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Show Preview: Screenmedia Expo Time of the signs

This month’s Screenmedia expo is expected to break records for the show. James McGrath talks to the organisers about the European DOOH market, and what visitors to Earls Court 2 can expect to see

Hopes are high that 2012 will be a record year for Screenmedia expo


his year’s Screenmedia expo is expected to attract some 4,000 visitors, who will see at first hand digital signage applications as well as some of the associated technologies that are driving growth in media networks – including audience measurement, interactivity, connected devices, mobile integration and near field communications (NFC). “Screenmedia expo 2012 will be the hub for all the latest and greatest screen media technologies and applications,” comments Mark Pigou, show director at organiser Screen Events. “We’re optimistic that this will be a record year for the expo.” Speaking to IE, Pigou says that the digital out-of-home (DOOH) market continues to show consistent growth throughout Europe. “The UK is firmly in the lead where European DOOH advertising revenues are concerned, followed by Germany, then Spain and Italy, then the Netherlands, France, Switzerland and Turkey,” he says. “What is remarkable is that DOOH is showing consistent growth everywhere even during the economic downturn. It took a while to go mainstream but it’s definitely there now.”

Pigou believes that Screenmedia expo offers different benefits for businesses at different stages in their involvement with digital signage. “For those just exploring the idea, it’s a chance to see a lot of different digital signage systems

12 IE May 2012

up and running – always more informative than reading about them or watching a video, and a big time-saver too,” he says. “For those ready to make an investment in digital signage, the expo is the place to talk directly to suppliers. Finally, both for novices and the more knowledgeable, the free learning programme offers a chance to gain insight from other users and specialists in the sector who’ve already been where you’re hoping to go.” He stresses that the purpose of the education sessions is not to de-mystify something complicated: “In fact, in terms of both the business proposition and the technology, DOOH is a relatively uncomplicated thing. The real need for education is in helping people figure out precisely which flavour of screen media is right for them. The sector covers a huge range of applications – from digital billboards to shelf-edge displays, wearable screens to interactive maps – so the big danger is generalising, assuming that what worked in case A will work in case B.”

Education programme The conference keynote will be presented by Jose A Avalos, Intel’s retail and digital signage director. Entitled ‘Intelligent Digital Signage Empowering the Omnichannel Consumer’, it will look at how the integration of digital signage technology with social media and

mobile devices is enabling interactive omnichannel marketing strategies. A further 25 free-to-attend

presentations from thought leaders and practitioners will take place, organised in four thematic tracks. Connected Screenmedia will cover the ‘value exchange’ between the screen and the viewer, and consider how to work collaboratively with multiple devices, platforms and apps. Connected Content will discuss what gets viewers, users, brands and advertisers engaged. Interactive Connection will evaluative the role of interaction in creating an enhanced user experience Finally, Smart Connections will explore the data that screen media networks should be using to deliver real-time communication and generate response.

A particular focus of this year’s show is the evolution of the screen. Interactivity is set to feature highly, and in particular the connection between smartphones and the screens themselves. The growing importance of NFC to the future of DOOH is shown by the presence of the inaugural international NFC Bootcamp, which will be co- located with Screenmedia expo. The event will run on both days and provide information on how to harness NFC technology in marketing-based applications to drive brand awareness and revenue. Visitors can see the technology in action by visiting the NFC Showcase on the showfloor.

. Where?

Earls Court 2, London . When?

16 May: 9:30 – 17:00 17 May: 9:30 – 16:00

On the showfloor

Among the 90 or so exhibitors on the showfloor, Screenmedia expo is hosting the launch of Bouncepad’s new Floorstanding model – a freestanding tablet kiosk solution for public spaces. It can be deployed alone or as part of a larger display, making it suitable for settings ranging from schools and showrooms to trade shows and exhibitions. DynaScan will exhibit its recently introduced 65in professional LCD, the DS65LT4. The largest display in the High Bright Series, the DS65LT4 features a maximum brightness of 2,500 cd/sqm, an LED dimming backlight and a 23.7mm bezel. Also on the stand will be two new 55in high bright and ultra-high bright narrow bezel professional LCDs, suitable for videowall applications in bright environments.


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