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invidis confidential 12|24: The Big DSSE Recap

The stage of Digital Signage Summit Europe 2024 exposed the big issues that affect the digital signage industry. The really interesting conversations, however, were the ones off stage, between the 500 participants. Here is a recap of everything that happened during DSSE.

“We’re going to sit down for a day and let this whole conference sink in,” commented one participant shortly after the wrap-up of DSS Europe 2024. Many others expressed similar sentiments.

A few hours later, the consensus was clear: DSS Europe 2024, held over two days in Munich, was a complete success. With over 500 registered participants, the event kicked off with a packed main hall for the keynote speech. The atmosphere was very positive, and the high expectations for networking were fully met.

The conference program was extensive, featuring panels in three different rooms. But the many panels and the high-caliber speakers were not only impressive on paper but also essential for the industry. We collected their most memorable quotes in a seperate post:

Between Legacy and Innovation

The digital signage industry is currently sniffing out new opportunities, but at the same time is forced to adress its legacy issues -from the pressure to lower its carbon footprint to the major challenge of IT security and potentially disruptive upheavals in the digital signage value chain.

The Central Role of Software

Software is increasingly becoming the defining component in the digital signage ecosystem, with rising demands on development and service. Numerous panels at the conference addressed this topic, one of them directly pinpointing the “Missing Standards in Digital Signage Software.”

Vincent Encontre from Intuiface spoke on a panel about IT security at DSSE (Photo: Maarten Schuth/invidis)
Vincent Encontre from Intuiface spoke on a panel about IT security at DSSE (Photo: Maarten Schuth/invidis)

IT Security Challenges

IT security is probably the number one challenge to tackle at the moment. Digital signage is now interconnected with other ecosystems such as IT, merchandise management systems, and more recently, IoT environments opening up for B2B.

This interconnectedness breaks down silos – which is in general good news, but only if the industry comes prepared, as invidis experts Florian Rotberg and Stefan Schieker, among others, warned in one of their five (!) keynotes. Lars Peters, Senior Vice President PVO at Ströer Out-of-Home Media, argued that IT security must be considered in all business decisions.

The future of digital signage software was a major topic of discussion which culminated in William Sam presenting Samsung VXT and several other software experts, like Johan Lind from Vertiseit and Frank Larsen from Signagelive, following it up with their honest judgements. “Disruption or Destruction” is the slogan that mirrored the discussions.

William Sam from Samsung (middle) defending the vision of VXT against judgements from Johan Lind (left) and Frank Larsen (right). (Photo: Maarten Schuth/invidis)
William Sam from Samsung (middle) defending the vision of VXT against judgements from Johan Lind (left) and Frank Larsen (right). (Photo: Maarten Schuth/invidis)

Regardless of how flawed other industry players view the platform to be, the vision Samsung has of VXT becoming an all-encompassing platform could mean a disruption in the software landscape. And despite all the criticism everyone agreed: VXT is not perfect, but it is the kind of innovation the software landscape needs.

The official launch of the invidis Digital Signage Software Compass matched the many questions and uncertainties surrounding the future of the software market. The initial presentation of this new comparison tool set up by our invidis experts surrounding Marco Wassermann generated a great deal of interest, and full details of the new premium offer, which brings professional, independent orientation to the signage software market, will be announced shortly.

Green Signage Must Be on the Agenda

The topic of green signage had a dedicated track at the conference. invidis has been working on this issue since 2021. Last year. we saw it gaining momentum, which led us to the launch of a detailed Green Signage Handbook.

Since then, many companies have improved their offering to become more sustainable but there is still a lot to do. Joe Cotugno of Broadsign rated the industry’s green signage efforts as “0.5 out of 10. We’ve done a lot, but we need to do a lot more.”

The invidis Green Signage Handbook (Photo: Maarten Schuth/invidis)
The invidis Green Signage Handbook (Photo: Maarten Schuth/invidis)

Retail Media: A Legitimate Hype

Several panels focused on Digital-out-of-Home, especially one big hype: in-store retail media. Titled by many as “the next big thing on the ad market,” it presents a lucrative opportunity for digital signage integrators. However, those looking to enter the market, especially in Germany, need to act quickly as retailers are eager to jump in, and any gaps in knowledge must be addressed promptly.

Retail Media Panel at DSSE (Photo: Maarten Schuth/invidis)
Retail Media Panel at DSSE (Photo: Maarten Schuth/invidis)

Speaking of retail media: The new invidis yearbook was presented in an exclusive print premiere at DSS Europe. The latest insights and rankings for the digital signage industry are complemented by a Retail Media 101, which consolidates the most important facts about retail media networks.

And Much More

Was that all that was discussed at DSS Europe 2024? Not at all. The conference covered a wide range of topics, including the resurgence of retail analytics, the rapid growth of programmatic advertising, advancements in hardware technology, and developments in the MENA/APAC and North American markets. The invidis Strategy Awards were also presented.

Creating a Strong Network

The extensive content was complemented by excellent networking opportunities, which many consider the true magic of DSS Europe. Besides the traditional evening event, there was ample time to gather information from exhibitors or have confidential business discussions in side aisles. Many participants noted that DSS Europe saves them several flights a year.

New opportunities for networking were also introduced, such as the Google Networking event the evening before and Lenovo’s Women Networking Event on Thursday morning.

The Value of DSSE

At the end of the event, both participants and organizers left with a positive feeling. The true value of DSS Europe 2024 will likely become even clearer after a day of reflection and evaluating new contacts.