We expect the world from convention centers—stunning architecture, flashy marquees, cutting-edge technology, and tremendously adaptable space. Digital signage can provide much of the “wow factor” for these behemoth buildings. It can also be a big part of their financial success. Here are the top four ways we’re seeing convention centers using digital signage for maximum ROI.
- Smart Advertising
There’s nothing advertisers love more than a captive audience, which is exactly what convention center visitors are. And digital signs present a tremendous variety of advertising opportunities, both during and in between exhibitions. A dazzling outdoor LED marquee is an unbeatable opportunity to promote local restaurants and entertainment to tourists on a grand scale. An indoor video wall can present targeted ads to attendees of specific events, staggered with city or event-specific imagery and video that visitors can’t miss. And convention centers with dozens of LCD screens already displaying critical information for scheduling and wayfinding purposes can alternate that content with smaller ads.
The key to selling ad space on convention building signs is timing. Software that allows you schedule content at precise times of day, matching your event schedule, shows advertisers that they’ll be getting maximum exposure to their target audience. A major coffee chain might want to reach exhibition attendees first thing in the morning. A luxury travel brand would relish the opportunity to present ads as the exhibition wraps up and people start to contemplate the journey home. You can also promote internal amenities, such as dining options. When all of that digital display content is cloud-based and can be managed from any web browser, you can provide sophisticated advertising options with less hassle.
- Exhibitor Upsells
Sponsors and exhibitors are always looking for ways to stand out from the crowd. What better way than to use the convention center’s built-in commercial signage network? Access to digital displays can be baked into event packages in tiered levels. These days, premium features are in demand: real-time social media streams, user-generated content, and live streaming of on-site and remote events. The larger your digital signage network, the more opportunities you have to upsell.
That might sound like a lot more work, but there are ways to set up your digital signage network so that existing marketing staff can add elements with ease. The key is intuitive management software. Software can allow you to integrate social feeds seamlessly with other content, so you can still display other information, like schedules. The right software can also grant different permission levels, so that management can set a template but assistants only have access to adjust scheduling. It can be very little trouble to incorporate upsell features for exhibitors at a high rate of return.
- Scheduling & Wayfinding
While not the most exciting uses of digital signage, scheduling and wayfinding are closest to the core functions of the meetings industry. They get visitors where they want to be when they want to be there. Proper signage can be difference between an effortless event and chaos. Digital displays dramatically cut down on staff hours by essentially giving directions to attendees. Screens can be programmed independently on one network to provide directional information or “brand” spaces, so that no one gets lost. And all it takes is one person, in front of any web browser anywhere in the world, to enter that information ahead of the meeting. No printed schedules, no concierge staff, no problem.
- Staying Competitive
Now more than ever, the meetings industry is highly competitive turf. New facilities are being built as you read this. Can yours compete? In the quest to be the best, a top-to-bottom remodel may not be in the cards. What you can do is a “no-mess remodel” with digital signage. As technology improves, breathtaking video walls, large LED displays, and even smaller LCD matrices are becoming less expensive to install and manage. Unlike structural changes, you can reinvent the content they display all the time. Increasingly in this tech-heavy environment, exhibitors and visitors are coming to expect electronic displays. Crisp imagery and dynamic video never goes out of style. If you build a convention center around digital signage, the cutting age will remain sharp for years to come.
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