Tag Archives: Digital Signage Federation

“Turning on Digital Signage” Webinar Recap

Today, I attended the Digital Signage Federation’s first “learning series” webinar – “Turning on Digital Signage” brought to us by the guys at Brawn Consulting.  In short, it was a great session with lots of helpful information, all presented in 1 quick hour.  It was very much a 101-type session on digital signage, placements, “components” of the network and even selling, which makes sense coming from someone who leads a consulting group.  From my POV, it was really geared to companies who would sell services of the digital signage network “components,” specifically hardware and software providers (makes sense because they’re AV guys, too).  There were mentions sprinkled in about content, and I appreciated that they were sprinkled in in the right context (working together with the components and identifying ways digital signage can be used in various locations).  I think anyone listening, particularly those who want to learn the basics of this thing called “digital signage,” walked away with learning something.  Here are the specific nuggets of the session that I walked away with:

  • The “industry” doesn’t talk about “digital” signage and “interactive” signage as separate terms.  “Digital” signage can become “interactive,” but in the end, it’s all digital.  I either have to accept this or continue pushing this.  To me, there is a big distinction and it’s important to differentiate the two.  (“Digital” signage and “traditional” OOH are about 1-way messaging.  Both can become “interactive,” therefore becoming conduits for 2-way interaction.  Push/pull messaging vs. just push.)  But what this does is exacerbate the problem of people talking consistently about this space.  Although there were mentions in text of “interactivity,” everything today was talked about as “digital signage.”  I believe the opportunity for this “OOH” medium is the possibility for interaction, driving deeper into brands.  Not just an efficient way to “display”/push messages out.  I’ll keep talking the way that I talk, but I am becoming more and more aware of how everyone else talks about it.
  • I’m big into models.  The Brawn guys have created a model that identifies 7 Key Elements to Digital Signage:  Hardware, Software, Connectivity, Content, Operations, Design, & Business.  I want to get a copy of this deck so I can absorb everything involved in each of the elements.  Overall, though, this is a “simple” guide.
  • I loved how they put consumers before makers/distributers/sellers in terms of identifying value.  They were talking about identifying what’s “valuable” before you implement any digital signage solution and they started with the audience (consumers).  This is music to my ears.  If it’s not providing value to the people who are ultimately going to use it, it’s no good.  (They also presented a “value triad,” which was another model that I thought was effective and simple.  Want to see it again, though.)
  • There are ~350 companies out there selling digital signage software.  Wow.  And I know first hand about this, because I spent the last four years of my life creating a custom piece of interactive signage software.   I understand and appreciate nuance differences, but 350 different solutions?  How can one navigate the space well enough to know what software is best for them?  I know the end user (consumer) doesn’t care about this, but as someone who would need to ultimately buy (or create) one of these, I wouldn’t know where to begin.  Actually, I would….now I understand what the guys at Preset & Brawn do :)

As I said when I first learned about this series, education sessions like this are needed.  They’re the “right” way for an organization like the Digital Signage Federation to take responsibility and own education.  Many people need to be hearing about this and listening in on these sessions.  I would love to know who participated today and what they got out of it.

Digital Signage Federation Offers Up Some Education

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know that I don’t broadcast a lot of news. It’s just not my thing. If you want digital signage news, there are many other channels to get it on. But today, when I got word of the Digital Signage Federation’s new webinar series, it made stop, applaud, question, then want to announce, which is what I’m doing here.

The release says (found in its entirety here):

Digital Signage Federation (DSF), the independent not-for-profit trade organization serving the digital signage industry, is making available an entire program of interactive, educational webinars for its members and initially, inviting non-members to participate as a free trial.

DSF’s webinar series will be conducted by notable industry experts the second Wednesday of every month beginning September 8, at 2pm EST. The program will kick off with Turning on Digital Signage, part of the popular Digital Signage Expert’s series. Alan Brawn, Principal of Brawn Consulting who will be leading the first webinar session, is also Chair of the Federation’s Education Committee.

Brawn said, “The Federation is launching this webinar series in response to requests in a recent member survey for accessible and continuous educational opportunities. The program is designed to educate, inspire, and motivate individuals interested and involved in the digital signage industry. The topics would be under the umbrella of the 7 Key Elements of Digital Signage as well as the new educational Conference Series structure of the DSE that is being launched next year. The webinars will be impartial, agnostic, and vendor neutral in nature and represent a true cross section of our industry.”

Members and non-members may reserve seats free of charge on a “first come” basis at https://www.gotomeeting.com/register/277144451 until the session fills. The first free webinar is on Wednesday, September 8th. The program will run one hour beginning at 2pm EDT/2pm CDT/11am PDT.

From my perspective, this seems like a good, well-intentioned initiative. To gain traction, adoption, and ultimately buy-in, education is a key component. There seems to be a solid program structure with credible speakers in place. Kudos to the DSF for this. I don’t know many occasions where education can’t be of benefit.

But…….here’s the question I have: will something like this reach the right people? The marketing/advertising/communications professionals? The media agencies? Brands? Their member list looks to be diverse, but as I’ve seen in my short time in the digital signage “circle,” there is a tendency for the circle to talk to itself. As a result, the circle might get a little bigger, but it doesn’t morph into a web, which is what we need.

Make no mistake, I am thrilled to see something like this concept. I think it could be a huge benefit to those inside and outside of the industry. My hope is that the Federation, in its attempt to do good, thinks through to those who can really impact the traction, adoption, and ultimately buy-in of this amorphous, yet inevitable communications channel.

For all of you readers who want to know more, please sign up for the first webinar.  Let’s see what this is all about and get our learning on!