd in the venue halls, that tailed off the middle of the afternoon (as you may expect) bu there was still a buzz on the stands.

The organisers we think said about 3,600 folks were expected (if true that will be up from last year’s 3,500). We are not sure about that – all other US events have been down 20% or more and there’s no reason to think why our industry would not be the same – having said that the exact number of attendees is probably immaterial – this is a good event and not the attendance disaster that some people predicted.

The event as a whole has been well organised, it’s a good venue of course but the venue seems to cope well with the numbers and size of the exhibition – there has been good food, good company and lots of space to spread out and meet people.

We have never been keen on the too many break out summits and there have been LOTS so far BUT having said that all the events we managed to pop our head into have been well attended (40% full or more) so no presenting to 3 or 4 people scattered around the room.

With regard exhibitors, the usual suspects are there in some form or another – nice to see on the Real Digital Media stand all the employees proudly wearing their 6 Year Veteran attendance badges (that shows real support to the industry – are you listening Cisco with all your power, money and might?) so hats off to Ken Goldberg and his team.

Wireless Ronin own their stand it would seem and took a huge 40″ by 40″ space and must have spent a good USD 400K on everything – they were right at the main entrance with BroadSign to their right. BroadSign didn’t have a stand per se but did have a good location and made the mosgt of where they were with plenty of meeting rooms, complimentary wi-fi access, coffee lounge etc – despite what some people said we thought it was WELL DONE and look forward to them perhaps doing something similar at Screen Media Expo Europe in London in April.

TELentice and signagelive were the only two vendors missing from our Top 10 Digital Signage Vendors 2009 list, the rest were there in strength…

  • EnQii and STRATACACHE both had good stands
  • BroadSign had their previously mentioned meeting area and coffee lounge
  • ?

  • C-nario shared a stand with a distributor BUT had presence seemingly on many other stands, we spotted C-nario branding on Mitsubishi’s (rather disappointing) stand and elsewhere (TruMedia we think)
  • Scala had a big space in a prominent location
  • Even Wirespring were there (despite Bill Gerba’s views on exhibiting).
  • Nice to see Ryarc Media Systems there as well
  • Dynamax had a REALLY nice stand and was well manned by both Brits and Yanks

Our contributors will be writing in a bit more detail about what they have seen – Manolo has a fantastically funny story and photos of the Coca Cola screen based vending machine crashing (it was WinDoze) on every third use.

It was nice to see folks like Arbitron take a stand.

We twittered yesterday “Best thing we have seen at DSE so far? The Touch TV Network – sharing space on the CHILIN booth (go take a look)” – hard to descrive – it made Microsoft Surface (which only works horizontal and needs the depth of the table to allow its projection) look awful – think OSX desktop interface with gesture on any screen or panel. Best if you are here to go take a look for yourself.

The show had its own ‘Content Pavilion’ and maybe these guys at DSE should have learnt the lessons from Screen Media Expo Europe last year that it didn’t really work. The pavilion had maybe 8 small companies selling their wares when we think they would have been better off distributed around the show. It was kinda quiet in the pavilion and all these guys face each other yet compete for effectively the same business.

Talking of content, the best we saw was on the Electrograph Systems Inc. stand – here there was an IconOne display in portrait mode and someone had built something really simple yet incredibly effective. Think front cover of a woman’s magazine (doesn’t matter which one, maybe ELLE or VOGUE). There’s a beautiful model on the front cover and the usual headlines – ELLE at the top, then highlights from the articles in the magazine; “Fashion and Beauty Tips”, “Ten Ways To Get Ahead At Work” etc etc.

The text headlines NEVER change but give the screen / ersatz front cover 7 seconds or so and the model moves – she giggles, she moves as if she is getting into her ‘pose’ for the camera, the she is still again. VERY CLEVER.

Whether the content was intentionally this good we don”t know – the IconOne screen was one of many exhibits on the stand but again well worth hunting out and taking a look.

We are looking forward to Day two – networking is a big part of this show and some of our best chats / conversations / meetings have been where we bumped into folks in unlikely places, like the Monorail or on the show floor or at the awards party that we maybe last met in Montreal, Mumbai or Paris!!!

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