Halifax Adopts Region-Wide Digital Signage Program

August 14, 2014 by Dave Haynes

halifgrabPEI’s ScreenScape Networks has for years now been advocating the value of content sharing across a broad, community-wide networking, running off their web-centric publishing and management platform. They’ve had some success in vertical markets like bars and restaurants, but now they’ve got a showcase client for the notion – the regional government for Eastern Canada’s largest urban centre.

Says a news release:

A diverse set of public and community venues across the Halifax Regional Municipality (or HRM) are now using ScreenScape’s cloud-based digital signage platform to run and share multimedia messaging content across sites.

ScreenScape, based in Charlottetown, PEI, was selected out of a bidding process the regional authority ran for a new visual communications platform within HRM-owned facilities, as well as at various community sites such as tourist attractions, cultural venues and recreation centres.

That tender called for a system that would enable participating venues around the Halifax Region to easily post digital messaging – such as event promotions and health bulletins – to screens connected by a cloud-based content management network.

The Neptune Theatre, the largest professional theatre company in eastern Canada, is among the many venues now plugged into HRM’s ScreenScape-driven network. “We’re a busy marketing team, and it’s imperative we use tools that bring our message to audiences clearly and repetitively with well-timed advertising. ScreenScape helps us do just that,” says Jennie King, Neptune’s Director of Sales & Marketing.

“What’s even better,” adds King, “is how we can now share our timely messages not only through the network of digital monitors in our venue, but with a broader community of ScreenScape users.”

ScreenScape’s network-centric approach allows venues of all descriptions to opt in and share their messages with other venues, and run selected messages from other venues on their own screens. That means a Halifax theatre company’s promotion for a production can find its way, without laborious coordination or additional cost, on to screens at nearby businesses and community centres.

“HRM’s use of place-based media is really a coming of age story for this new medium,” says Mark Hemphill, Founder and CEO of ScreenScape. “As more and more businesses in the region have turned on ScreenScape over the past couple of years, HRM recognized the value and efficiency of being part of this network, and really driving a program that can interoperate with other networks run by their community partners and other businesses.”

“Fragmentation is a big challenge with media, and that’s particularly true with place-based media,” adds Hemphill. “By deploying ScreenScape in its facilities, HRM has taken a leadership position in demonstrating the inherent value of a common platform. It’s an effort that taps into the promise of place-based media at a regional level.”

A harmonized messaging platform makes it possible to quickly and efficiently broadcast safety and health bulletin across a region, and increase local tourism marketing and economic development efforts at minimal new cost. “This is what a smart and connected community looks like,” says Hemphill. “It’s exciting to think of the places where this might go, as even more Halifax venues get on board.”

It’s always been a bit of a mental tussle to get my tin-foiled wrapped head around ScreenScape’s community networking approach, but this I get. A LOT of government and community-funded organizations are tied together in one way or another, and they usually have the common attributes of limited funding but a lot of information they need to get out to the public.

Kinda neat.

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