Update: We reached out to Rich Ventura of Sony (formerly of NEC) to talk to us a little more about what the loss of DSE will mean to the rest of the DS side of the AV industry. Ventura is the chairman emeritus of the Digital Signage Federation and serves on its board of directors.
Ventura said, “I am very thankful for the platform afforded to many of us with DSE. They really took a chance on an industry that was young and at the time didn’t have a real home. They birthed the DSF, which I have always held fondly in my heart. As an industry, digital signage will be fine. Even though we lost “our” show. I challenge InfoComm, NRF, NRA and all the other vertical shows to fill in the void. Digital signage has become mainstream, which is amazing. We can thank Exponation and all of their efforts to drive the message. Education and networking and engagement are critical. The DSF and their focus on education will continue the goals of DSE.”
rAVe also felt it wouldn’t be right to continue reporting on this story without a quote from Gary Kayye, director and co-founder of THE rAVe Agency.
“This is an unfortunate consequence of COVID, no doubt about it,” said Kayye. “The digital signage segment of tech is still growing and seems to be a major contributor to retail reopening worldwide via messaging about social distancing, occupancy rates and safety. But, unfortunately, a show without a show is impossible and until we have a vaccine, I’m afraid this will continue to hamper a live events’ recovery.”
This has been the latest in show cancellations and company closures that have flooded the industry since the onset of COVID-19.
Geri Wolff, Exponation PR contact, released the following statement this morning:
“I am sad to tell you that Exponation, LLC, which produced DSE is the latest live event company to fall victim to the impact of COVID and has now filed for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, which is a liquidation of all assets and permanent closure of the company, a process now in the hands of trustees.
It has been my pleasure and privilege to work with you during the 14 years my firm has been retained by Exponation. I am grateful to have had this opportunity. Know that I will continue to remain professionally active through my consulting firm, Market Works International, and my contact information is below in my email signature.
Because many organizations have had to downsize or eliminate their internal marketing staff, I will also be offering MaaS – Marketing as a Service. Since you know me, should you become aware of an organization that would benefit from what I can contribute, I would appreciate an email introduction.
It has been an amazing ride and I look forward to the next chapter.”
As for DSE — the show can’t happen without Exponation, and the only thing on its website simply says, “DSE 2020 is Cancelled.”
How this will affect the rest of the digital signage corner of the industry is unclear. We reached out to Laura Davis-Taylor, chief strategy officer at InReality LLC and executive board member of the Digital Signage Federation to talk about what the future might look like.
“I think we’re all heartbroken over this news, but if there’s one thing I know, it’s that we are a hell of a strong industry,” Davis-Taylor said via email. “We don’t have an ‘ordained’ show any longer, but we will resolve that in short order. All endings bring new beginnings, and I feel confident that the many passionate, brilliant people in our industry are already aligning to figure out how to fill the gap. Whether it’s further bolstering a show that has a DS track, creating something new, both or something we’ve yet to imagine, we’ll make it happen. Together.”
This is an ongoing story and we will update it as we receive more information.