Behind the Scenes Review of DSE 2018

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DSE 2018 was a whirlwind of a week for me and my colleagues. My time in Las Vegas for DSE commenced with an evening of digital out-of-home conversation at the DPAA Members Dinner hosted at Topgolf. It was a great opportunity to speak with a number of our current and new partners, all while hitting golf balls toward the lights of Las Vegas. And I have to say, their screens - currently running on our Cortex software platform - were looking great!

Before the official opening of the show floor, my colleagues Ashley Dreyfus, MJ Kong, Eric Lamb, and I attended the Digital Out of Home Strategy Summit organized by the Digital Signage Federation. Kym Frank, CEO of Geopath, opened the event with a keynote that highlighted her organization’s focus on becoming the standard measurement currency for the industry. Kym and her team are making great strides to ensure all network operators are prepared as more revenue and thus scrutiny enter our space. Geopath’s digital place-based measurement pilot is currently underway, including some of our media partners that we recommended should participate, and we’re eager to see the results of more media owners embracing standardized measurement.

Across the day’s panels, which included thought leadership from our partners at Lamar, Clear Channel, Adspace, and our very own Eric Lamb, programmatic DOOH was a key topic of conversation. This naturally led to discussions about data and measurement, campaign attribution, dynamic creative, and the use of anonymous video analytics for audience verification. Given our focus at Vistar, it was great to hear how strongly the industry is embracing the core pillars of our programmatic approach.

During the expo, I was lucky enough to participate in an on-floor content strategy workshop with two great friends and industry leaders, Bryan Meszaros, CEO of experiential agency OpenEye, and Will Amos, Director – Digital Media Group at Diversified. We offered our unique perspectives on how design, planning, and integration all contribute to building a successful, content-rich digital signage experience. During the panel, we took some informal audience polls and found that many were first-time DSE attendees aiming to launch their own DOOH networks. At Vistar, we’re committed to growing the overall OOH industry by bringing new digital buyers to the table and enabling media owners to expand their capabilities, so it was exciting to see this “new blood” entering the DOOH space.

I wish I could tell you that I spent a lot of time walking the show floor, as has been a key part of all of my previous visits to DSE over the years. However, in reality, great conversations with strategic partners, media owners, display and media player manufacturers, as well as, longtime industry friends shaped much of my experience at DSE 2018.

From Peter J. Solomon’s annual cocktail hour at Tao to amazing dinners with media partners, my colleagues and I took advantage of every opportunity to grow our relationships across the digital signage and DOOH industries. It’s in the conversations and new partnerships that emerge from DSE that the event offers some of its greatest benefits.

Any recap of the Digital Signage Expo would be lacking if it didn’t highlight at least one “cool technology” seen on the show floor. I was struck by a new type of holographic display created by a mosaic of spinning fans. While not the safest digital execution to have at eye-level, the 3D visuals created by the fans definitely stopped people in their tracks. I wasn’t surprised to hear that a handful of media owners and venue operators were considering installing the fan-powered displays in some of their marquee locations.

So, here I am, back in New York recounting a jam-packed week of education, networking, great conversations, and team-building activities. I’m already looking forward to DSE 2019 and breaking my high score at Topgolf Las Vegas.