On March 15-17 in Las Vegas Digital Signage Expo (DSE) will highlight everything related to digital signage. DSE will house more than 200 exhibitors featuring the latest trends in software, hardware, and content delivery from nearly every corner of the world. The on-floor workshops that take place throughout the show help one to see in-depth information on specific products that are key to one’s objectives.
My approach this year will differ somewhat from the past as a professional end user who has used digital signage for corporate communications for several years; previously, my main objective for attending DSE was to look for new and upcoming hardware. I was always on the lookout for new, brighter signs or display technology that would make content pop. I would also look at the latest trends in mounting hardware, including various cart designs – anything to keep the digital screens functional, while remaining out of the way of manufacturing traffic.
This year, I will team up with another co-worker who will be attending DSE for the first time. Since she is mainly a content creator, various forms of content creation software will be the general focus. As a Multimedia and Production Support Specialist, she understands the creation of static signs can be a labor-intensive task, not to mention expensive. Therefore, she will be looking for tools and/or platforms designed specifically to make the best use of her time spent creating content – making it easier while still maintaining the look and feel sure to engage employees.
In addition to content creation software, our focus will be exhibitors who can provide a clean content management approach. The ability to easily schedule, maintain, and organize content is an important aspect of digital signage. The flexibility to change content quickly and on the fly is something can have far-reaching benefits. Suppose you received notification that a high-ranking official was arriving for an impromptu visit with only minutes to display a welcome message. Alternatively, suppose an emergency arose requiring a quick update directing employees and visitors to a specific location or exit. A quick update capability is critical to any digital signage system.
Besides software and content management vendors, I will be looking for a company who can provide all of my digital signage needs in one platform, a one-stop-shop so to speak. Currently, I maintain three different digital signage platforms. I use two systems concurrently to display company news, which is part of our corporate communications effort to keep our non-wired workforce informed of what is happening in our business. In addition, the use of stocks, weather, and RSS news feeds keep employees up-to-date on the world at a glance.
I use the other system to display production metrics, which allows individual programs to create their own content geared towards the employees in a specific area. This helps to increase the efficiency of employees. Instead of management sending countless emails stating the health of a program or notifications of possibly missing deadlines or quotas, employees can see all the information on a digital display in their specific work area. Senior Leadership also uses the tool to provide a quick snapshot of each program’s status.
My advice to others attending for the first time is to be prepared to reach out to specific vendors before the show and schedule appointment times. This will ensure the opportunity for you to speak directly with industry experts. Moreover, I have found it enormously helpful to download the DSE app to my mobile phone, which includes a map of the exhibit floor indicating where each vendor is located and the specific products or services they offer. This time saving capability is a necessity for someone attending the show, whether a new attendee or a repeat visitor, no matter what role in the digital signage process they have.