The Digital Signage Insider

Why I'm Really Looking Forward to the InfoComm 2009 Trade Show

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I haven't attended an InfoComm show in a number of years, and WireSpring has never exhibited at one until now. So needless to say, I'm a little anxious and excited about going next week. Adding to the excitement is the fact that I don't have to schlep all the way out to Vegas again, though I'm sure there are plenty of folks who would rather have the chance to catch up with Cirque du Soleil than Mickey and Minnie. But while the InfoComm trade show has been around for a long time, only in the past few years has it become a must-attend event for the digital signage set. Here are some of the reasons why I'm looking forward to InfoComm 2009.

The non-DS exhibitors

I've already seen everything from those folks who first-and-foremost consider themselves to be digital signage solution providers. After all, that's what DSE is for. But InfoComm is much, much larger than DSE. It encompasses a much larger and more varied pool of exhibitors, some of whom we deal with tangentially, but many more of whom we've probably never even heard of before. I've made some great tech/implementation discoveries in the past, often in the no-man's land of the last row of the exhibit hall, where tiny Taiwanese companies sell crazy products that do things you never thought you needed.

It's also fun to see which vendors think digital signage is going to be their big growth area. It breaks my heart to see all those streaming video and teleconference guys hawking slightly-tweaked versions of their hilariously expensive products and expecting to make a big killing in our niche. On second thought, no it doesn't...

The POPAI digital signage standards meeting

Image credit: Mark Skipper
As I noted a few weeks ago, the POPAI technical standards group has been making good progress on creating a framework for interoperability between digital signage players, servers, and third party services. We're going to be having a free meeting (open to anyone) on Wednesday, June 17th at 4 pm in room W223A (which is somewhere near Hall D). The first fifteen or so minutes will be spent covering the purpose of the group and what we've done so far. After that, we're breaking into a full-on tech discussion about playlist interoperability.

If you have even the slightest bit of interest in seeing how this whole interoperability thing plays out, I highly suggest you drop in, even if it's just for the first few minutes. We've got a good, active group of people, and so far the representatives from PRN, WireSpring (duh), Scala, Harris, Coolsign and IAdea have confirmed they're showing up. I expect a whole bunch more. And while I don't think the expo center folks will let us have a keg in the room, I promised a few people on last week's call that I'd look into it and see what I can do.

The Strategy Institute conference

This will be the third year that we'll be attending/exhibiting at the Strategy Institute's Digital Signage Technology Summit, which is targeted at exactly the kind of audience that InfoComm typically attracts. The SI conference covers stuff like planning rollouts effectively, using digital signs to find new revenue streams, lower operating costs or improve productivity, and integrating digital signage solutions with other products. We've learned a good deal in the past at this conference, and have made some good connections to boot. If you think you might want to check it out for yourself, be sure to mention the secret code 9015-WS10 to get 10% off of your ticket price when you sign up for the event.

Catching up with y'all

I've met so many people through this blog and related industry happenings that it's getting very difficult to keep up, even with Twitter, LinkedIn and a plethora of other services that promise to keep us connected. It's always great to catch up over lunch, a drink, or even just a quick visit at a booth. While I'll probably be spending part of my time Wednesday at the Strategy Institute conference, I expect to do a good amount of booth sitting at InfoComm, so stop by and see us in booth #1746.

So, those are my plans for InfoComm 2009. What are you looking forward to doing and seeing at the show?


+1 # Lyle Bunn 2009-06-12 11:35
I'll see at InfoComm09 Bill.. the event has been ramping up its DS focus for several years.. in good timing as the DS ecosystem component providers' (including software) need for a growing number of channel partners who serve more "local" markets has been accelerating, and the market interest in using DS is widening rapidly. And it happens that many AV Integrators are looking for new product supply opportunities, while AV/IT departments inside end user organziations (the other major delegate group at InfoComm)need to learn more about S as they are asked to lead or contribute to projects. InfoComm - YES. Good call on your being there Bill. Lyle Bunn
0 # Christie Liu | Conference Producer 2009-06-12 14:28
Hi Bill ~ Look forward to seeing you at the event. The DS Tech Summit will have lots of case studies on the implementation and use of DS as a communications tool. You'll find this group of audience quite friendly, interested and ready to learn as much about DS as they can! Safe travels. /christie
+1 # Bill Gerba 2009-06-12 22:07
Lyle, Christie, look forward to seeing you both there!

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