Thinking Ahead: Planning for a Lobby Client Communications Installation
More often than not, when it comes to client digital signage comms - especially those in a lobby waiting area or near the reception area - hardware gets installed, followed by the question "OK, now what?". Sadly, the most common response is to throw up some weather and news, along with the company logo, and call it good.
What many don't realize is that the content seen in the lobby by clients and visitors is basically your company's calling card. It's just as much a part of a visitor's first impression of your company as the buildings architecture and lobby design. Picture it: you step into the lobby of BlueSky Industries, and instantly are impressed by the gleaming exposed steel columns, the floor to ceiling windows, and the polished and clean lobby design aesthetic. You take a seat in the lobby's waiting area and notice a cleverly placed LED display set to eye level. The screen displays a hodgepodge of generic weather and news content - using the designs from each provider. A slightly pixilated company logo completes the picture.
If this scenario sounds like an exaggeration, unfortunately it isn't… at least not by much in many lobbies. The good news? There are a few easy and inexpensive fixes that can polish up your lobby game and make those visiting feel like you are thinking about their well-being and convenience… and hopefully increasing positive mind-share of your company and corporate branding in the process! Read on to learn how you can make it so:
Use what you've got
Often times when people are planning out a lobby communications area, they already have an employee/corporate signage system in place. While much of the content on these screens is inward-facing and not suitable for visitors and outward-facing screens, you may be surprised at how much content can be re-used for the lobby. For example, if you already have public transit or drive time information available to employees, why not add it to your outward-facing screens? Community events? Check! What about trivia or other entertainment-driven content? Go for it! They all work in a client/outward-facing environment.
Make it evergreen
The people visiting your building are there for a fleeting moment - most will not be visiting on a regular and frequent basis. This allows you an opportunity to focus these screens on "evergreen" content. There is less or even no need to include "just-in-time" content here that needs manual intervention. Ideally, these screens become a "set it and forget it" type of content delivery mechanism, and would only need to be revisited or refreshed once a quarter - or even once a year!
Keep it consistent and cohesive
One of the easiest give-aways that the messaging is half-baked is the lack of cohesive design language across the different pieces of content. For example, when a news story uses the base vendor's layout, and the weather has its' own design aesthetic, and so on and so on for every content vendor used… you end up with something that looks exactly like what it is - something that was slapped together using many content sources. Ideally, you want your messaging to carry the same design language throughout. Same fonts, complimentary colors, layout parameters, etc.. While many content vendors offer multiple content types, they each have their own design esthetic for their particular library of content. What you want is to use one of the few vendors that offer a vast array of many different evergreen content sources that not only offer a standardized, cohesive design language, but also offer some basic customization. For example, the ability to add your logo directly to the content, making it a branded experience. Take a look at content.telecine.com for a great example for a great example of this kind of offering.
Don't forget branding, branding, branding
As mentioned in the previous point, branding goes a long way in reinforcing the impression that this is curated, custom content from you and your company being delivered to the viewer. To that end, having your logo as a permanent "bug" on-screen, and planning for a few branding video or HTML-based interstitials to be peppered into your content playlist are not only a great way to hype up your company, but also help subliminally shape the viewer's understanding and impression of the company and what it represents.
If you are looking to learn more about expanding your content offering, both for evergreen and branding content, reach out to us. Telecine has created a library of content to take the guesswork out of cohesive design for evergreen content, and has many years experience creating custom branded content for signage networks. Explore some of our DSR content options here.