Digital Event Boards: Before, During & After

The single most common thing people put on digital signs is events. This makes sense, since the immediacy of the medium is a perfect fit for happenings of all types. One way to consolidate all the information about different events at a particular facility or within an organization is by turning some displays into digital event boards, though all digital signage endpoints can be recruited to the cause.

What’s considered an event ranges far and wide. For example:

  • Presentations
  • Meetings
  • Seminars
  • Workshops
  • Conferences
  • Team building
  • Sporting matches
  • Product launches
  • Networking
  • Year-end functions
  • Birthdays and anniversaries
  • Training courses
  • Charity events
  • Tournaments and contests
  • Performances

And that’s not even everything. The common thread, though, is that each event involves people needing to be at a certain location at a certain time for a certain length of time.

Having accurate information available is vital to the success of any event. What is it? Where is it? When is it? How long is it? If the audience doesn’t know these things, then they can’t really get interested or show up. Organizers also need to know these things, as well as space capacity and amenities, such as which rooms have projectors or teleconferencing equipment.

All this data is getting entered somewhere anyway, probably in a calendaring system or on a spreadsheet of some kind. Details entered in an app like Exchange, Office 365, EMS, Google Calendar, CollegeNET, Amadeus, Ad Astra, AgilQuest or Mazevo; or a data source such as Excel, XML or JSON; can automatically populate a digital signage message or layout.

This also makes it easy to change that information. Venue changed to a bigger room? Easy to update. Speaker changed at the last minute, or order of events had to be shifted around? Not a problem. If your digital signage software is web based, you can even update things using a phone, from anywhere with an internet connection. And there’s no paper to print, which saves time and money and is better for the environment.

You can add event content to your regular digital signage message playlist, or put it on interactive touchscreens and kiosks so people can dive in for more info right there. Or you can combine several screens together into an event board that shows only event data.

No matter how you configure your offering, your digital signs can be used before an event, during it and even after.

Before: Generate and Maintain Interest

The main content you want to show before an event will be getting the word out about what, where and when. People can’t participate if they don’t know about it. The good news is that your digital signs and digital event boards sit in high-traffic areas, so people should see them regularly. On touchscreens and interactive kiosks, you can have a button people can tap that temporarily turns the display into an event board, showing all upcoming events and the relevant information.

This doesn’t just mean showing the same content over and over, though. You’ll want to change the design once or twice in the period leading up to the event. This will draw the eye and reinforce previous interactions with the information. It’s also an opportunity to update info if there’ve been any changes.

You can add excitement by displaying a countdown to the event. This is a tried-and-true method for creating a sense of urgency and expectation. To create even more buzz, you can tie your event board messaging in with your social media. As you post save-the-date reminders, pictures and short videos there, they can also populate your digital signs. If you’ve combined several screens into a social media board, this can work in conjunction with your event board.

If you have more than one event coming up, you can show a full list of scheduled events, an agenda or a calendar, so people can make their plans. A college football team will have several home games throughout the year; the local theater group will almost certainly have more than one performance; and things like clubs meet on a regular basis. For intensive events, like a conference or series of seminars or workshops, showing the agenda let’s everyone see what’s going on at a glance.

If there’s a lot of information to share, you can add a QR code to your digital design that takes people out to a dedicated webpage with all the latest details. A QR code can also be used to share more information about registration requirements or where to get tickets if that’s applicable. Best-case scenario, you can create a micro-site with all the info so people can continue to interact with your event board even after they walk away from the screen.

Some venues may still have dress codes, capacity limits, social distancing and mask requirements, or other attendance guidelines. Your event board messages can include these as well, which not only give people important information they’ll need to attend, but also serve as further event reminders.

Some events have sponsors, and digital signs are a great way to highlight the people and organizations that made everything possible. Why not have your event board double as a donor board? QR codes can again be used to send people to a dedicated sponsor webpage or even a donor’s own website. Interactive touchscreens can have further information available right there – just tap the button for more details.

If you partner with local businesses or some of the event participants, use your event board to show special offers attendees can take advantage of before, during and after the event at those businesses.

During: Keep Everything on Track

Once the event is up and running, your event board is still a useful tool. This is especially true if there are several things happening at the same time or in a block of time, like at a conference. The schedule will still be useful for attendees as they progress throughout the day or days. And because everything can be tied into your calendaring app, any last-second changes are immediately reflected on digital signs.

Wayfinding is another critical thing for attendees who may not have been to your venue before. People can see where something is happening, but how do they get there from the event board? If you use touchscreens, people can map their route directly from an event listing to where it’s happening. If you have static displays, maps can be shown with a QR code that lets people access that map and take it with them on their phone.

Interactive screens can also double as queuing support or check-in stations for arriving attendees, freeing up your staff to offer more personalized service.

Event boards can also feature keynote speaker bios and major happenings throughout the day. If capacity is full in a particular space, or tickets sold out for an event, you might consider using your screens to show a live stream in overflow rooms.

For multiple events in multiple locations, digital room signs are an efficient way to show what’s happening at each location. Mounted on the wall right at the door, you can see a schedule of what’s coming up in that room, and when an event is going on, the display light shows red. This is perfect for several talks or meetings going on at once, like in a convention center.

Health and safety tips are also useful to show on the day of the event. Sure, you did this beforehand, but people can forget, and it never hurts to remind them.

You can also continue to tie into your social media platforms as the event is happening. Have people take pictures and selfies and post them on social media with a hashtag you’ve created just for the event. These can then go up on both your event board and your social media board.

And while we all hope everything runs smoothly, sometimes an emergency develops despite best efforts. If this occurs, all of your digital signs can be immediately overridden with alert notifications, as well as instructions of where to go and what to do. This way everyone remains safe and secure until the emergency has passed.

And when everything goes accordingly to plan, displaying traffic information and public transportation options will be appreciated by people now trying to get home after the event.

After: Help Create Memories and Prepare for Next Time

Once everything is over, your event board is still valuable. Key highlights can be displayed, and if you have some high-quality pictures, so much the better. This will serve to remind people what a fantastic time they had as well as generate excitement for the next time. Even user-generated content can be featured – pictures people took and even short videos of presenters and participants.

Survey your attendees to see what their favorite moments were. Then post the results on your digital signs. People will like seeing their own words up there, shared with the community. Testimonials about the event can reinforce your event staff’s efforts and motivate both staff and attendees for your next event. You can even gamify things by creating a few sort quizzes about what happened, further engaging your audience.

If the event is recurring, you can start reminding people about the next time it happens. The idea is to create a wave of excitement and great memories that carries over into the future.

Digital Events Boards Extend Your Reach

Whether it’s a single event, like a meeting, workshop or club meeting, or something far more comprehensive, like a football season or a multi-day conference, digital event boards can help you generate interest and buzz, getting people excited and increasing attendance.

Digital signage can also help ensure that everything is always up-to-date and accurate, regardless of how many changes happen along the way. Your event content can get people to where they need to go and keep them informed as things progress. And afterwards, they can serve as repositories of stories and memories and get everyone excited for the next event on your calendar.