Steph Says: Thoughts About DSE 2022

megan steph dse 2022

I didn’t know what to expect from my very first DSE. What a year for it to have been my first one! As you may have heard or seen us say, this was a growing year for the show after it was dissolved in 2020 — but purchased and rebuilt by Questex. I think everyone — from attendees to manufacturers to press — went in with an open mind and was pleasantly surprised. I didn’t speak to an unhappy manufacturer — and believe me, I made time to speak with plenty of them. So while the show was smaller and focused more on networking, I think there is a clear path for growth that will astonish for next year, and congratulations to the Questex team.

Here are a few of my other thoughts.

Networking > Everything Else

It’s exceedingly rare for me to have time to do anything but run around from appointment to appointment at trade shows. So on the off chance that I do have time to wander around and move at my own pace, I relish it. At this show, I had the opportunity to attend happy hours, networking dinners and more. A few personal favorites were Zignage’s Happy Hour at the Illuminarium, the DSE VIP Happy Hour right on the show floor and the XUSC event at Able Baker Brewing. Honestly, it was nice to see people from the industry talking to one another without the hustle and bustle. We even scooped a few purple carpet interviews at the XUSC event — how fun!

Show Floor Trends

Like I mentioned, I wasn’t sure what to expect at this show so I really had no idea in my head about what trends there would be. Would there be mostly displays? Some projectors? Nothing but players? Honestly, I was surprised to see more CMS companies than displays. There were also tons of companies that advertised helping companies develop measurements and analytics. I’ll highlight a few memorable products below:

BlueZoo’s Advertising Measurement Platform for OOH Signage via Calibrated Sensors
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CoinStar’s adPlanet DOOH Platform for In-Store Digital Advertising
LocalScreen’s CMS for Digital Signage Ads Without IT or Graphic Design Support
There were only a few companies showing digital signage players at the show, the biggest of which was BrightSign. Here are a few of those products below:

BrightSign’s XC5 — Drives up to four separate digital signage streams
Jetway Computer Corp.’s Range of Players
Navori’s StiX 3700 4K Media Player
The final big trend I’ll mention is that experiential is really starting to take off. From hologram technology to 3D displays to gamefied signage and more, there are some really cool products that I think are just on the precipice of becoming commonplace in retail and more. These are a few that stood out to me:

Sony’s Glasses-Free Spatial Reality Display
WindowGrin’s Interactive Touchless Display Technology
ARHT Media’s CAPSULE Hologram Display


This year, I got to attend the DIZZIE Awards and get a front-row seat to see all the winners and their installations and entries. They were amazing. Moment Factory definitely cleaned up but you can see all the winners in this article. I don’t think I can stress enough how well-deserved all the awards were.

DSE Announces 2022 DIZZIE Award Winners

LDI 2022

The show was co-located with LDI, Live Design International. This show was everything live events — audio, video, lighting — the works. We got to pop in and check it out for a little while. You can see all of those videos here:

All in all, this was a building year for DSE. While it was smaller than in past years, it was a solid comeback and I think we can expect great things from this show in the future. I spoke with Gary Kayye about how no other show is better suited to bring together advertising professionals and companies, content creation and management companies, artists, manufacturers and integrators. This show has the power to span beyond traditional AV and into new markets.

I can’t wait for next year!