Big Picture - November/December 2015 - (Page 12)

dynamic signage A Day at the Airport The best, the worst, and the missed opportunities of digital signage at a perfectstorm location. | by Beth Osborne BIG PICTURE November/December 2015 I f America is a melting pot, then its airports are where the simmer starts. Walk through any concourse and you'll find a medley of travelers; a mixture of races, classes, nationalities, genders, and ages. In other words, it's a textbook environment to gauge the responses of a variety of consumers. Because there's such a broad audience and a naturally busy atmosphere, it's easy to see why digital signage is so prominent. As travelers, we already arrive as consumers; we've paid to be there. And even though there are plenty of distractions, we're still basically a captive audience. The screens may have our attention - at least initially - but can they keep it? I'm a frequent airport visitor; a travel veteran who typically takes 25 to 30 trips a year. Because of my experience, I'm quick to take mental notes on the signage I see. And I've seen good, bad, and lost opportunities, especially at my home airport, Charlotte Douglas (CLT), and, recently, at Texas' Austin-Bergstrom (AUS). Retailers and food service companies that manage locations within airports were early adopters of digital signage because non-traditional layouts keep space at a premium. Plus, owners must add or change content regularly (more so on menu boards, but also on informational signs). The environment also lends itself to embracing technology because the industry itself was born from and continues to grow from innovation. It's kind of the perfect storm, and maybe only one of a few areas where the three major types of digital signage are displayed: * In-store, meaning menu boards, P-O-P displays, or any signage in the actual store promoting those products sold there; * Informational, including wayfinding and internal communications; * And ad roll, representing advertising that is outside the actual location or environment. There is little consistency or uniformity in design or hardware among these three types, typically because each is owned and managed by a different company. Despite the potential benefits of centralizing the signage - cost savings, having a general theme on design, and using the same types of screens - there are probably too many industry players involved to streamline such a feat. IN STORE Unfortunately, I still see my fair share of static screens with flashing JPEGs. It's 2015, and if this is what you're doing with your brand, stop. Invest in software that allows for multiple types of media to be played and that can be updated from anywhere. There are many great products out there with a range of functionality. Cost should also no longer be a barrier to using good software, as many platforms are available that can fit any budget. Do it right or just don't do it. One regional quick-serve restaurant I noticed on a recent trip, however, did have some good content. They used four 40-inch screens to display menu items and a few images. They BETH OSBORNE is a consultant with many years' experience working with end users, providers, and stakeholders in dynamic and large-format signage. She resides in Charlotte, North Carolina. Contact her at 12

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Big Picture - November/December 2015

Big Picture - November/December 2015
Wide Angle
Dynamic Display
Ready to Ride
You Ask, We Answer
Wallcoverings’ Creative Awakening

Big Picture - November/December 2015