The self-service and kiosk industry is alive and well, in spite of the difficult economy. KioskCom and the biannual Self-Service & Kiosk Association Advisory Board meeting, held recently in Las Vegas, is always a good opportunity to get a pulse of the industry.
Joel Davis, CEO of JD Events, reported on numbers for KioskCom: 1,382 qualified attendees. Davis said that while it might be tempting to let anyone in the show to keep the numbers up, the organizers stuck to their policy of only approving buyers so as to retain the quality of the audience. So while attendance may have been down from 2008, it still meant that there were plenty of good folks for the 162 exhibitors to talk to.
I reported on membership growth. Through our deployer membership campaign, we've added over 100 deployers since August and we project that deployer members will exceed vendor members in the Association by the end of the year as planned.
Chris Rezendes of VDC Research presented some very interesting figures on the size and projected growth of the industry. The self-service market in North America in 2008 was a healthy $4.9 billion and projected to grow to $9.8 billion by 2013. Rezendes noted that these numbers include all spending associated with self-service implementation, including hardware, software and services.
I also reported on our foray into social media with LinkedIn and Twitter. Our SSKA LinkedIn Group, established on April 10, 2008, now has 366 members and counting. It's free to join; I encourage you to join the group, get connected to other members, post discussions, news and job opportunities. You can also follow me on Twitter.
The SSKA board re-elected Miller Newton of Netkey to a second year as president and elected vice presidents from the deployer, vendor and international communities. We also welcomed newly elected board members and, with "fresh blood" come new ideas. Board members expressed enthusiasm for promoting membership in the Association, but requested an "elevator pitch." These talking points can be summarized as follows:
1. Advocacy. The Association advocates for the use self-service technology, which saves consumers time, deployers money and improves the customer experience. Since we are the voice of the self-service industry, we've been called upon by the likes of Newsweek, CBS MarketWatch, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Airport Innovation magazine and Credit Union Business magazine.
2. Education. We want deployers of self-service technology to be successful, so we arm them with valuable information through this website and through newsletters and our library of members-only best practices. Deployer membership is currently free, so there's no reason not to join. Our Speakers Bureau helps connect conferences and trade shows seeking speakers and our member experts.
3. Networking. Both deployers and vendors of self-service technology benefit greatly by meeting other people in this space and we facilitate that · whether it's through board or committee service, membership luncheons like the one we held on May 5 or the Buyer's Summit we co-sponsored at KioskCom, or through virtual opportunities like LinkedIn. We will help you meet other members to get business done.
SSKA co-sponsored the Self Service Excellence Awards with KioskCom where we inducted three more members into the SSKA Hall of Fame:
Gregg Kaplan, president & chief operating officer, Coinstar (former CEO of Redbox)
Rick Malone, founder and president of KIOSK Information Systems
Bradley Walker, founder and CEO, Nanonation
On May 7, I moderated a panel called "What Self-Service Technology Do Customers Really Want?" with panelists Jared Miller of Continental Airlines and Janet Sherlock of AMR Research. I presented some of the findings from our recent survey of over 1,000 consumers.
Read also: KIOSKCOM: Survey data revealed to show attendees
We're beginning a series of free webinars, so mark your calendar for our first webinar we are planning for June 16 called "Survivor's Guide to Deploying Kiosks," led by Janet Webster, president of Creative Solutions Consulting (formerly with US Postal Service) and featuring an all-deployer panel:
Sarah Canepa Bang, CEO, Financial Service Centers Cooperative
Greg Clore, vice president, information technology, Dave & Buster's
Faith MacPherson, director, HR transactional services, Avery Dennison
So as you can see, we're not sticking our heads in the sand, waiting for the economy to turn around. There are plenty of reasons to be optimistic about the opportunities in this great industry and Association of ours.
Read also: KIOSKCOM: SSKA advisory board holds elections, annual meeting