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By: Steph Beckett and Gary Kayye
Some of you may be wondering about the future of trade shows. It seems unclear among the influx of cancellations, rescheduling and the ever-present question: Will there be any attendees this time? COVID-19 has thrown everything up in the air, and trade shows have been one of the main things in our industry we’ve had to reevaluate very quickly.
However, the AV industry shines at trade shows. It’s what we’re good at. We’re visual people: We love seeing how tech works in person. With that being said, can we expect what we used to pre-COVID? Probably not. But we shouldn’t expect a convention center full of ghost town/bare-bones booths either. Instead, we should get used to the idea of something in the middle. Booths that tell a story with technology, but not with as much. Booths that focus on people and use cases rather than booths that shower you with a new “this” and a new “that” at every twist and turn.
At NRF 2022, several manufacturers were starting to catch on to this trend, one of them being Samsung. NRF, the National Retail Federation, is THE key show for the retail community. So, of course, digital signage is a big part of that.
Samsung’s approach at this year’s NRF was to build a booth of vignettes that walk attendees through retail processes from beginning to end. Once again, telling a story with a narrative and without smacking you in the face with tech spec after tech spec.
What might that look like? Lucky for you, we were able to catch up with Samsung at the show and get a firsthand look at each of the different vignettes. Take a look:
The Future of All-Inclusive Kiosks in Retail
I (Steph Beckett) caught up with Tom McKibben to chat about shopping trends. Retailers are looking for safe solutions right now — with Samsung’s All-in-One Kiosk being a viable option. At Samsung’s NRF booth, Tom showed me how the touch screen’s anti-microbial finish might put shoppers at ease in a cafe setting.
How Digital Menu Boards Can Transform the Food and Beverage Industry
The All-Inclusive Kiosk is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to food and beverage options. From dining in to ordering at a drive-thru, digital menu boards can absolutely change the experience for the better. Noor Amar (below) shows us how.
Trending: LED in Retail Applications
Don’t believe for a second that food and beverage is the only place for LED in retail. Stephen Cushing chatted with us and told us there are so many other use cases — both inside and outside a store.
Social Media Integrated Displays
Through a partnership with Sprinklr, Samsung Social Displays allow you to introduce real-time engagement with your retail clients while they are walking around inside the store. If shoppers say something, share something or even create images of themselves wearing your clothes or drinking what you serve, all this can be aggregated and displayed via a Samsung Social Display. But, you can also use it as a social listening tool indicating trends and event tracking inventory, back-of-house, too.
Here, check it out:
MagicInfo Accelerates Digital Transformation
While most displays require external media players, Samsung Smart Displays leveraging MagicInfo have a built-in media player allowing content to be changed virtually in real-time — and it can even be connected to inventory trends. So, for example, if you’re a fast-casual food service provider and you gain new inventory or want to push a new product, that content can be automatically generated and played on displays throughout the restaurant visually. MagicInfo harnesses cloud connectivity to generate creative — and it even allows content to be store-specific or managed globally.
Finally, It’s Clear the Future of Retail Will Be Driven By Displays
In this interview with THE rAVe Agency’s Gary Kayye, Samsung’s VP of US sales, displays, Chris Mertens explains how everything from direct-view LEDs to small kiosk-based signage are driving trends in every segment of retail. For example, with the global labor shortage, kiosks allow the customer to take control of their own shopping and even check-out experience. But, the consumer experience doesn’t just start in the store — in fact, it starts at home. Watch: