There is a lot to be said for persistence. The folks at JD Events, the conference organizers of KioskCom and the Digital Signage Show, have been after us for years to participate, attend or otherwise acknowledge their conferences in New York and Las Vegas. Our stance had consistently been that there were size, venue, timing and relevance issues. We felt that we didn’t want to be lumped in with interactive vendors or those who claim to be the world class in both interactive and digital signage. There wouldn’t be enough attendees focused on digital signage.

When Lawrence Dvorchik finally tracked me down this summer and scheduled a phone call to discuss the matter, I felt well-armed and had every intention to make it a brief conversation. However, when confronted with passion, energy and differentiation, I become a good listener. Those are three qualities we try to hang our own hats on around here. And to give props where they are due, Lawrence has all three. When the call was over, we had booked a small booth on the exhibit hall floor and agreed to participate in a couple of sessions. How did that happen?

The consistent theme that Lawrence leads with is that quality trumps quantity, both in attendees and content. They take the concept of qualifying attendees very seriously, effectively barring non-exhibiting vendors, rogue marketers, and other hangers-on from getting into the show. They want buyers on the floor, and no one else. They promise to bounce anyone who slips through the process and starts distributing sell sheets, producing media players, displays and other hardware from backpacks, or otherwise sub-optimizing the selling time for exhibitors. Basic trade show math says that if you source and close one decent lead from a show like this, then you have generated ROI from the effort. Anything beyond that is gravy. Having spent so much time at so many trade shows through the years listening to non-buyers and other vendors, my interest was piqued by their approach.

On the content side, sessions are closely vetted for content. To be fair, I think this is increasingly the case in all trade shows. Here, I am told, anyone observed doing any “selling” in their session is barred from future opportunities. Sounds right to me, and will hopefully become common practice.

The fact that the show is in New York at a pretty good time on the calendar actually removed some “risk” for us. We can always connect with customers, partners and prospects in the NYC area if the need to get a bang for our travel bucks surfaces. We hope to do all of the above at the Javits Center.

The size of the Digital Signage portion of the show (small) made it logical to take a smaller space than we normally would and still have presence. Anyone who is there to narrow the field of digital signage vendors will have the opportunity to visit all relevant exhibitors and have meaningful conversation. We welcome the opportunity and the context.

While we are there, we will try to add some value in the content portion of the show, presenting a Tech Talk on the Show Floor on Tuesday. On Wednesday, I will be moderating a panel on “The 5 W’s of Advertising on a Venue’s DOOH Network”, with Leslie Armour of Tween Brands and Rob Hoyt of Seventh Generation providing their perspectives. Looking forward to great interaction with the audience at both venues.

Lawrence’s passion and energy has turned us from doubters to engaged participants. It is a lesson in persistence and believing in your product, something we can all internalize. There is still a distance for them to travel to make a major splash as a pure digital signage marketing vehicle, but building a base on quality is one way to get there. I have a feeling it will be a busy and worthwhile two days. See you in The City.