Become Smart Consumers and Smart Suppliers

Feb. 16, 2017
The Digital Signage Federation offers myriad opportunities for all aviation industry leaders to enhance their knowledge and facilities.

As technology becomes an increasingly important part of the airport landscape, it can become overwhelming for airport consultants and facility managers to determine what they need to improve the overall customer experience.

The Digital Signage Federation (DSF) works to educate many industries about new technology hitting the markets. Airport Business recently spoke with Richard Ventura, vice president of business development and solutions at NEC Display Solutions of America, who is also the 2017 chairman of the DSF about what opportunities are available to the aviation industry in the organization.

Airport Business: What kinds of benefits are there for those in the transportation sector on DSF membership?

Richard Ventura: The focus of the DSF is on three core areas — education, certification and outreach. From an education perspective, what the DSF does is we host everything ranging from Google hangouts to putting together white papers for members. It’s an association ran by and supported by members, so we’re putting together documentation and information to educate and supply information to our members. One of the key things about the DSF that’s really important is we have certification programs. We really focus on aiding a certification program and continually expanding it so we can help end users, operators, consultants, designers. We’re also looking at verticals and creating verticalized programs as well. The last thing is helping the members grow. That’s really from a lot of the networking and connecting them with other people within the industry, be it designers getting connected to airports or airports getting connected to CMS companies or display companies. Really, it’s helping close that entire loop so to speak.

AB: Is it more beneficial for designers or end users to be part of this group?
RV: Actually, it’s beneficial for both. I’ve been involved in the DSF now for five or six years. When I look at the history of the DSF, we had a very heavy focus on end users and the digital signage companies. There was this big area that I really felt these last couple of years we started to pull in and that’s the designers, the consultants and the integrators. What we all felt is that if we can educated and support the end users, we can make them very smart buyers. If we can educate, train and support the integrators and consultants and designers, we make them smart designers and integrators. So, what we end up having then is instead of one side is smarter than the other, we’ve created an extremely smart ecosystem that can help each other. The more we teach and the more time we spend with the designers and the integrators and the consultants, the more they’re going to be able to share information with their end users and really deliver the right solution. I can have an awesome solution, I can have an awesome airport, but if it’s not deployed right, it fails miserably for everybody.

AB: Some people might think digital signage or DSF is something best left to large hub airports. Is there anything for medium and smaller airports to gain from membership?
RV: It doesn’t matter the size of your airport. You still have to communicate to your customers. Whether you’re an airport that has got two gates or you’re an airport that has hundreds of gates, you still have to communicate information to the end users and the travelers. You start out with the simplest; you have the FIDS and GIDS. That’s simple. That’s actually digital signage. Most people don’t think of it, but that’s digital signage. What you can then incorporate is your corporate communications for messaging, advertising, directory board, wayfinding; I could go down the list. It doesn’t matter how big or small you are. The most basic fundamentals for an airport is you’re disseminating information to the travelers. Digital signage is important for all levels. The other thing where digital signage is becoming so important in airports is emergency management. If all of your emergency management is focused around audible, you’re going to miss a very large portion of your travelers because you might have people who don’t speak English or you might have people who have hearing issues. Having a digital solution is another way for them to disseminate that information and make sure everybody within the environment is aware of bad weather, or if there’s an emergency, you can go down the list of everything that could possibly happen in an airport.

AB: Airports are very interested in enhancing the overall traveler experience. Are these the kinds of topics they will gain insight on with a DSF membership?
RV: One of the things we’re focused on is creation of longer vertical market focus hangouts. We’ve done the hangouts on everything from education to transportation, IoT, Smart Cities. There are both vertical focuses and application-focused hangouts. In fact, every chairman has what’s called their legacy…and mine is very heavily focused on two areas that are very distinct from each other and they both help the airport industry. One side is what we call the Ad Council. That’s focused on the digital out of home side. The other side is focused on the integrators. From those we’re going to be launching an entire Google Hangout series that’s going to be talking about starting digital out of home, how to monetize a digital out of home network, where to go to start your digital out of home network and how do you expand it. That’s going to be focused on all levels, whether you’re a small guy and then we’re going to have higher end programs for bigger organizations and then we’ll be more vertically focused for transportation, hospitality and retail. And with the integrators, we’re going to do the exact same thing. How do the integrators get involved in digital signage? How do traditional, non-traditional companies get involved? How does a consultant that consults to an airport, how do they get more involved in digital signage? We’re going to be launching a lot of things around that with the hangouts.

AB: When it comes to airports or consultants, who are the people that should consider joining the DSF?
RV: It’s designers, it’s the marketing people, it’s the business development people, it’s the CIO’s, the information technology guys. It really crosses all levels. If we’re dealing with an end user, in a lot of cases it’s their marketing people, it’s their corporate communications people. It’s the people on the front lines who deal with the technology that their business uses for digital signage.

About the Digital Signage Federation

DSF's Mission is to support and promote the common business interests of the world-wide digital signage, interactive technologies and the digital out-of-home network industries. The DSF is a not-for-profit independent voice of the digital signage industry reflecting the diversity of its membership. It promotes professional recognition through certifications, continuing education, conferences, publications, and presentations offered by the DSF and affiliate groups. It provides government lobbying to leverage the collective strength of members and represent their interests at the higher levels of government and the community. The DSF provides leadership and networking opportunities focused on building a strong foundation for the advancement of the digital signage industry. For more information, visit

Richard Ventura is Vice President of Business Development and Solutions for NEC Display Solutions of America, managing the focus on developing new business and strategies for key vertical markets. He is responsible for the growth and market penetration of NEC’s award winning portfolio of products, as well as responsible for development of new go-to-market strategies and products for the solutions market.

Richard has spent 16 years within the NEC sales and marketing organizations focusing on display solutions, display technologies and projectors. During that time he has helped numerous client relationships flourish and spearheaded campaigns which have elevated NEC’s brand and products throughout the marketplace. Richard has been honored to receive over one dozen internal awards from NEC for his exceptional efforts and tireless work ethic.

Richard is a long standing member of many organizations within the industry as well as currently sits on the Board of Directors for the Digital Signage Federation serving as the Chairman of the Executive Committee and supports the International Committee, Membership Committee as well as the Ad Council. During his tenure with NEC he has delivered many presentations at industry conferences as well as authored articles for key publications and industry trade periodicals.