The way we negotiate shared spaces in facilities needs to change. To give people a more consumer-like experience, whether they’re employees or visitors, is to tap into the digital revolution that is transforming the way we do pretty much everything. Venues are turning to digital signage content because it makes facility management far more flexible and dynamic, lets you better serve your audience, makes workflows easier and helps save money as well.
Way back in the olden days, things changed at a slower pace than they do today. Think back, if you’re old enough, to pre-mobile-phone days – you had to make an arrangement with someone to meet at a certain place at a certain time, and then show up before you could make any changes to the plan.
Going back even further, before there were ATMs, people used to physically go into the bank on Friday and withdraw enough money to last them through the weekend.
And even further back, we had to use a big, thick book called the “yellow pages” if we wanted to find a business’s phone number and address (or call information). It was a quieter, less hurried time.
Today we can change arrangements on the fly, use a card or phone to pay for everything with just a tap (Cash? What’s that?), and get detailed information on any venue we want from just about anywhere we happen to be (provided we have signal).
Thanks to digital signage content, life has become much more dynamic and information-rich, and people have become more agile at negotiating information spaces, both online and off.
Static posters, plaques and signs are quickly becoming a thing of the past.
Sure, back in the old days, these gave a sense of permanence and stability, and worked because things didn’t change all that often.
But today, things are constantly on the move – a meeting might change rooms because of higher audience volume than expected (or lower); an organization might embrace hotdesking or other in-house innovations so no one has a permanent office; the university cafeteria needs to show options like vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free meals (not to mention allergy information).
Digital signage content lets you keep up with the changes, making sure that everyone is getting accurate, up-to-the-minute details.
Digital signs are often thought of as just electronic bulletin boards, but the technology has evolved to offer venues a full range of communications and space management solutions.
In addition to showing messages and ads on screens, facility mangers can also use a single, centralize system to deliver wayfinding and directories, interactive experiences, event schedules, data visualizations and alert notifications.
You may think wayfinding doesn’t need to be dynamic – buildings are where they are, and rooms don’t change names very often. But putting your maps and directories on touchscreens lets you offer an amazing amount of information to your visitors using just a single kiosk.
Plus, letting people sort by different options like name, department, rooms or events lets them sift through the information in their own way, at their own pace, and personalizes the search for a more consumer-like experience.
You can also leverage the mobile devices people already have with them with your digital signage content. Put a QR code on your wayfinding screen to let them access maps and other info on their phone, or let them enter their phone number to get turn-by-turn directions sent to their mobile.
If you have a large campus, you can integrate shuttle mapping for accurate, up-to-the-moment transport schedules and tracking. Good interactive wayfinding can also free up human receptionists, either replacing them entirely or giving them more time to personalize the help they offer visitors.
Combining real-time data with visual communications for things like queuing, donor boards, menu boards and energy dashboards can help modernize all parts of your facility. These can either be interactive, or simply shown on screens mounted in hallways, elevator banks and other high-traffic areas.
Showing queuing data can reduce perceived wait times for people in line. Menu boards can change at a moment’s notice to adjust to daily stock and specials, and touchscreens can let people explore nutritional information and order when they’re ready.
Donor boards can thank patrons and encourage giving. Energy dashboards can be tied to building systems to encourage conservation.
Showing current power usage stats on screens with a day’s-end goal to encourage people to turn off lights in unused rooms is far more interesting and engaging than a flyer taped to the wall in every room that says, “Please turn off the lights.”
Every venue has meetings and events, and every modern facility already has a centralized scheduling system. It’s easy to pull that data onto screens. In fact, event schedules are the number one thing that organizations show on digital signs.
Most content management systems let you pull in data for different rooms and times, and you can format and display those schedules anywhere – static screens, touchscreens with event data tied to wayfinding maps, and individual screens mounted outside every door and shared workspaces.
Room signs are becoming more and more common for centralized space management. Some are static, some are interactive, some show just schedules and some show digital signage playlists.
Some interactive models even let you book rooms at the sign, and can show AV resources in the room. There are even lightweight, wireless models that can be put on cubicles or carried to different spaces throughout the day.
Regardless of the type of room sign, they help people find their events quickly, know whether a room is busy or available at a glance, and let them see what’s coming up next.
Safety & Alerts f0r Digital Signage Content
Safety and emergency preparedness are a core priority for any facility manager. Whether it’s keeping workers safe on the production line or warning everyone on campus about severe weather, digital signage content can provide a centralized safety support system.
To bolster workplace safety, digital signs mounted in staff areas can show days without injury, and reminders about compliance with codes, regulations, policies and standards. And again, you can include QR codes for employees to get more information online.