Key Takeaways from the Henry Stewart DAM NY Conference

Henry Stewart Events held its 11th annual Digital Asset Management (DAM) Global event in New York City from May 1 – 2. The theme of the conference was “The Art and Practice of Managing Digital Media”. Throughout the events, speakers, vendor representatives, and participants discussed best practices, change management, and experiences that brought them successes and failures. In addition, there was much discussion on which software solutions have helped to sustain users’ asset management efforts. Here are some key observations from our time there:

Integration not Independence: After the conference it was clear that DAM systems are no longer simply pure-play, i.e. digital asset management only, tools. Instead, many of the software vendors showed solutions that also actively allowed for marketing automation, asset editing, or brand management. Celum,  demonstrated their social media content management tools, which allow for the publishing of content to social media, thereby creating a lifecycle for that content with measurement tools for consumer response to content. DAM software integrators were also at the event, for example Marketing Content Hub, a marketing automation solution focused on enterprises, was present and uses Adam Software as the backbone of their asset management for their solution.

Media Beacon, an established pure-play DAM vendor demonstrated an improved customizable user interface and upgraded search features for assets. Not all of the vendors at the show had a booth; many of the pure-play vendors preferred to converse with attendees instead of showing their solutions.

Robust Video Management: As we mentioned in our pre-conference blog, video was top-of-mind on both the conference floor and in the breakout sessions. Almost every vendor present had some sort of video offering, but new to HS DAM NY were vendors that had previous experience managing assets in the broadcasting industry. One such vendor was Vizrt, who is known for both the management and creation of graphics for TV and film. The Vizrt solution allows for users to not only manage video assets, but also edit video content within the DAM system. Another important feature of the Vizrt offering was the ability to search within a video by using audio cues. For example, if a user was looking for a video on “social media”, the system would then search for videos that had audio with “social media”, mark the location in the video the phrase appeared, and then note the number of occurrences of the phrase.

DAM Systems for Specific Needs: During the conference attendees ranged from anywhere from enterprises, to non-profits. It was evident from the chatter on the show floor that as DAM systems continue to play a more important role in the marketing of different verticals, the systems themselves will become more specific for their users’ needs. An example of this was Globaledit, a collaborative photography and video workflow tool geared at enterprise creative departments. The tool allows for the mark up, tracking, and organization of photographic and video assets specifically for corporate photographers.

Despite the continued growth of DAM systems that can better fit a user’s specific needs, the general consensus on the show floor was that one of the biggest hurdles in DAM is getting people to use it. The improvements in technology offerings that were demonstrated at the conference are a step in the right direction for reiterating the importance of DAM to skeptical users. As marketing campaigns and publications involve more assets, it is important that vendors and users no longer think of the channel output as siloes, but instead realize the robust ability for assets to travel cross channel through DAM systems, helping managers pull key assets via their expanded digital shelf.

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