FIRA Barcelona, Gran Vía
1-4 February 2022

Digital signage solutions for a post-pandemic economyThe Big Read

Florian Rotberg

To tie in with April’s RISE Spotlight on Digital Signage, Florian Rotberg, Managing Director of invidis consulting and Content Chairman of ISE’s Digital Signage Summit, looks at how changes in people’s behaviour resulting from the pandemic have affected many of the markets for digital signage.

Israel was the first country to enter the post-pandemic phase. The vast majority of its population is vaccinated and stores, restaurants and offices are opening up again. Even cultural events are back, with theatres and concerts available for the vaccinated population. However, many restrictions remain, regulations change frequently and differ from city to city. The need for live information has never been greater than today and digital signage is part of the solution – in the office environment as well as in retail and public spaces.

The past year has expedited the role of digital information in everyday life, mainly on mobile (QR codes, apps) but also via displays, LED and projection. Workplace usage is still limited, cleaning and disinfection management is a huge challenge and meeting rooms are fully booked. Digital signage displays help employees to navigate through the post-pandemic workplace and enable employers to keep users of the infrastructure informed. While this seems a manageable task in corporate environments with a single location, it becomes a challenge for multinational organisations with dozens of different platforms and ecosystems. (AVI-SPL, the world’s largest AV integrator, delivers global solutions to hundreds of corporate customers around the world. AVI-SPL will present post-pandemic solutions at the upcoming RISE Spotlight – Digital Signage: New Solutions for a New Era – on 13 April 2021.)

The impact of the pandemic on retail, out-of-home and transportation is well documented. Locations have either been closed, limited to a few customers or just deserted for lack of guests or passengers. But now as business is picking up again and customers flock back to stores and into hotels and airports, the processes, directions and services have changed. Customers need to adapt to the new normal. Apple Stores, for example, have lost their famous open space product experience and have been converted to service-only locations with appointment-only service and long lines outside.

Where restaurants have reopened already, the number of guests inside remains strictly limited. Guests need to register or present a vaccination pass, and the number of seats and the dwell time are restricted. Digital signage screens in the window, or even better outside the location, displaying the latest regulations, number of seats available and waiting time are becoming increasing popular. High brightness screens are a necessity not only in front of stores and in the shop window but also in drive-through installations. Quick service retail drive-through is booming: not only in North America, where 80% of guests are already using the drive-through lane, but also in Europe. Historically eight out of 10 guests dined inside the restaurant; but this is also changing rapidly outside North America.

RISE Spotlight will cover the latest digital signage trends in retail, DooH and transportation. Retailers will explain how they are adapting to the new post-pandemic world and the role of digital communication.

Digital signage is not limited to displaying visual communication but can also be used to collect data with sensors and gain insights from client, employee and guest behaviours. Processes based on historic data and behaviour have become irrelevant as consumer behaviour changed radically during the pandemic: not only is there a new preference of interacting with digital touchpoints instead of human sales associates, but also customers are also moving through spaces differently. Invidis will present the latest trends, best practice from around the world and market data updates.

What is the outlook for 2021? As business picks up around the globe, IT components integrated within digital signage hardware will become more expensive and harder to obtain. Demand for silicon – especially in CPUs – has been growing tremendously in recent months, while logistics costs have exploded. What are the effects for the digital signage supply chain and what are alternatives? Invidis will provide insights and ideas for how to repurpose existing hardware to bridge the gap until new hardware is available again.

RISE Spotlight – Digital Signage: New Solutions for a New Era –  starts at 14:00 CET (15:00 BST) on 13 April 2021. Find out more and register here.

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