On Thursday, December 3, we reached a milestone in the young life of the Digital Signage Association. We celebrated our two-year anniversary just last month and we now we have over 400 members. Member #400, The University of Illinois
and #401, individual member David Carbert
, joined that day.
I remember how we got started.
Some of you may know that I also serve as the executive director for the Self-Service & Kiosk Association (SSKA). In 2007, we decided to start a Digital Signage Council
due to the fact that we had a number of members in the digital signage space. We held our first (and only) meeting in Chicago at the Digital Signage Expo.
At the time, we talked about whether it made sense to change the name of SSKA to include digital signage. “You’ll have to get new shirts,” one of the participants joked, since we were wearing SSKA-logoed oxfords at the time.
In the months that ensued, it became apparent that the digital signage industry deserved its own association. We talked to several members of the Council as well as others in the industry and received support for the idea, though admittedly there may have been a few skeptics wondering if we could pull it off. After all, some associations were involved in digital signage even if there wasn’t a dedicated association to it serving all market segments.
We “soft launched” the association in October at KioskCom in New York City, but really didn’t sign anyone up officially until November. By the end of 2007, we had 22 members. By Digital Signage Expo in February 2008, we had 62 members and a 24-person Advisory Board. The board met for the first time at that show. Stu Armstrong was elected as the first president of the Association in the summer of 2008.
So here we are two years later, with 401 members, a 41-person Advisory Board, eight committees and task forces and whole host of activity going on.
One industry blogger wrote to me recently: “As you know I poked at you guys a little in your early days to question the motives and value of the DSA, but to your absolute credit (and I am being sincere) you have made it the real deal.”
Of course we couldn’t do it without all the support of our board, committees and members.
Onward and upward!