Retail Digital Signage Expo is Lively

On March 9th and 10th, three exhibitions aimed at the retail business were co-located in London’s Olympia exhibition hall. The UK is, famously, seen as a “nation of shopkeepers”, and this was reflected in what seemed to be quite a lively event with, apparently, quite good quality visitors. One of the events was the “Retail Digital Signage Expo” (RDSE), but the “Retail Business Technology Expo” (RBTE) had quite a big overlap, with companies that also have a significant business in POS or other transaction processing in the larger RBTE.

RDSE 2016 was busy

Of course, the ISE show was only last month, so we didn’t see much in the way of new products from the main brands, but it was interesting that this show was more “real world” than the ISE event. LG, for example, didn’t have any OLEDs, which had been the centrepieces in Amsterdam and Samsung was not pushing LED as hard as it was at ISE.

This was a good chance to talk to some integrators and smaller companies and to check out recent wins and projects. Retail is the biggest single sector in digital signage, so this was a good chance to get feedback on the state of the market. What was clear is that there is a huge interest in getting more and better metrics for the use of digital signage and we spoke to a number of companies about this topic. As we have discussed before, one of the big trends that has developed from the smartphone market is the addition of sensors to displays. We’re still in the early stages of using sensors properly, but there is clearly a lot of work going into the area.

We also saw the shift towards LED and we heard a number of stories of LED in the range of 3mm to 4mm being competitive with video wall LCDs and that is going to have an impact on the video wall market. At the moment, displays in smaller pitches are still being reserved for high prestige projects – big bank branches and head offices, for example – because of the cost.

Next year’s show will be on April 19th-20th 2017.