Last week, my husband and I were at an Italian restaurant, and for the third time at this same restaurant, minestrone soup had “run out”. Obviously, somebody was not paying attention in the kitchen. My husband would have ordered soup and salad. Instead, he just ordered a salad.
But on Thursday, I attended the Digital Signage Expo at the Sands Expo & Convention Center. Among other things, I found an exhibit that displayed new restaurant software integrated with digital signage. The software would keep track of inventory, compare inventory to orders filled and re-order ingredients before the “sorry, we’re out of soup” statement is made. The software would also move menu items on the digital menu board to feature items where plenty of inventory was available and, other things being equal, default to items that were the most profitable.
If I owned a restaurant, I might have joined folks from banking, museums, healthcare facilities, educational institutions, entertainment venues, transportation hubs, ad agencies, etc. at Digital Signage Expo. I might have attended one of 28 educational seminars in seven tracks, 60 industry roundtables, two keynote breakfasts, 11 pre- and post-show conferences and walked a trade show floor featuring more than 200 exhibitors. I might have bought new restaurant software and menu boards.
Digital Signage Expo is called “the world’s largest international tradeshow and conference exclusively dedicated to digital signage, interactive technology and digital out-of-home networks”. Estimated attendance for 2013 was 5000 people. Though I did not attend any of the educational sessions, I did walk the tradeshow floor and take a video; I found plenty that interested me.
Immediately upon entering the show, I noted a board with a world map and pins in various locations. Show attendees could upload information including their business location, and a pin on the map would appear. Then, as more attendees arrived, a tap of the pin would bring up the attendee’s information and one could find out who else from their vicinity was attending the show. At the time I visited, pins were appearing from throughout the world.
Later in the show, I ran into an exhibitor who had figured a way for an individual to be in a large room with multiple TVs (think: sports book) and be able to hear the commentary from one particular TV. Big screens with touch applications were everywhere. Even a digital air hockey game was part of one exhibitor’s offerings.
Other exhibitors displayed multiple screen signs, round signs, screens within screens, screens showing the folks looking at the screens and the highest resolution screens I’d ever seen…since CES.
Among the course offerings to Digital Signage Expo attendees were: Maximize Bigger, Better, Brighter Screens to Increase Engagement, Designing Media Walls Imagery Video and Information on Digital Canvases and How Sam’s Club Redesigned Its In-Club TV Network to Maximize Shopper Engagement.
Something tells me, the owners of our non-minestrone restaurant did not attend Digital Signage Expo. So my husband and I have a plan. If we return to the restaurant, we are going to bring a can of soup and just ask the waiter to warm it up.