Review of DOOH panel at 2009 Cincinnati Digital Hub Non-Conference

@bcollinssignman: digital signage can be adapted to context a... on Twitpic

Bill Collins

Last week I organized a panel discussion on digital signage or “digital Out of Home” (DOOH) at the Cincinnati based Digital Hub Non-Conference.  This conference was a regional showcase of all things digital with some national keynote speakers.  At last year’s event, I was shocked that a digital conference could have no digital signage discussions so I got involved and got on the programming schedule for digital signage.  The problem is that I was too chicken to do the whole topic on my own. Its the whole fear of public speaking. So I thought… hmmmm  who else can I draft into this?  A panel discussion would be much easier for me to stomach.

I know many people in our industry from our many years of experience, and first turned to some of the partners we have in the business such as Samsung.  Samsung suggested we use Dayton based Stratacache since this event was a regional showcase, and I have been aware of Stratacache for years, even though we had not yet worked with their tools.  Turns out the director of marketing there, Louie Hollmeyer was a classmate of mine in elementary and high school.  I hadn’t seen him since.  (He looks the same as when he was eighteen years old!)  Done!  Then I turned to respected national speaker and research analyst for the kiosk and digital signage industry, Mr. Bill Collins.  He turned me on to Mike Collette of Healthy Advice Networks.  Their firm operates about 7000 screens in their network of patient education content that is placed in waiting rooms around the continent.  He would bring a great perspective on how to manage or operate a large network.   Done!   My connections connected me to new and relevant prospects for the panel.   This was working out quite well.

Now, the reason they call this a Non-Conference is that while the keynotes are held in the main ballroom of the local Hyatt Regency hotel, the breakout sessions are held in local pubs and artsy venues.  The attendees walk the 3-4 blocks to the venue that is hosting the session you are interested in attending.  Our session was held in the Lodge Bar on 7th street in Cincinnati.  The decor is very log cabin ‘ish with deer heads mounted to the wall along side of fishing paraphernalia and similar sporting trinkets.  Certainly interesting when your session attendees are drinking a Gin and Tonic during your talk!  The problem with the Non Conference idea is that the day of the event, there was a large rain storm that started right at the time our session started.   So our attendance was low at first, and the room filled up more as the wet and dripping new media types “poured in”.

Samsung had provided two LCD panels for our use at the event (Thanks Guys!) and our firm, Electronic Art provided the stands and media players.  Stratacache brought a sample reel of Digital signage content and so did Healthy Advice Networks.  Bill Collins brought a great PowerPoint deck with some good visual examples of signage installations and his take on definitions and metrics.   Some folks noted that the content from Stratacache had localized data in it that was set to Nebraska (and we are in Cincinnati),  but they need to understand the lack of internet connectivity and amount of setup needed for this short 45 minute session.   I think everyone understood the scenario being shown.  (The Twitterati can be so picky!)  There were discussions about the reasons to use commercial grade hardware and the reasons why, the slow adoption of signage by retailers in the past and how this has been changing.  We also discussed how traditional agencies have been slow to understand the medium and how interactive agencies (like Electronic Art) have been providing a lot of the content and consulting.  And we talked about the benefits such as localization, day parts, and how the content can be specific to the viewer.

In all, the event was a success.  We could have gone on for another hour but sadly these were short sessions.  We knew that going in which is why we titled the session “Digital Signage 101: – Networks, Components, Media and its impact on traditional media.”.    I heard a lot of people ask for more of this content next year.  We hope to be able to provide a longer session and incorporate more signage into the event overall for way finding and sponsor promotion.

The keynote speeches of the event are available online as PodCasts at http://cms.screamingbob.com/content/null-dhi09/podcasts. To see some of the Twitter posts on the overall conference, look up the tag #dhi09 on Twitter.  And here are some photos from our session at the Lodge Bar.

Louie Hollmeyer of Stratacache #dhi09 on TwitpicJohn Cyzrka of Samsung talking about uVending solution # dhi09 on TwitpicSetting up for #dhi09. That's @kioskguy behind the samsung sc... on Twitpic

EA CEO Hosts Panel At Digital Hub Non-Conference

I have the honor of assembling a panel on digital signage for this week’s Digital Hub Non-Conference in Cincinnati.   http://www.digitalcincinnati.org This conference is where marketers, communicators, PR pros and techies from all over will meet in Cincinnati to learn, discuss and explore All Things Digital.  In doing so, the Non-Conference will promote Cincinnati as the strong “digital hub” that it is.  Last year’s event did not have any digital signage or kiosks involved, so I made it my mission to get involved early with the steering committee in an effort to add this technology to the conference this year.  And in a spirit of collaboration I contacted several industry professionals to be a part of the panel.

DHI Non Conference

Our panel on Friday Sept. 25th at 1pm is titled: “Digital Signage 101 – Networks, Components, Media and its impact on traditional media.”   Panelists will include myself as the moderator and these fine speakers:

Bill Collins Principal, DecisionPoint Media Insights  http://www.decisionpointmedia.com
Mike Collette President & CEO,  Healthy Advice Networks — http://www.healthyadvicenetworks.com
Louie Hollmeyer, Vice President Marketing – Stratacache  http://www.stratacache.com
John Czyrka  Samsung Electronics America, Inc.,   Regional Manager        http://www.samsung.com

More about the event in general:

The Non-Conference will be centered at The Hyatt Regency Cincinnati (downtown).  Breakout sessions (which truly make this a “non-conference”) are scheduled at some of downtown’s coolest bars and artsiest spaces. The Digital Hub Initiative Non-Conference is set for September 24-25, 2009.  Plus, the dates were set to coincide with Cincinnati Midpoint Music Festival (MPMF), with its more than 250 bands performing on 23 stages!  So, your registration also includes a 3-day pass to MPMF – including a roped-off reception on Fountain Square Thursday night.

Back at the non-Conference, you’ll have four breakout tracks to choose from, with an extraordinary lineup Breakout Leaders and Presenters from the “expanded” Greater Cincinnati area:

  • Social Media
  • Strategy (including Creative)
  • Marketing to Target Audiences
  • Wildcard

The headline speaker list includes:

  • John Battelle, Founder / Chairman of Federated Media
  • Winston Binch, VP / Director of Interactive at Crispin, Porter + Bogusky
  • Peter Kim, Senior Partner at Dachis Corp
  • Bob Gilbreath, Chief Marketing Strategist at Bridge Worldwide
  • Pete Blackshaw, EVP at Nielsen Online

Organizing partners for the Non-Conference include: ADCLUB Cincinnati and the Cincinnati Chapter of the American Marketing Association (AMA).  Supporting partners include: the Cincinnati Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), the Digital Signage Association, Cincinnati Social Media, the Cincinnati Chapter of American Institute of Graphic Artists (AIGA), The Circuit, The Women’s Circuit and Cincinnati Women Bloggers.

For more information about the Digital Hub Initiative Non-Conference, visit http://www.digitalcincinnati.org

I hope you can attend this fun event,  if you do, look me up and say hello!   I should be twittering during the event at www.twitter.com/kioskguy/

A new case study: Standardizing Tools to Create Custom Kiosk Solutions

A new case study was published today on our use of Provisio’s SiteKiosk product with our custom kiosk applications.  It highlights two recent kiosk deployment projects that used the SiteKiosk product to secure the kiosk environment and prevent tampering and hacking.

SiteKiosk 7 LogoWe’ve been using the tool from Provisio for many years, after switching from NetStop Pro back in 2004 and evaluating many other tools.  Each new release improves functionality and feature sets.   It’s built in customizable browser engine is based on IE and has the ability to whitelist / blacklist URL’s , restrict downloading, set to a full screen and much more.  It’s sister product, SiteRemote.net provides a full online reporting suite and remote management tool to enable us to monitor the health of the kiosks deployed across many different networks, restart the kiosks, apply software patches and upload files in the background.

We have a museum client that tell us that our kiosks are always up and running whereas other kiosks are often giving their IT departments busy maintaining them.  While we can build apps that run in most any kiosk environment, we know that it is often due to a stable operating environment such as SiteKiosk that keeps our applications looking good!

DOWNLOAD the case study here.

The case study is also available for download at the Kiosk Marketplace web site.

Provisio’s SiteKiosk web site is located at: http://www.sitekiosk.com/ .  As authorized resellers, you can get a 10% discount on any SiteKiosk software licences you purchase through us during the month of September when you mention this blog post at the time of the order.

Provisio Partner

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