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Digital Signposts: Event Signage

Oct 28, 2013 11:54 AM, By Vern Freedlander, Vice President, Production, X2O Media

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One of the most overlooked and underused digital signage applications is at events and conferences. Event organizers have been setting up screens to serve as wayfinders and event schedules for many years, but there is much more that can be done. Events and conferences generate volumes of valuable information and present great opportunities for attendees to engage with event content and with their fellow participants. Digital signage can and should play a vital role in facilitating these connections as the basis for a multi-screen/multi-platform information distribution system.

Organizers need to think of their conference as a “news event,” where important stories are constantly being created. Digital signage and supporting mobile platforms are the “broadcast” outlets that are used to combine and present multi-sourced content. Organizers in effect become producers who distribute content to emphasize top stories, new developments, important images, and video, all designed to engage participants and promote the over-arching themes of the event. There are many ways this can be achieved. For example, social media is a great way to both gauge reaction to conference events and to promote upcoming speakers and workshops. Slide shows can be used to recap the key points made by speakers, while video clips can be compiled to create a speaker highlight reel or to promote an upcoming conference event.

Digital signage can also be used to put a spotlight on participating companies and their unique industry role, and to run short blogs that serve as a brief analysis of a presentation or a conference theme. Organizers can look to mobile devices to conduct polls and in turn show the results on digital screens. Thinking of the signage system as the event’s own cable news station will help redefine and focus messaging and lead event organizers to discover exciting new communications opportunities.

Vern Freedlander is vice president of production services for Montréal-based X2O Media, a full-service provider of technology, network management, and content services for professional digital signage applications. With more than 20 years of broadcast television experience as a producer, director and executive, Freedlander oversees all of X2O Media’s content initiatives. He can be reached at

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