This was the first in-person show since the last one, which was held back in Amsterdam in 2020. Last year’s event was canceled due to Covid restrictions. This year, its holding was also under threat, but fortunately, after the 3-month delay, it still took place. And all the exhibitors and guests were really excited about it, since all the industry players needed this common meeting in order to "synchronize their watches" and simply to communicate face to face, which everyone obviously missed a lot during the 2 years of the pandemic.
This year we didn’t not exhibit. So, our goals were to take a look at what’s really happening with an industry and to shoot a short overview video for our customers and subscribers to give them an opportunity to learn more about current novelties and market trends.
So, we spent a day on a show, shooting the most interesting stands and talking to the industry experts.
We asked them 3 simple questions:
1. What novelties did they bring to this show?
“Digital signage media players”, - Ann Holland (Vice President, Marketing at BrightSign LLC.) has replied, - “They work in every different type of vertical applications from corporate and museums to menu boards. And what were known for in the industry is ultimate reliability affordability and our partnerships with hundreds of CMS partners”.
Daniel Lee from iBase has noted, that they are the first company, which introduced video wall players with 6 outputs and now they even expanded their number to 16 outputs. On the other iBase is highly focus on 4K products.
“That’s basically CMS system plus embedded video analytics which enables you to setup targeted advertising. On the top of it we also promote our latest programmatic platform”, - said Alex Varlamov, Head of Partnerships at Displayforce.
Geoffrey Bessin from Intuiface has told us, that their main specialty is interactive digital content enabling teams even with no development skills at all to create interactive digital material. It could be museum, exhibition, sales pitches, retail point-of-sales. Also, he has noted, that probably more than half of their customers are agencies and integrators, that have their own clients to build such materials for them. “So, I guess that's what makes us unique is that interactive angle,” - he has summarized.
“We now have a 0.88 mm. LCD video wall. We just launched a new totem product. So, it's a floor-mount display with an LED inside. They can go one or two sides and then we’ve got an LCD version at 3000 nit brightness that is single-sided. We also have our new 9000-series LED product available and that's in 1.2, 1.5 and 1.9 mm. pixel pitch, great for the retail market” – said Jack Boyczuk, Global Business Manager at Philips Professional Display Solutions.
Lewis Clifford from IIyama announced world premieres of their own UC products. That will include webcams, speakerphones and conference bars. And this is something really new for the integrators, whose actually are able to supply an IIyama display, an IIyama slot PC and have all of the peripheral products around that now. Also, he has mentioned new 62-series pick-up displays from 43 to 55 and 65-inches, all containing Android operating systems.
“First of all, we have our latest BRAVIA professional display lines, having complete range of displays for professional application for variety of different segments. From our BZ30 line, which typically uses as a digital signage or in retail environments to our flagship BZ40 line, where we have complete range of displays from 32-inches right away to 100-inches, all the way in 4K HDR resolution. So, Sony picture quality at its finest”, – said Adam Dover, TSM Manager at Sony Europe B.V., - “And last of all we have our flagship Chrystal LED solution. These are 137-inches LED video walls with 1.5 pixel pitch and brightness of 1800 nits. There are many use cases for that option, but the typical one is virtual production. So, a lot of production companies now utilize it instead of a green screen, for example”.
2. What trends will lead the digital signage market within the next several years?
Lewis Clifford, IIyama: “We're going to continue developing an LFD signage offering, since digital signage is a big part of what our partners want to see. Also, we will proceed to build partnerships with different digital signage platform based on Android system”.
Ann Holland from Brightsign suppose, that key trends in the industry obviously is advancement in the media player technology which they're always working on as a company. But also, she has added to list the partnerships with interactive sensor providers whose products are changing the retail experience right now, because people want more of an experience as opposed to speaking with a sales rep. in the store.
“We perceive, that more and more often people go on to engage with the contents directly and it might be one of the side effects of the pandemic is this greater hesitation to interface with people. Maybe there's a little more interesting self-service in a getting the information and products I want without having to interact with someone directly” – said Geoffrey from Intuiface.
Adam from Sony has underline, that signage now is more important than ever with the different retail experiences that we’re having. The difference, to his mind, is that it is not about static content, but more interactive content now.
“The retail market is really been going gangbusters”, - Jack Boyczuk from PPDS is sure, - “That's why we released the totem and our LED products we've been getting a lot of sales into the retail market, education market, also QSR is been a very strong market force with menu boards based on our traditional products like the ones we use with Look digital signage. They are integrated their application on our SoC displays and you’re able to upload content right onto the display, you don’t need an external media player, which makes this solution very efficient on the market without ant cable clutter”.
3. How do they find this show comparing to the last one, which took place 2 years ago in Amsterdam?
Daniel Lee from iBase noted, that, to his opinion, the main difference is in display sizes, they became smaller, since there are a lot of companies, which were not able to come from Taiwan and China, where the pandemic is on the rise at the moment.
Ann Holland, Brightsign: “We came knowing that we need to get back into events, since that’s one of our key initiatives for marketing at Brightsign. And we are pleasantly surprised by the traffic at this show. We see a lot of customers that we know, but we've seen a lot of new people as well”.
Geoffrey Bessin believes, that the venue makes total sense and comparing to venue in Amsterdam this much bigger one seems to be a great facility. More than, Barcelona is his personal preference, since he is a big fan of it.
Adam Dover, Sony Europe B.V.: “So, much bigger venue is pretty dedicated to much more people. We’ve been incredibly busy during these days and seen a lot of familiar faces but also lots of new faces as well”.
“It’s a big change”, - noted Lewis from IIyama, - “I think logistically there been some issues we have to overcome because we have our European office in Netherlands. But actually, the venue itself is fantastic, the transport, the travel is been brilliant, the weather is obviously a very very good thing, we’re very happy with that”.
Summing up all of the above, most experts agreed that the future of the market lies in high resolutions, narrow bezels, touch panels and interactivity in all ways available. And we totally agree with them.
As for us, we highly appreciate this experience. we think, that for all market players it was really useful, and what's important at the right time. It is obvious, that moving to Barcelona gave an exhibition a new breath and we truly believe, that the next show will become even more successful with bigger number of exhibitors, showing their amazing products.