18 Digital Signage Answers To Meeting Room Booking Nightmares

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Looking for a meeting room solution?

This post has proven so popular I started a dedicated micro-site for meeting room and conference room sign options – cleverly called Meeting Room Signs. OK, maybe not so clever, but certainly unambiguous.

FinalIt’s a searchable directory of all the options out there. You can drill down by things like PoE and booking system support (like if you use something like Domino, which only a few options support).

It’s totally free to use and free to add listings, though premium listings with photos and deeper information are fee-based for vendors. Check it out at MeetingRoomSigns.biz

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Original Post >>>

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This past year, in particular, has seen me running around a bunch of different corporate campuses, jumping between meeting rooms and watching as clients and business partners tried to figure out if rooms were booked, if people were showing up, and when the rooms were going to come free.

Not one of these buildings had digital meeting room signs, but every one of them could have used them. It’s a vertical just begging to be built out, and is a lot more open in terms of competitors than the over-clogged battle for digital menu board business in the QSR sector.

A few PR pieces for meeting room systems have shown up in my inbox lately, so I thought I’d break down what seems to be out there, and then wait for the emails from the “You forgot me!!!” crowd. For that, please use the comments section to note you’re out there, as well.

Any digital sign platform can do a screen showing meeting room information. This is a list of companies with specific meeting rooms products (and they are in no particular order):

Evoko

ERM-Smooth-SchedulingThe Swedish firm Evoko take s avery nice spin on meeting room signs by using halo lighting to visually signal if a meeting room is available – green meaning go, red meaning the room is occupied.

The Room Manager is an 8-inch tablet display that can be controlled at the screen, off the desktop or via a mobile app.

Calendar support includes Exchange, Office 365, Google Apps or Lotus Domino. It can be driven by Power Over Ethernet and supports numerous languages.

Schedulla

schedulla_lapkaA Polish company has launched a meeting room product that uses Android for the operating system and then takes the smart step of integrating beacons.

Called Schedulla, a play on Godzilla, the tablet-centric platform has a simple CMS that allows users to pick a room, pick a date, describe, and invite participants. The system syncs with Google Calendar or Exchange.

By integrating with beacons, the set-up gives spatial context and allows people with smartphone apps to figure out where the heck the meeting room is located.

The company has both perpetual and perpetual licensing arrangements, and also does custom work.

Capital Networks

MeetingRoomDisplay_TabooToronto-based Capital Networks has a version of its long-running Audience platform set up for for Room Booking Displays

A main selling point is how the room booking display solution enables sharing information across a network with a variety of displays throughout the facility, including the main lobby, elevator waiting areas, exits, entrances and outside individual meeting rooms.

Audience’s benefits include:

  • Works across blended platforms using a variety of players and displays including Android and Samsung Smart Signage solutions.
  • Can be integrated with Google Calendar, Office 365, Microsoft Exchange 2010 and 2013.
  • Individual screens for each room can display a list of upcoming events for that room, plus the current event.
  • If there are no events scheduled for that room that day, in-house promotional messaging can be show in place of event information.
  • Audience scheduling model allows emergency information to override previously scheduled content in the case of an emergency situation.
  • Interactivity with displays can be accomplished either through touch or Near Field Communication (NFC).

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Visix

Visix has been doing meeting room signs for a while now, including a nice display sign that gets its power over the ethernet (network cable). They’ve just announced something called RoomBoard, a touchscreen wayfinding solution that shows space availability and maps event listings to rooms. It also integrates with the Atlanta-based company’s existing MeetingMinder room sign system.

Visix RoomBoard™: Interactive Room Management

I like how this gives a user something of a dashboard view of what rooms available and how to find them. At one point this summer I was working between two buildings and three floors full of rooms, and this would have been handy as heck.

I also like that you can book a room from that sign, and not have to crack a laptop or launch a device.

 

RESOFT

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New York-based software firm ReSoft has what it matter of factly calls its Digital Sign Service for meeting room signs. It is integrated with Microsoft Exchange, which effectively means a meeting booked via a user’s Outlook email client gets automatically displayed on the right networked sign at the room’s door.

The system also has touch screen controls for booking right at the meeting room. The platform appears to be tablet based and works with iOS, Win7 and, soon, Android. It also works with Modulex, which I think is a system for architectural signage (ie wayfinding).

The company has a higher level service called Ariadne that can also handle Flash presentations, messaging, and video, and connects Exchange, Outlook, Lotus Notes, and other systems. It works on  iOS, Android, Windows 7, and Modulex.

 

EmergingSoft

mtgplantouchMinneapolis-based EmergingSoft has a product called MeetingPlanner Touch billed as the “most cost effective, flexible and configurable conference room digital signage solution in the marketplace.”

The software company has been in the business of writing applications for booking meeting rooms – all the way to integrating with HVAC, lighting and security system – so it would know the needs pretty well.

The room entry displays Microsoft Outlook/Exchange, Office 365 or with the company’s own MeetingPlanner application. Companies can run the application on existing sign hardware, commercial signs, Apple iPads, Samsung Galaxy tablets or non-interactive monitors.

 

 

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PRONESTOR

The Danish firm proNestor is also in the room booking business, with cloud-based applications that make assigning rooms simple.

The PRONESTOR DISPLAY software runs on tablets – across platforms –  and pulls data from Microsoft Exchange, Google Apps and from the company’s own BOOKING software.

Rooms can be booked and managed off the tablet screens, and the back-end monitors all the devices.

The company touts how it offers “one complete digital signage solution for all info screens needed in the company – consistent design and simple administration and maintenance.”

 

Key West

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Industry veterans KeyWest Technology recently introduced its SignWave digital door sign system, based on the lowered cost Android platform. The company says it has partnered with several  event and room scheduling software systems, and now works with:

  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 / Outlook
  • Newmarket Delphi EMS
  • MICROS Fidelio Opera PMS
  • Dean Evans EMS

The company says others are road-mapped.

On the flip side, if a client doesn’t use third-party event and room scheduling software, the SignWave server includes a room scheduling application that’s accessible through a web browser. Like many or most of the others, bookings can be managed right at the sign.

 

RMG Networks (formerly Symon Communications)

DoorDisplayOne of the capabilities acquired by RMG Networks when it bought Symon was digital door displays that connect seamlessly with scheduling system. They can inform guests and staff of current meetings and agendas associated with each meeting room throughout a facility.

Not a lot more on the RMG site about it, but Symon has been doing corporate communications forever, so this would be old hat to them. Here’s the old page on the still running Symon site.

 

 

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Four Winds Interactive

Denver-based Four Winds does a lot of work in hospitals, hotels and colleges – all which have a lot of rooms – so developing capabilities around meeting rooms signs was a bit of a no-brainer. The company recently announced its Turnkey Interactive Meeting Room Sign & Scheduler Call for Assistance products.

Windows-based tablets pull meeting schedules updates automatically from Microsoft Exchange, giving users the ability to “book meetings, call for assistance, extend their current meeting or alert a previous organizer of a meeting that’s running long directly on the sign.”

I like the call for assistance piece (not sure if it’s unique or not) based on the idea that there are AV/IT guys running around big corporate campuses all day getting projectors to work and bring cables and adapters to hook up guests.

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GoGet

This Gothenburg, Sweden start-up has what looks to be a nice toolkit built around Android, called ROOM SYNC.

ROOM SYNC with Room Display 4 software is a professional, ultra-modern meeting room digital signage system that puts you in control of your room reservations. It can be used to manage room bookings via the email calendar or the convenient touch-screens outside each meeting room, and present a wide range of customized information including availability, organizer, title and upcoming events.

Room Display is offered as two options:

integrated in GoGet’s ready-to-use ROOM SYNC display unit;

bought as license-only so you can configure the software/hardware bundle yourself.

The platform works with Exchange and Google Apps, and the sign units are gorgeous little anodized aluminum numbers with wool accents on the sides.

 

 

Visionect

tablca-lo-res_takenThe Slovenian firm Visionect is focused on e-paper displays and has a series of clean, minimalist displays and bundled solutions, including one called Joan.

Joan uses digital door signs with e-paper displays and an intuitive touch interface. Interactive displays feature meeting room booking at the door and updates on meetings already scheduled. Joan works with your existing calendar, i.e. Google or MS Outlook, and can schedule your meetings without additional conference room booking software.

One of the big selling points of the system is that while many new meeting room systems use iPads or other tablets, these Joan e-paper displays consume just a teeny fraction of the power. That adds up over a large campus, and helps the building operator with its green efforts.

Joan costs EUR 249 per meeting or conference room. The package includes: 6’’ Joan display unit, easy mounting kit, access to the settings dashboard, software and hosting.

 

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Ask Cody

This is a Danish product by a company well-established in the wayfinding business. It’s not just signs, but a blend of capabilities that cross mobile, tablets and corporate back-end systems.

At AskCody we help people and their organizations improve both productivity and happiness by truly Connecting People with Places and Events – Dynamically. 

Whether it’s employees planning a meeting or event, looking for an available conference room, finding their way to the next meeting, a patient in a hospital finding their clinic or a student at a university finding their way to the next class, our cloud based modular and scalable platform is there to help.

Through our productivity enhancing suite of integrated solutions, we combine meeting planning and booking with digital meeting room signs that are linked into your calendar system for automatic updates, smartphone guidance, digital overview signs, interactive kiosks, dynamic maps, and even visitor management, to help your organization improve productivity and happiness for everyone involved.

 

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SmartSign

Swedish CMS firm Smartsign uses HTML5 widgets to drive its Smartsign Conference service, which is touted as a making it easy to guide visitors to the right premises, provide current information and keep track of resource reservations.

The system is set up to integrate with Outlook and Exchange. “The rooms are booked in Microsoft Exchange/Outlook and are displayed on the screens and guide visitors to the right place. At each conference room, you can also have a screen to see if the room is occupied and for how long. The system is supplied with a default layout, contact us for a separate quote if a custom layout is needed.

 

EventBoard

eventboardioSalt Lake City’s EventBoard goes beyond just meeting room signs to also provide guest greeters and analytics capabilities to assess how the overall system is working.

EventBoard is built to make your business stronger. That’s why it includes a powerful analytics framework that helps you quantify your workplace. There’s no need for guesswork — see when meetings are happening, which rooms are being used, and when it’s time for growth, all with the help of EventBoard. 

It hooks up with calendars and offers broad customization capabilities.

 

Extron

Pro AV giant Extron is now shipping what it calls the Extron Room Scheduling application. The system pairs a  standard TouchLink Pro touch panels by Extron with Microsoft’s Exchange platform to create a complete, easy-to-use solution.

 TouchLink Pro touch panels only require free Room Agent software and Exchange to deliver a convenient stand-alone room booking solutions for any size facility. Users can reserve rooms from any Exchange-connected device, including their mobile devices, or from the touch panel itself.

extronroom1

Since Extron Room Scheduling uses Extron’s 5″ and 7″ TouchLink Pro touch panels, multiple mounting options are  already available.

Users can book a room from the touch panel, and can see, even at a distance, if rooms are open or not based on bright green and red LEDs within the bezel.

 

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Door Tablet

London, UK-based Door Tablet is a system designed for tablets placed by meeting rooms. They allow a range of features to help you use your rooms more effectively and also provide for five different public display types for use on large monitors around your buildings.dtThe system enables full administrative control over multiple resources from a centralised interface, allowing you to manage the system to suit your requirements. From ad-hoc meetings to a one-tap call for room assistance (anything from catering to technical help), the administrator can regulate room usage in an effective and secure way.The system includes the ability to implement full corporate branding, large TV displays with welcome messages for visitors and check-in or out of pre-booked meetings. Through the corporate calendar and scheduling system, individuals can book meetings in advance with admin approval and view the schedules of many rooms. Door Tablet is also ideal for complexes with multiple meeting rooms.
I like that these guys have a slide show feature, as well as a macro directory for facilities with a lot of rooms

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Robin

Robin is a Boston start-up with some interesting wrinkles to how it powers meeting and conference room bookings – notably its use of presence via beacons, and the ability to see what’s up in multiple rooms off one screen.
It’s an app-driven, tablet-based system that works with both iOS and Android phones and tablets. The service is built around a SaaS model and the numbers of bookable rooms and therefore displays.
The presence capability uses beacons to establish when people enter and leave rooms and that maps to the management system to update availability on the fly. So, if a room was booked from 10 to 11, but all the attendees have left based on their phones and beacons, the calendar opens up availability.
There’s also capability to see a dashboard that shows the state of ALL the rooms, at a glance.
Nice stuff.

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That’s my list. I KNOW there are more, and I KNOW pretty much every digital signage CMS has been used to put stuff on screens at doorways. But these are ones that have put some particular attention to this job

Missing one here? Have one you like. Add to the comments below.

 

 

Dave Haynes

Dave Haynes

Editor/Founder at Sixteen:Nine
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for more than a decade. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He's based near Toronto.
Dave Haynes

@sixteennine

Decade-old blog about digital signage and related tech, written by industry consultant and shit-disturber Dave Haynes.
Projects: Amazing Motion-Sensing LED Lobby In DC https://t.co/pp36BmbNIZ https://t.co/XTHGoHnZl7 - 1 day ago
Dave Haynes

23 Comments

  • Johan Peters says:

    Look at this if you need to guide your visitors. We will show it at NEC Showcase 2014

    http://www.smartsign.se/en/add-ons/smartsign-conference-guide__121

  • Chelsea says:

    Hi Dave,
    My company is currently looking for a program such as the ones listed above for scheduling our conference and break-out rooms. Could you recommend the program best suited for our needs? We run on both Mac and Windows throughout the office, so it is important that the program function on both. We might also like some customizable graphics to differentiate between each conference room, but that isn’t imperative. What we really want is to be able to schedule for each conference room from each of our personal computers, then just display those schedules on a monitor outside of each conference room.
    Do you have any program recommendations for us?
    Thank you so much!

    • Dave Haynes says:

      Suggest you first find out what your company now uses for calendars. If you are on an Exchange server, that SHOULD deal with the Windows vs Mac issue.

  • Carmen says:

    Check out http://www.bookrm.com

    You don’t really need the expensive signage in front of the conference room where anyone can check the conference room free/busy, plus book the room directly in own mobile phone.

  • Danny says:

    Check out EventBoard.io!

  • Simon says:

    Can any of the solutions above connect using wireless?

  • Simon says:

    Thanks Dave.

    I’ll do some digging, especially as I have a number of unique requirements as well.

  • Lily says:

    Hi Simon – I know that Pronestor display is hardware independent and connects via a web browser, so you should be able to use any device running a web browser (iPads, Samsung tablets, etc.). I think all these devices are wi-fi capable. Is there a particular hardware device you’ve got in mind?

  • Ivan says:

    I personally use this app on Android (Snatch Meeting Room Grabber) it’s the easiest!

    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=uk.co.aloneguid.android.snatch

  • Lea says:

    We use Pronestor with Samsung tablets. It works perfect. We have more than 300 meeting pr day and have reduced our NO-show to less than 3% with Pronestor Display – so we are very satisfied. Check: http://www.pronestor.com/solutions/pronestor-display/

  • Victor says:

    Hello,
    Are there any solutions available that are tested and interfaced with hospitality vendors like Opera or micros that anyone knows? i.e. janus displays

    It sounds like all these are for companies with internal meetings rather than customer meeting environments.

    Any info will be much appreciated.

  • Tania says:

    Hi Dave- any idea of pricing for these? Looking for a low cost option for a simple display.

    Thanks for the post!

  • Scott S. says:

    Do all of these require software to pair with Exchange or are there some that will align themselves with Exchange so there is no extra steps needed on the end users PC

    • Dave Haynes says:

      while there are likely a number of common threads I think you’d need to nose around on each of them to see how they integrate with Exchange

  • Carlos Clara says:

    Hi Dave,
    I’m looking for a solution to connect to our Corporate Exchange server and show in the door of the conference room the schedule of the room. What is the best option to choose among all you show in this post?
    Thanks in advanced.
    Regards.

    • Dave Haynes says:

      Hey Carlos

      Several of the options listed support Exchange server integration, and I can only suggest reviewing your budget and perhaps your other needs to whittle down a list and contact 2 or 3 of these companies. This is not a particularly complicated thing to do, so if your needs are pretty simple, perhaps think in broader terms what else you may do in your building. If you may have other digital signage needs, perhaps look at a solutions that can do the meeting rooms but will also do other work. On the flip side, if all you will ever do is meeting room signs, you likely don’t need ALL the power of full signage CMS platforms.

  • Nick Mavrogenes says:

    Dave

    Have you seen the products from Evoke? Very impressive with an additional backlight feature that glows green when available and red when occupied. I saw the products at InfoComm several years ago.

  • dody says:

    Where can i buy this product in indonesia?

  • Nigel says:

    If you are looking for a signage solution developed for the hotel and hospitality market – then look no further than otrum.com – This platform has been made simple to use, and is especially suited for locations without dedicated IT support staff. Fully cloud based, it doesn’t get simpler than this! http://bit.ly/1L1AJeW

Comments are closed.