Well, that all depends on you. How are you planning on using digital signage? Looking at the digital signage industry as a whole can be pretty confusing because it is so fragmented. For example, at the annual Digital Signage Expo (DSE), the largest digital signage trade show in the industry, you can find products suitable for airports, restaurants, retail advertisements, sports stadiums and corporate environments.
What to look for at a digital signage trade show
It’s a good idea to start with the basics and get clear on your objective. What problems are you really trying to solve? Is it about putting screens on a wall or addressing the issues that you need to communicate? If you’re looking for a video wall in your lobby to showcase your brand, or an interactive menu board, then DSE would be a great place for ideas on the latest technology. You’ll find multiple vendors offering these products. However, if you’re looking for workplace DS, it might be harder to find answers at an industry show.
Finding the right digital signage for you
At Marlin we make DS solely for use in workplace communications. As a vendor, we find that our prospects are more inclined to attend shows in their own field or industry (e.g. SHRM, IABC, occupational safety events, etc.) where they look for innovative solutions relevant to them. Since communication is a universal challenge, you’re likely to find products or seminars at these events that offer answers.
However, before you sign up for any events, I’d say that you should start your search on the web. First, determine your overall needs, which might include a desire to communicate specific issues in the workplace such as safety awareness, employee milestones, HR and corporate announcements, health & wellness, and stress reduction. Second, search for digital signage companies that offer solutions that tie to your objectives.
Where to learn more
Once you come up with a short list, you should be able to learn a lot from the content on their websites. You’ll want to learn as much as you can about software and content options, so get as specific as possible. This will help you make a decision before talking to a salesperson or scheduling a demo. For example, people looking for workplace DS on our site often download the guide, “8 Critical Questions To Ask About workplace Digital Signage,” a straightforward, non-promotional guide that helps them focus their decision process.
So while digital signage trade shows can help inform your decision, don’t underestimate what you can learn on your own. I recommend doing the bulk of your due diligence online because web assets are getting better and better. Besides, you’re in the market for a digital communications product, so why not evaluate a potential vendor by how they communicate to you on their website. If it doesn’t answer your basic questions in the first 30 seconds, steer clear.