Widgets Magazine

From Integrator to Content Creation

Consistent, Compelling Content

During Digital Signage Expo (DSE) 2018, I moderated a panel discussion on taking your commercial integrator firm and launching a digital signage division. With me were Will Amos from Diversified, Lance Hutchinson of Alpha Video, and Tom Milner from Service and Support. These three have developed groups and helped other integrators deploy digital signage divisions.
The main areas to consider when introducing a digital signage component to your audiovisual shop are infrastructure, technicians, and content.
This is the backbone on which the entire digital signage system relies. It includes the mounting, connection points, networking, and signal distribution. Infrastructure also encompasses the various types of displays within a system. Not all of these are simple monitors either. There are things like the Hypervsn by Kino-mo. This is not a screen but a set of blades the spin. Within those blades are LEDs. As they spin they create an image based on the software connected. Having an understanding of unique display devices as well as the rest of the supporting cast is important.
Digital Signage, from an installation standpoint, is fairly similar to most of your other audiovisual jobs. The differences come in the deployment and software setup. We are not presenting a simple powerpoint, connecting a video conferencing call, or controlling a projector. The displays and media players need to be connected and networked together. The software the drives the content on a timer or event-based situation need to be able to communicate with those media players. They are small differences but important ones.
Content Creation
The most consistent feedback our panel received from the audience of over 100 was that the biggest hurdle for integrators getting into the digital signage vertical was content creation. It’s as if the AV dealer would install these beautiful displays, media players, and sound and then hand the keys over to the client and say “good luck”. Each of the panelists had different solutions as did some of the audience members. I’ll break down the solutions into two camps; do it for them and hire it out.
There are several audiovisual firms who have created their own, in-house, content creation groups. This allows the AV team to work directly with their co-workers on getting the most out of a system. The benefits of having a team within your organization include being able to pop by their desk, it’s easier to keep them in the loop of changes, and a more cohesive team.
Some opt to subcontract out the work to a variety of content creators like Show+Tell. These teams are able to come in and bring on additional staff as a project is needed. Communication can be a challenge but not an insurmountable one with subcontractors. You can also opt to bring a sub into your space to overcome some of those issues.
Just like with any sort of technology design and implementation, finding out from the client what they are trying to accomplish with a digital signage installation is the first step. From there you can meet with your team, whether in-house or subs, and form a plan of attack. Either direction you can successfully deploy and support your clients’ wildest imaginations and continue to create compelling content for their digital signage systems.
To learn more about how to create consistent, compelling content register for our webinar, November 12 at 1 pm ET by clicking here.

About Author

Tim Albright is the founder of AVNation and is the driving force behind the AVNation network. He carries the InfoComm CTS, a B.S. from Greenville College and is pursuing an M.S. in Mass Communications from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. When not steering the AVNation ship, Tim has spent his career designing systems for churches both large and small, Fortune 500 companies, and education facilities.

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