According to Pew Research, over 95% of all American adults own a cellphone. This has caused a shift in the way in which attendees at events consume content. With the attendee attention span getting shorter and given the distractions of modern technology, they may no longer pay as much attention to static information such as meter boards, printed signs and static branding.
Does this mean that printed signage is a thing of the past, of course not, it simply means that you need an overall effective visual communications strategy that encompasses how content can be consumed in a way that is meaningful to the attendee and helps them make a better connection with your brand, which in turn generates an overall better ROI for your event.
Including digital signage as part of the event visual communications strategy can be tricky. The term digital signage can encompass many aspects of communicating your message. Unfortunately, when the term digital signage is heard it is often associated with the screen itself and is often lumped in with the audio-visual order. The issue with this approach is that it typically limits the vast opportunities digital signage makes available to your event attendees and sponsors to PowerPoint or one – dimensional logos on screens.
At etech, we like to say. “The right message, at the right place, at the right time, with the right equipment.” As you can see, we clearly understand that equipment is still part of the solution, however it is not what drives the solution.
What drives the solution is having a clearly defined digital strategy that delivers meaningful, interactive content to your attendee when and how they want it through a connected, controlled environment.
The first step in implementing digital signage into your event is to create a solid digital signage strategy. This strategy should include:
- Set goals for digital signage – It is important to understand the ultimate outcome you want from the digital signage. This outcome can include attendee engagement, company sales goals, lead generation, ROI, new product launch, increased brand loyalty, increased social media presence or streamlined event communications.
- Know your audience – Take time to understand who will be attending your event and what they hope to gain from their attendance. Many events today are multi-generational, ranging from Baby Boomers to Gen Z. Each has a different learning style, with Baby Boomers wanting more traditional classroom learning to Gen Z who wants the information as quickly and succinct as possible. This also translates to the experience that each will expect at the conference. For Gen Z, they are looking more for an experience, whereas Baby Boomers are more likely to be looking to gain valuable information that they can use.
- Have a solid understanding of the flow of the show – By understating how your attendees are likely to navigate the show, you can make certain that you have the proper placement of the digital signage. Misplaces signs can lead to wasted time and budget, or worse yet, a missed opportunity to connect with a new client or to deepen the connection with an existing one.
- Usage of signs – Determine the usage of the signs. This can include:
- Sponsor messaging
- Revenue Generation
- Session overflow
- Session information
- Emergency Messaging
- General event messaging
Studies show that people typically retain images and graphics more than words. Solid visual content can be created to assist with driving attendee engagement through messaging such as brand awareness, distribution of product information, attendee engagement, advertising, internal event information, or creating a digital game to drive attendee behavior or actions.
Historically, digital content fell into the category of “set it and forget it”. This was driven by the fact that digital signage was thrown into the audio-visual order. Static content was created and set on a loop repeating the same, images, PowerPoints slides or videos for the entirety of the show.
In today’s environment, content can be centrally controlled, allowing for targeted messaging, real time updates and fresh content throughout the show.
The key to having dynamic content distributed throughout your event is the ability to network together all of the displays and manage the content centrally by creating a network that can connect displays within one venue or across multiple venues. By being centrally managed, you enable content delivery that is programmable and targeted by date, time, and need. Content can be easily changed, managed and distributed in real-time.
In addition to managing the content, you want your platform to connect with many other third-party systems being utilized at the event, such as registration, social media, and event apps to create a completely integrated and automated event.
At etech we are constantly working to help you enhance your attendees experience at your events. Through our industry experience and our digital platform ShowCommand, we can help you create a best of class digital and content strategy for your event. We would be happy to review ideas with you on how to implement digital signage into your event strategy. Please contact us for a free consultation.