The Smart Building Conference

July 29th, 2014

Russ Curry, Ministry of New Media

The Smart Building Conference (SBC), a joint venture between InfoComm International and CEDIA, is to expand significantly in the coming months with the staging of four events addressing some of Europe’s most energetic markets for audiovisual technology and systems integration.

SBC_Logo_NeutralConference organiser Integrated Systems Events has announced a schedule that will see the SBC take place in London, Berlin and Milan this coming autumn, before returning to Amsterdam for #ISE2015 next February.

Mike Blackman, Managing Director, Integrated Systems Events, told us “After successfully staging SBC events at the last two ISE shows and in London last October, we believe the time is right to roll out the Smart Building Conference brand across Europe. Our strategy will be for our three events this autumn to have local content tailored to each country’s regional market, while next year’s Amsterdam SBC will serve as the brand’s international meeting point.”

Content for the SBC events in London, Berlin and Milan is being produced in close consultation with local partners in each country, while Conference proceedings in the three cities will be conducted in English, German and Italian, respectively (as in previous years, the Amsterdam programme will be conducted in English).

Content for all four events is being managed by Agata Pawlik, newly recruited Conference Manager at Integrated Systems Events.

Bob Snyder, Editor-in-Chief of Channel Media Europe and the moderator at all three SBC events so far, will continue in the role in London and Amsterdam, with local-market MCs being sought for Berlin and Milan.

The full SBC schedule and venue listing is as follows:

  • Tuesday October 7. 2014 – Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, London (note that the Ministry of New Media’s one day Employee Communications Thought Leadership Summit takes place the day after on October 8, 2014 at One Drummond Gate, Victoria, London)
  • Thursday November 6, 2014 – Mövenpick Hotel, Berlin
  • Tuesday November 18, 2014 – nhow Hotel, Milan
  • Monday February 9, 2015 – RAI, Amsterdam

The London, Berlin and Amsterdam events will both feature parallel tracks for residential and commercial building applications, with the first two also offering the option of full-day workshops at additional cost. i.e. the day after the SBC in London, the day before in Berlin.

The Milan event takes place in the same week as the SIEC industry gathering at which both CEDIA and InfoComm are expected to offer additional industry training and networking opportunities.

More information on the SBC 2014-15 schedule is available here.

Singapore Sports Hub, Asia’s Largest Sports Complex, Selects NCR

July 29th, 2014

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

NCR Corporation has deployed both the NCR Venue Management solution and NCR Vitalcast digital signage solution at the new Singapore Sports Hub, a mega-sports complex with six venues.

singapore sports hub

Singapore Sports Hub is one of the few venues in the world that can host concurrent events, accommodating over 70,000 spectators at one time.

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Two New Digital Sites 4 @Outdoor_Plus

July 29th, 2014

Maddie Cotterill

Outdoor Plus has introduced two new premium UK digital sites as it continues to grow its coverage in and around the heart of London.

08 croydon outdoor plus Purley Way Fiveways JULY2014 SKY[1]

The two new sites, A41 Hendon Way, and Purley Way Fiveways (shown above), were unveiled on Monday July 28 with Sky, IKEA and Audi among the advertisers who had booked campaigns.

  • Outdoor Plus has introduced a brand new site, the A41 Hendon Way, which will be seen 650,000 times by ABC1 commuters every fortnight. The site is next to a major arterial junction, which connects London’s commuter belt with the A41 and the Brent Cross shopping centre slip road
  • Outdoor Plus has transformed its site at Purley Way Fiveways, introducing a state-of-the-art digital screen. It’s the first large digital screen people will see on their way from Gatwick into London, and it’s close to the retail hub around Purley. The only digital screen in the area, it’s within sight of the IKEA towers and it’s fitting the retailer will be among the first advertisers on the screen when it launches. Sky is also advertising its Summer of Sport campaign on the site from launch.

Jonathan Lewis, managing director at Outdoor Plus told us “We’re continuing to add to our network, giving brands access to the best sites in and around London, allowing them to tap into upmarket commuters as well as people working in the heart of London. We’re confident the two new sites will be very popular with our existing clients, and with new clients.”

Barry Louth, head of media planning at Sky, said: “Our Summer of Sport campaign is designed to attract new customers by reminding them that Sky has the most comprehensive sports coverage in market. The site at Purley Way Fiveways is one of the highlights across the plan and the location injects premium quality as well helping us reach a broad audience.”

In April, Outdoor Plus also introduced a brand new digital site in East London, on the A12 Cross Route targeting a City audience.

Over the past 12 months Outdoor Plus has grown from a fledgling media owner into a major player in iconic roadside digital with enviable distribution across the capital.

The company also announced it would invest GBP 10M across 2014, not only in new sites, but also in new ways to engage audiences while they’re out of home.

What One Man Can Invent Another Can Discover

July 29th, 2014

Andrew Neale

NEC Display Solutions has been chosen as Technology Partner for the eagerly anticipated Sherlock Holmes exhibition at the Museum of London.

NEC Technology Partner Sherlock Holmes ExhibitionSherlock Holmes, which opens in October 2014, is the first major exhibition since 1951 on the world’s most famous fictional detective, to be staged in the capital. It will illuminate the man who never lived and will never die, and consider why Sir Conan Doyle’s character has endured for more than 125 years, appearing in print, radio and on screen in numerous incarnations. He is now arguably the most iconic fictional Londoner, with a global reach and worldwide fan base.

The exhibition curators will make extensive use of film and photography to stitch together the many faces of Sherlock Holmes. With NEC’s expertise, the museum is planning an ambitious and impactful climax of the exhibition, which will give visitors a fully immersive Sherlock Holmes experience.

“We have identified NEC videowall display equipment as the best technology solution for this part of the exhibition, which will also be the final section and the one that all our visitors will leave talking about,” says Rebecca Gilmore, exhibitions project manager at the Museum of London.

Throughout the exhibition, NEC desktop, large format displays and a PX750U projector convey the narrative, whilst sixteen new 46” NEC X464UN LED backlit videowall displays will create the canvas for the exhibition’s final compelling reveal.

“Building on the success of recent high profile exhibitions at the museum, combined with the public interest we have already seen, and the global phenomenon which is Sherlock Holmes, we expect to attract in excess of 100,000 visitors over the course of the exhibition,” says Rebecca Gilmore. “To have NEC on board as our Technology Partner for Sherlock Holmes bolsters our audio visual capabilities to add to this world class exhibition. We look forward to working with them in order to deliver this.”

The exhibition opens on 17 October 2014, running until 12 April 2015, tickets are available now from The Museum of London.

Awake, Arise or Be 4 Ever Fall’n

July 28th, 2014

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

Back in April 2013 I was invited to Dallas to present at the multi-day kick-off that officially saw RMG Networks and Symon Communications merge into one.

blake paradise lostLeft to my own devices on the first evening, an evening that saw Garry McGuire take all of his RMG Networks people out to dinner, and separately Charles Ansley do the same (unfortunately for the last time ever as it happened) for his Symon Communications people, I pondered on how exactly best to present the challenges that lay ahead for the (combined) new business.

First of all, let’s not beat around the bush, no-one (apart from the money-men who saw the cash and revenue locked up in Symon) understood why a media company was buying a technology services company. Symon was making very good money and doing well (if a little stodgy in parts, it was still the BEST solutions partner for corporate communications by a long way) and you can only guess at the feelings of those Symon employees who saw Chicago money and a West Coast media mentality come to Dallas, effectively take their business, kill their brand and (eventually) fire their executive management team.

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Even The Demons Are Encouraged When Their Chief is “Not Lost in Loss Itself”

July 28th, 2014

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

Garry McGuire may have been forced to ‘resign’ from RMG Networks late last week but he hasn’t left the company completely empty handed, receiving a rather nice parting gift from RMG Networks (see below) and negotiating a rather interesting change to his non-compete obligations which we doubt anyone else who leaves RMG will ever get.

  • In the CONFIDENTIAL SEPARATION AGREEMENT AND GENERAL RELEASE Exhibit 10.2 (it’s available online if you know where to look) he states that Garry received a lump sum payment equal to USD 428,125, a further USD 21,875 in earned and unpaid vacation and 100,000 shares of RMG Networks common stock (that’s approximately USD 665,000 in total).
  • The amended separation agreement states that, and we quote “Employee understands and acknowledges that Employee remains bound by the relevant terms of the non-competition and confidentiality provisions of the Employment Agreement, provided, however, the parties agree to modify the Employee’s non-compete obligations by allowing Employee to accept employment with any competitor other than Scala, Inc. and Four Winds Interactive, LLC” .. no doubt RMG Networks saw on the software side of things that Scala and FWi were there biggest competitors but still, allowing your ex-CEO to go and work anywhere in our industry immediately pretty much throws sand in the face of those left behind.

However that’s not all…

Seven / 12th’s of an annual USD 350K base salary, plus the USD 415K bonus he received in Q1 2014 for 2013 (all per his publicly reported employment contract) means that Garry received USD 1.28 Million for his efforts in calendar year 2014.

In the nicest possible way, let’s put that up against the fact that Greg Sachs has lost 80% of his investment, reflected in the stock he owns via his cash outlay … Garry on the other hand has been handsomely rewarded in cash.

The shareholders of this public company (and employees of both Symon and RMG Networks) might feel slightly aggrieved with what the head guy was paid in relation to the results that were produced.

.. and finally, just like the sports stars who continue to get paid hundreds of thousands of pounds a week when they are injured or suspended or NOT PERFORMING, we do wonder who the hell negotiates all of these contracts!

Paradise Lost? @NEOCAST’s Ken Goldberg Comments on @RMGNetworks’ Plight

July 28th, 2014

Guest Contributor, Ken Goldberg

My last post on my own Digital Signage Blog was some 10 weeks ago (May 9, 2014) and that post, RMG: The Old Double Whammy discussed RMG Networks’ plight in the wake of its disastrous first quarter earnings report.

illustration-to-milton-s-paradise-lost-1808-3Since that time I have effectively taken a hiatus, and have been gratified by several people who told me that they took notice. I actually took the time to write a post about the Wireless Ronin-CRI merger announcement, but ultimately decided that I care about it as much as you do, and decided not to publish it. Billions of electrons were spared the humiliation of being wasted in the process, which is more than can be said for the investors in RNIN equity. So it is somewhat ironic that the first post of the summer must be on the topic of RMG once again – and reproduced by kind permission here on DailyDOOH as well, Ed.

It seems that while Americans were barbecuing their way through Memorial Day and Independence Day, RMG was basting in the juices of its own failed non-strategy. Shut off from its plan to acquire businesses by the double whammy of a deflated share price and thin trading, it has been forced to operate the businesses it has in place, namely the company formerly known as profitable Symon and the media businesses known mostly for their Powerpoint pitches. It hasn’t gone well. Symon’s model and team had been revamped by a group of media executives and financial wranglers, and competitors are swarming to the honeypot of disaffected customers and perceived weakness.

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Go; For Thy Stay, Not free, Absents Thee More

July 28th, 2014

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

It was announced internally last week that RMG Networks CTO Daniel Kwong was let go. He claims, or will claim that it was because he did not want to move from Silicon Valley to Dallas (he’s an ex-Cisco and ex-Juniper employee based in San Francisco).

He’s a nice enough guy but in our opinion (we met him on several occasions) was in well over his head and should never have held a position such as Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer – especially with all the talent that Symon once had.

Rumour is that CEO Garry McGuire renewed his contract and upped his salary only a few months ago, so here no doubt is another ex-employee who will be laughing all the way to the bank.

SMiLE, London’s Social Media Week

July 26th, 2014

Maddie Cotterill

The fifth SMiLE London Event will take place on September 25, 2014 as part of London’s Social Media Week.

It is put together by simply-communicate, the leading online magazine and community, at the forefront of social business.

DailyDOOH, On Turning Seven Years Old

July 26th, 2014

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

If you have (or have had) little ones you will know just as we do, how time flies, one minute they are a babe in arms, the next a wannabee teenager. So it is with our very own little baby. DailyDOOH which turned seven today!

7th-birthday-badge-large-1Two years ago we took the opportunity of our (then) fifth birthday to look back, see ‘The Best Of The Past Five Years‘ and last year we did something slightly different and looked forward to the next 12 months (with special attention on the brand that we have built up during that time).

Those (future) highlights actually look pretty much the same now as regular readers will know that we do like our REGULARITY ;)

Here they are: -

  • The DailyDOOH Gala Awards. The industry needed an impartial, up-market awards ceremony that did the sector true justice. Now in its THIRD year, we are expecting 200+ people again – who will sit down, eat a lavish meal, drink fine wines, award ‘Reggies’ to deserving people, projects, vendors and deployments. Oh and of course being English, it’s Black Tie. This year (to avoid clashing with US Thanksgiving) the event takes place on Thursday December 4, 2014.
  • The DailyDOOH Investor Conference. A key part of New York Digital Signage Week in October each year.  This event is ‘the’ networking event for senior executives in the industry. Once again we will be in our super plush location on the 24th Floor of the McGraw Hill Building at 1221 Avenue of the Americas no less. The event takes place Wednesday October 22, 2014 and registration will be open shortly.
  • The DailyDOOH Media Summit. What more can we say? .. it has been described by many of the 155 who attended as the best industry conference they have ever been to.  If you missed it, you can see what it was like on the Ministry of New Media YouTube site here.  We’ve already booked BAFTA again for next year and the event will take place Tuesday May 19, 2015.
  • Thought Leadership Summits. We couldn’t wait for others in Europe to get the process of putting on a great one day conference correct, so we did it ourselves. Our first Thought Leadership Summit (TLS) in 2013: Video Walls Unplugged was a resounding success, almost 100 people turned up in London to listen to carefully selected speakers do quick fire (very TedX-style) presentations. Our TLS series of events continued with Billboards Unplugged (kindly sponsored by Barco) later that same year as part of New York Digital Signage Week. We then ran another Video Walls Unplugged whole day event stateside as part of #dse2014 and are managing not one, not two but THREE Employee Communications events (the first as part of London Digital Signage Week in May happened earlier this year with 166 registrations, the other two will be in London October 8, 2014 and then October 23, 2014 as part of New York Digital Signage Week.
  • Books, books and more books. Our book publishing business seems to have taken on a life of its own. On the technical side, our BlueBooks have proven very popular with screen manufacturers and solutions providers alike and we have a couple of new ones currently in the works. We distributed almost 10,000 copies of DOOH Insights Volume 1 between October 2012 and May 2013 and DOOH Insights Volume 2: The Best of 2013 saw a similar distribution pattern. DOOH Insights Volume 3 is going to be our best yet – it is very, very people centric and people focussed whilst also including all the regular features such as The DailyDOOH Best of 2014, the year’s CEO Spotlights and The DailyDOOH Gala Awards 2013 Winners (and Finalists).  It will be out in October at all the best events.
  • #DSTop10, #DSTop30, The Software Holocron. Back in 2008 we were the first to document who we thought were the best digital signage vendors in the industry. Whilst that, unsurprisingly, caused some controversy, we felt it was a much needed start to weed out the scores of vendors who have little to offer. We take this list very seriously and every year travel widely to meet vendors, look at their technology and understand what they have to offer. The next #DSTop10 list will be slightly different from previous years but will still be announced in October 2014. The #DSTop30 which lists vendors that we have or would work with on or various projects also exists to complement the top ten and of course the Software Holocron, in so much as it is humanly possible, documents the vast majority of the vendors and products, past and present, in the market place.