Digital signage is playing an ever-bigger role, but the European market needs to grow faster, and green challenges remain.

With integrated digital signage now a critical element of the customer and employee journey in a growing number of markets, more will be demanded of integrators, cloud platforms and software. That was one of the key messages of this month’s Digital Signage Summit Europe, which attracted over 300 international digital signage leaders and end users to the Hilton Munich Airport.

This was the 44th edition of DSS and the first DSS Europe event in three years, boasting a stellar line-up of nearly 70 speakers who discussed the state of the industry and future strategies. During the conference invidis also hosted its annual Strategy Awards, which celebrate excellence in the digital signage industry across six categories. The winners were:

 Shared Spaces – Admira IoT Gallery Barcelona, for its unusual, dark store which seamlessly orchestrates digital signage, scent, and sound for an immersive encounter

 Green Signage – Sharp NEC Display Solutions Europe for its trailblazing reuse-refurbish-recycle initiatives which have grown over the past 10 years

 Business Critical –A combination of intelligent content and device management made Telelogos the business-critical category winner

 Innovation – Prague-based start-up SignageOS developed a digital signage offering often referred to as the industry’s ‘Swiss Army Knife’. SignageOS connects over a hundred SoC Platforms with 50+ CMS solutions and enables network operators to monitor and remote-manage mixed digital signage networks

 Rising Star – Vertiseit, and its CEO Johan Lind, has shaken up the digital signage industry. The small Swedish digital signage player acquired eight competitors including Grassfish and MultiQ and grew its ARR for 40 consecutive quarters

 Industry Leadership – Samsung EDO – Ten years ago, Samsung introduced a System-on-Chip (SoC) platform and a dedicated operating system. In 2018, Samsung launched The Wall and made MicroLED rollout-ready for digital signage projects. But most notably Samsung has focused on simplifying digital signage, opening the market up to IT integrators and IT departments

In DSS Europe’s opening keynote, Florian Rotberg, conference chair and Managing Director of digital signage consultancy invidis, set the scene by addressing recent global events and why integrated digital signage is now a critical factor in the customer and employee journey in many markets, saying: “Digital Signage has become Business Critical in more and more verticals requiring robust systems architecture, professional hardware and detailed service concepts. Thanks to the pressures of the pandemic, global supply issues, sustainability and the pressure to deliver, we are seeing many industry-wide challenges. Service costs are rising more than 30% this year due to higher gas/diesel, logistics and labour costs. Pre-emptive service and robust networks have become more important than ever. Our agenda covers these important topics and looks at ways for us to adapt and continue to deliver in these ever-challenging situations.”

The two-day conference saw a host of energetic discussions with C-Suite business leaders, concept and content ‘rockstars’ and industry disruptors. In the opening panel debate, five leading European integrators explored the topic ‘Is Big, Big Enough?’ Speakers from ZetaDisplay, M-Cube, Trison World, Mood Media and Econocom agreed that while consolidation is driving the industry, it’s not growing fast enough. The largest integrators in North America account for over $1bn of pro AV revenue, with digital signage accounting for 300-400m USD. The largest integrators in Europe make up just €80m revenue. Mergers, acquisitions, and new integrators entering the digital signage industry are essential for driving growth in Europe. However, as Rotberg pointed out, the current financial and political conditions in Europe are making M&A activity more difficult.

Conference delegates heard how the looming energy crisis has highlighted the need for more sustainable digital signage concepts. Energy efficient components and operations, refurbishment of older hardware and easier to recycle hardware are the main trends in 2022. The ‘Tackling Digital Signage’s Carbon Footprint’ panel discussion explored concepts for a more sustainable industry. While action is being taken – such as the development of energy-efficient components and operations, coupled with the refurbishment of older hardware, and easier- to-recycle hardware – more must be done to establish a servicing and replacement best practice for manufacturer and integrators. The panel included: Theresa Kirchweger – Sustainability Manager, Umdasch The Store Makers; Christof Böhm – Senior Vice President Engineering, Quality Assurance & Service, Sharp NEC Display Solutions; and Rainer Karcher – Global Director of IT Sustainability, Siemens.

Alongside a programme of world-class keynotes, panels, fireside chats, and networking opportunities, delegates met industry leading brands in the exhibition area. Twenty exhibitors took the opportunity to talk with customers face-to-face, present new solutions, and take the pulse of their partners in this vibrant industry.

“DSS Europe was incredibly well organised and showcased some fantastic speakers. We have had lots of valuable consultations with partners,” said Andy Haywood, Head of Global Sales, Samsung. “The event provides the industry with a real sense of what’s coming for this sector and as such helps enormously with our strategic thinking.”

“It was great to see the industry back together in Munich,” commented Florian Rotberg. “Sustainable and robust digital signage concepts for business-critical projects were the main topics at DSS Europe and there were plenty of strategic takeaways that delegates can action right away. The feedback we have had has been very positive.”

Alongside the main conference programme, DSS Europe was a place to do business with countless bilateral meetings taking place and a networking event in the Airbräu beer garden.
For a closer look at the Digital Signage and DooH industry, including market analysis of the European region, the invidis Digital Signage Yearbook 2022 is now available to download. Visit digitalsignagesummit.org for your FREE copy.

DSS Europe is a joint venture between Integrated Systems Events, producers of the Integrated Systems Europe exhibition, and invidis consulting, the leading German digital signage consultancy. The next events are planned for the autumn in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, and at ISE 2023. DSS Europe 2023 takes place in Munich next July.

 



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