Digital signage is no stranger to entertainment venues. Aquariums, museums, amusement parks and other major tourist attractions all integrate digital signage in very useful ways. But 2017 will bring about some exciting changes in how signage is deployed in these venues. Here are some of the major factors and trends that will drive this shift:
Digital signage becomes the attraction
Look carefully and you'll see that digital signage will be used for much more than just "signage." In particular, digital displays will be used to create digital experiences that are integral to these entertainment venues. Case in point, the Shark Week attraction at Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo did a wonderful job of integrating displays into the aquarium. A video wall was erected behind one of the tanks to project lifelike video of various shark species as selected by the visitors using interactive displays mounted outside the tank. And in another area, visitors walk inside a "virtual shark cage" created by video walls on all four sides, with the joined bezels of the displays simulating the bars of the cage. This aquarium is a prime example of how digital signage can be used not just as signage, but as a functional element of the attraction.
Interactivity will drive the visitor experience
Interactivity should be at the top of the shopping list for venues integrating AV into their visitor attractions. Looping video that offers the visitor no opportunity to control the content has very limited appeal. At a minimum, attractions should incorporate video presentations broken down into multiple shorter segments, giving visitors the opportunity to select the content that interests them. But the best attractions will offer much greater interactivity, allowing visitors the full opportunity to interact with the content that they see, hear and experience.
Measuring the customer experience
For many years, ticket sales and concession receipts have been the primary measurements to evaluate the health of a particular venue. But now, thanks to on-screen interactivity, venues have access to a much more complete measurement not just of attendance and visitor spend, but of customer engagement. It's now possible to track the popularity of individual attractions within a venue, and understand how well visitors are engaging with those attractions by examining how visitors interact with the venue's dynamic content.
Entertainment venues are moving beyond the act of installing "digital signage" and embracing ways to utilize technology to deliver "digital experiences" that enrich the visitor experience, and ultimately drive bottom-line growth for these venues as they capture a larger visitor base.
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/ BrightSign CEO Jeff Hastings joined BrightSign in August 2009 while it was still a division of Roku Inc. In late 2010 with digital signage activities growing so rapidly, BrightSign became a separate firm. The holder of eight U.S. patents, he also has a history of tech industry leadership, including as president of mp3 pioneer Rio.