Anticipating DSE 2016 – An Attendee’s Perspective

Feb. 24, 2016
If you’ve been to Digital Signage Expo (DSE) once, you know you have next year’s Expo inked in on your calendar before you leave Thursday afternoon at the close of the show.

If you’ve been to Digital Signage Expo (DSE) once, you know you have next year’s Expo inked in on your calendar before you leave Thursday afternoon at the close of the show. The experience is that good, that informative, and not to be missed if you are serious about digital signage.

As my team and I gear up for this year’s Digital Signage Expo, we will be looking to see if the trends that all the bloggers have written about are in fact “trending.” There has been a lot of talk in the industry regarding “dynamic digital content” so it is important to know where these technologies are headed in 2016 and beyond. For instance, when discussing proximity technology, many of us want more discussion on measureable activity.  How are Beacons, NFC, and other technology being utilized to provide interactive user experiences?  What can be done to better bridge the digital-mobile experience effectively? There is always a lot of talk about content being “king,” but are there new content triggers we should know about?

I’m very interested to see the latest trends in digital screens. Bigger is not always better, but clarity, durability and interactivity is becoming even more important. Since the retail sector has taken the lead on providing interactive experiences for their customers, I am interested to see what we in the transportation sector can learn from those applications in order to provide our customers with immersive experiences that better engage them and meet their needs.

Looking back at my first DSE, I truly didn't know what to expect. I wanted to do it all – attend my seminars, listen in to the  “On-Floor” presentations and of course walk the Expo show floor to see EVERYTHING. Well, I can say that was my undoing. I ran myself into the ground trying to soak up everything I could possibly absorb to share with my colleagues back in New York who didn't make the trip. I was physically spent by the time Thursday was done, so much so that I barely made it to the airport for my flight the next day. If this is your first Expo, don’t be like me.

Be smart and have a plan.

Part of having a plan is identifying ahead of time what you want to accomplish at Digital Signage Expo. Are you looking for a new Content Management System (CMS)? Are you looking to upgrade your screens or your mounts? Are you looking at a kiosk with interactivity, or looking to integrate mobile into your current offering? Should you be looking at 4K or is OLED in your immediate future?  Mapping out a strategy before hand will help you achieve your goals and to walk away on Thursday feeling like your Expo experience was a success.

Create a shopping list of your own and browse the exhibitor list ahead of time. Doing your research first will save time and since, as I’ve mentioned, it is difficult to see everything you want to see in two days. If you’re prepared, you’ll be more likely to see more of what you really want to see.

Review the educational seminars in the general conference schedule and choose the sessions that are the best fit for your needs now and in the immediate future. If you are brand new to the digital signage industry, consider the fundamentals sessions, which cover the basics of planning, deployment, management, and operation of a digital communications network as well as content creation. There is even a session on creating an RFI (request for information), or an RFP (request for proposal). And, there are Roundtable Discussion groups designed specifically for transportation professionals – where you can meet other transportation professionals, compare notes and make connections. By the way, Digital Signage Expo also has a lounge area reserved specifically for end-users, which is a great way to meet other people who share the same challenges and broaden your professional network with your peers in other industry categories.

One more thing – if you feel you would benefit from personal introductions to key vendors, the Digital Signage Federation will be organizing and offering show floor tours this year to help new attendees meet key Federation members who are exhibiting at DSE. These introductions are a great way to start building a contact list of people to call for professional advice.

As a member of the Digital Signage Federation (DSF), author Paul Fleuranges will be a panelist on the DSF’s March “Hangout” discussion entitled, “Interesting Outcomes from DSE 2016 – An Attendee’s Perspective,” on Wednesday, March 23 at 2pm EST. More information on this and other DSF events can be found on the DSF website. Both DSF members and non-members may join this or any of the DSF’s scheduled Hangout discussions for free – but registration is required and can be accessed on the DSF website at

As a member of the NYC Transit Executive Staff, Paul Fleuranges directs NYC Transit communications, and has oversight of Marketing & Service Information, NYC Transit Customer Service & Travel Information and NYC Transit Customer Relations, which is responsible for several key MetroCard programs. He also oversees the operations of the New York Transit Museum. In addition, he oversees the agency's On The Go Travel Station network of digital interactive kiosks.