Just as digital signage has become a global industry, so has Digital Signage Expo become an international event, attracting a growing number of international attendees and exhibitors from every world region.
What the influx of foreign nationals, representing 22 percent of registrants and 44 exhibiting companies, means for DSE is a flow of fresh ideas and two-way business opportunities for all attendees and exhibitors.
For DSE 2014, registrants are represented by a record 80 countries, including the U.S., which accounted for 78 percent of the registration population. They also hail from some of the largest countries in the world — among them, Russia, Canada, U.S., China and Brazil — to some of the smallest — Aruba, Saint Vincent, Barbados, Singapore and Guadeloupe. The top 10 in terms of registrants outside the U.S. are:
• South Korea
• United Kingdom
From a regional perspective, the U.S. and Canada represent the largest region, followed by Latin America & Caribbean, Asia & Pacific, and Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA).
“I think the growing number of international attendees and countries that they come from goes hand in hand with the industry’s growth and our event’s leadership position,” said Angelo Varrone, CEO of Exponation LLC, which produces the annual trade show. “DSE is the only event than allows attendees to truly ‘see and hear it all,’ thanks to a highly diversified robust education program and a very large variety of exhibitors representing all aspects of digital signage.”
Varrone’s visits abroad haven’t hurt either. His wife, Karen, DSE’s VP of business development, helped DSE receive invitations to several Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority-sponsored “Trade Show Trade Missions.”
“These missions are supported by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Commercial Services Division and put organizers face-to-face with international decision-makers,” Angelo Varrone said. “The purpose of this program is to help Las Vegas-based trade shows promote international attendance.”
DSE has participated in three past trade missions, including Rome and Prague, Czech Republic (2010); Panama City, Panama, and Bogota, Columbia (2011); and Mexico City (2013). In each case, the Varrones met with local business media, trade associations and potential attendees to promote the benefits of the event.
“The face-to-face meetings, follow-up communications and publicity in the press that resulted from those meetings have helped spur the show’s increasing number of international exhibitors,” Varrone added.
At DSE 2014, 44 of the show’s more than 200 exhibitors have come from outside the U.S., including Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, The Netherlands and U.K.
And for the third year in a row, ABDOH, the trade association representing the Brazilian digital signage industry, has sent a trade mission to the show, with its members taking an active part in the DSE education program. This year, Band Outernet’s CEO Marcos Amazonas and CTO Lyzbeth Cronembold are among the industry experts presenting in the DOOH Network Operators Conference.
In response to the growing presence of the Latin American digital signage industry at the show, DSE 2014 is playing host to the Digital Signage Expert Group’s (DSEG) first Spanish-language Digital Signage Certified Expert course, offered as a full-day certification program on Tuesday, Feb. 11.and taught by DSEG advisory board member Diego Bianco. In addition, with LG’s Clinton Roudenbush volunteering as discussion group leader, DSE offered its first Spanish-language Industry Roundtable, which immediately sold out, focusing on the quick service restaurant industry in Latin America.
“This year was a test,” says Richard Lebovitz, DSE’s editorial & educational services director. “If the interest is there, DSE will consider more language-specific courses for its international attendees.”
Another evidence of international participation in DSE is the number of international entries in the event’s annual Apex and Content Awards competition. For the 2014 awards, DSE received entries from 21 countries outside the U.S., with many achieving the coveted list of finalists. The countries represented included:
• Argentina Australia Belgium Brazil Canada
• Denmark India Ireland Italy Jamaica
• Mexico Netherlands New Zealand Norway Russia
• Singapore Spain Switzerland Turkey U.K.
• United Arab Emirates