Making your venue stand out from the competition can be tough. But smart signs (also known as digital signage) can help. They make it easier for you to keep your guests entertained while also accomplishing your marketing goals.
Don’t worry if you’re not familiar with digital signage yet. Keep reading to learn:
- What smart signs are and how they work
- How digital signage will upgrade your venue
- Why UPshow is the right provider for your digital signage software
What are smart signs, or digital signage?
Digital signage is an electronic screen display that conveys information to in-store audiences. These screens display videos and graphics that keep your audience entertained and informed.
Smart signs are more dynamic than traditional signage displays. With digital signage, you can change content as often as you want, enabling you to keep your messaging relevant. Plus, with digital signage, your venue can complete multiple guest engagement tasks at once. For example, smart signs let you:
- Complete digital check-ins
- Use QR codes to convey information
- Offer contactless ordering and digital tickets
- Display dynamic advertisements for your products
- Show more than 500 channels of entertainment
The components needed for smart signs to work
Digital signage is made up of several components. You need each to get the most out of your smart signs.
This refers to the physical aspects of your digital signage display. It includes screens, mounts, network components and any other physical objects needed to make your display function.
You probably already have existing smart screen hardware in your venue. For example, LCD and LED displays are two of the most common types of digital signage hardware. But they’re not the only types of screens you can use.
Venues can also use touchscreens for their smart signs. These make it super easy for guests to browse through menus, compare products and interact with your venue in meaningful ways.
It’s often a good idea to combine touchscreens with traditional LED and LCD displays. Larger displays are great for displaying content and ads. You can supplement them with smaller touchscreens to give your guests another way to interact with your venue’s offerings.
Software turns an otherwise normal piece of hardware into a dynamic smart sign. It controls the content that’s displayed on your devices and manages how your screens work together.
There are lots of digital signage software solutions available, each of which has its own set of benefits. For example, some digital signage software is only designed to entertain your guests with content. Others offer comprehensive engagement solutions that provide a cloud-based management suite, entertainment options and marketing tools .
Smart signs need to connect back to your content management system to provide the most value. Wi-Fi and mobile technologies are the most convenient connectivity solutions because they require no wires. But you may also opt for a hard-line solution in certain situations.
The installation process is also a very important part of maximizing the impact of your smart signs. When you’re installing your screens, make sure you consider their positions throughout your venue. You want to ensure your guests see the screens, but make sure you’re also considering how guests will interact with those screens. For example, a signage display right as someone enters seems like a great idea. That way, customers see great offers right away!
Consider this experience from your customer’s perspective. They want to enter your venue, not be caught in the entry where others are coming and going. Instead of a smart sign directly in the entrance, consider a larger sign further in to attract attention and draw customers inside your venue.
You want to make sure that you position your digital signage displays optimally throughout your venue. This means striking the perfect balance between installation locations that are prominent, unobtrusive but not easily overlooked. For more on that, check out our white paper on overcoming display blindness.
Digital signage is a great way to advertise and share important information with your guests. But if you want your customers to engage with your signs, you can’t use them for advertising alone. You should also use them to display content that your guests care about.
That can be more than just TV shows and sports. With smart signs, you can also display your guests’ social media posts or set up your touchscreens with engaging games. Displaying the right content is key to ensuring that your digital signage gets the traction you would like.
Where are smart signs most commonly used?
Nowadays, digital signage can be found pretty much everywhere. It’s common in doctor’s offices, gyms, bars and venues, among other locations.
But if you want to get the most out of your smart signs, you need to make sure that you put them in the right parts of your venue. There are a few rules to keep in mind while determining where your displays will go.
You should always try to place your smart signs in high-traffic areas. This rationale for this is pretty self-explanatory. Your displays will get more attention if they’re located where your guests are most likely to congregate. Restaurants should place smart signs by bars and throughout major seating areas.
It’s also important to think about the height and angle of your screens. They should lie within your guests’ natural field of vision. Eye-level is best if you can manage it. Your customers will naturally discover and engage with your signs if they don’t have to crane their necks and go out of their way to look at them.
Depending on the connectivity method you use, it may be important to keep your signs close to WiFi routers. The average 2.4 GHz WiFi router can reach up to 150 feet indoors. But your connection will be better the closer you are to the router.
You want to make sure that your signs can stream the content you plan on displaying through them without buffering. You’ll want to spend some time testing this before you install your smart signs in specific locations.
Other ways to utilize your digital signage
How smart signs can meet your needs
Smart signs keep your guests engaged. They’re eye-catching displays that attract your customers’ attention. You can use them to satisfy a variety of your company’s needs.
In-venue advertising made easy
Smart signs can save you time and money on in-venue marketing. They’re a great way to share information about new drinks, special discounts and upcoming events.
You won’t have to print up new signage every time you want to advertise something new. You’ll just program your smart signs to display the ad for however long you want your customers to see it.
You can even advertise different things at different times of the day with digital signage. For example, you could prominently display an afternoon meal deal during lunch hours and swap over to an ad for your new drink during the evening.
Keep your guests entertained
Whether you operate a clinic or a bar, you never want your customers to be bored at your facility. Boredom tends to increase customer irritation and frustration. It can even make them anxious in a healthcare setting.
Smart signs will help you avoid this problem. You can use them to dynamically display content that your customers care about, including everything from viral videos to trivia questions. They’ll help you keep your customers engaged and entertained so that they’re more likely to think of your company favorably in the future.
Leverage your guests as brand ambassadors
54% of people who browse social media use it to research products, places and services. If your venue positions itself well on social media, it could see an uptick in business. Digital signage can help you make this happen.
Your guests are already taking pictures of themselves at your venue and posting them on Instagram. You can take advantage of that behavior by displaying your guests’ posts on your screens. Tell them to use your venue’s hashtag and you’ll feature them on your screens. You could see an increase in social media activity around your venue in no time.
Smart signs are also a great way to display reviews from your clients. Doing so could help new customers discover what makes your business special in a way that feels more personal than large review websites.
What technology works best for your venue?
Venues can vary from one another in significant ways. The smart sign solution that’s right for your space may not be right for someone else. That’s why it’s important to spend some time thinking about which type of digital signage technology will allow you to get the most out of your venue’s layout.
There are a few hardware choices to consider. Standard TV screens are always an option. The three major types that you should think about are LCD, LED and OLED (organic light-emitting diode).
LCD displays are the cheapest of the bunch. They also feature a wider depth and weigh more than LED displays. These features have made LCD screens one of the most common hardware choices for smart signs in recent years.
But a growing number of venues are swapping over to LED panels. More specifically, they’re using LED panels that are back-lit, edge-lit and direct-lit. These features make it easier for a customer to see your screen from various parts of your venue. LED screens also provide a clearer, sharper image and brighter colors while using up to 50% less power than LCDs.
OLEDs are another alternative. These TVs feature a wider viewing angle than their LED counterparts. Additionally, the colors emitted by an OLED screen won’t get washed out when viewers watch the screen from extreme angles. Choosing OLED screens could make it easier for your customers to engage with your digital displays.
There are other types of displays you’ll want to consider as well. Touch screens can add a fun dimension to your venue. They may be a good idea for your space if you’d like your guests to be able to easily browse a menu, check themselves in or take a look at your upcoming events.
Find the right smart signs for your business
Smart signs can have a big impact on your venue. They’re great for keeping your guests entertained, sharing important information with them and advertising your products.
If you decide to invest in digital signage, the two major things you need to think about are hardware and software. Your hardware needs will vary based on your goals and the layout of your venue. But UPshow is the only smart sign software for your venue.
UPshow is the leading entertainment and marketing platform that drives engagement for your venue. It offers a cloud-based management suite, more than 500 channels of entertainment and numerous engagement solutions. Get in touch with us to schedule your custom demo today.