Guest Post: Nir Doron, Novisign
After almost a decade in the digital signage business, I’m accustomed to seeing displays up and running in many businesses and venues where there were never screens. But I still get surprised by things – like screens at amusement parks and state parks.
They’ve followed the lead of other venues, taking advantage of the simplicity of the implementation, affordable costs, and the extensive usage of standard Windows, Android and lately Chrome OS player devices that are making it easier and cost-effective to communicate with visitors and customers using digital signage software platform.
Using digital signage here makes sense. Everyone agrees that line-ups are the worst part of going to an amusement park. So entertaining your audience using digital signage while waiting in line is a brilliant business move. Every year, millions of people visit amusement parks around the world, and up until recently, there was no way for the parks to communicate directly with their many visitors.
Now they can, using digital signage spread around the parks. And those displays are going a lot more that pacifying people stuck in long queues. Screens are:
- Displaying digital maps of the venue that not only locate where people are, but help plan visits;
- Provide important information about rides;
- Display operating hours, including dynamic or scheduled notices like the park is closing in 30 minutes;
- Promote new features and attractions, as well as upcoming events;
- Dynamically load-balance lines, making people aware one ride may have a 45-minute wait, but another might be just 10 minutes.
That last one, predicting the time you will be waiting in line for your turn, is done by a simple calculation of the number of people waiting in line, how many can go on one ride and the queue duration of a single ride. It could also be tied to sensors and analytics from cameras that measure line sizes.
Amusement parks and state parks are highly dynamic businesses. People are coming and going, and customers, especially the kids, are constantly moving from one location to another, looking for the next attraction. Digital signage, for these parks, is the best way to dynamically interact with these ‘constantly on the move’ customers. Every ride has a theme that can be enhanced with digital signage.
Digital signage at state and national park is a bit different, but has many similarities. The information screens show:
- announcements (open/closed areas or facilities, warnings, lost and found, schedules);
- internal news (attractions, records, prizes);
- promoted activities and special sales – the dynamic nature of digital signage allows real time response to the current status of visitors and facilities – offering sales and promotions that fit the moment;
- trail maps and special attractions, like historic sites;
- interactive videos that help unfamiliar visitors decide what to see.
Another important aspect of park digital signage is the simple implementation of social networks. Given the nature of the customers (kids and families), it is very common and popular to invest heavily in social networks to ‘keep in touch’ with the visitors.
Digital signage social network features are now available with most of the innovative signage software providers. This enables the park’s management to present social media content “on the walls” and use it to communicate with the visitors and attract new and additional followers – that keep staying in touch, long after they left the premises.
Some of the amusement parks in the world that are using digital signage include the Six Flags properties, Disney, Universal, Cedar Point, Knott’s Berry Farm, Kings Island and Canada’s Wonderland. Quickly, it will be common across all parks, and I’ll no longer be surprised when I see screens!