Digital Signage 2.0: Money in the Bank

Digital signage is rapidly becoming an attractive high-tech necessity for full-service convention properties and destination resorts. Guests expect it and it has value for the property when used to its full revenue generating potential. At a time when operators are looking for opportunities to increase revenue, narrowcasting digital signage is showing it can provide moneymaking advertising space for regional retail outlets, travel companies and other businesses that want to reach travelers and local residents attending on-property meetings.
The foundation of broadcast television is sales, and the TV viewer is what is being sold by broadcasting companies. Broadcasters spend millions of dollars to develop programming to attract the largest possible viewership so it can charge top dollar for advertising space that will reach the widest audience. Hotels already have a constantly renewed viewership in their lobbies, meeting spaces and guestrooms and now there are digital signage companies that are converting hotel visitors into advertising revenue for properties.

The newest generation of digital signage is a way-finding tool for resorts to help guests navigate the property, locate outlets and view local attractions; and at large convention hotels, it is networked throughout public spaces and meeting areas to display multiple-group conference schedules, and event titles and times for large numbers of break-out rooms and ballrooms. In the most technically savvy properties, signage systems are interfacing with guestroom TV systems to deliver the same information along with group guest lists and announcements. Many properties also use digital signage to display local weather, airport arrival and departure schedules and even traffic updates. Now, digital signage applications are poised to become a moneymaker for hotels.

The next generation of narrow-cast, networked digital signage applications have the ability to connect continuously updated display units across a property or regional hotel groups and are flexible enough to address the ready opportunity to provide advertising for local businesses. Merchants want as many qualified people as possible to be aware of their offering, and full-service resorts and conference center properties host meetings, reunions, entertainment and other events that attract large numbers of viewers. Hotels understand the value of using signage to advertise their own outlets, brands, and activities, but are challenged because staff are not experienced or trained to sell on-property advertising and because of this may be overlooking nearby businesses as a new revenue source.

Hoteliers can address this challenge by partnering with a signage provider experienced in advertising sales, including the resources to design and quickly create compatible digital ads, and is structured to handle the billing that goes with the package. High traffic areas in resort destinations and conference center properties are ideal for presenting promotional messages to middle and upper middle-income people who are often the ideal market for many types of retail product and services. Activision.TV is working with hotels in Hawaii to forge relationships with local merchants near to resorts to sell advertising space on digital signage in lobbies and other public spaces.

Hotels have captive audiences that can also use the interactive component of many digital signage systems and kiosks to purchase products and services. Digital signage systems are often networked through the Internet and have interactive capabilities. Signage units and kiosks are being equipped with credit card swipe readers and other point of purchase devices that enable hotel guests and visitors to instantly take advantage of promotions displayed on lobby signage. When implemented with a regional advertising strategy, these could be local tours, sporting events, shopping venues, or dining specials. Narrowcast digital signage solutions link regional hotel groups together, they create an opportunity for larger and higher revenue-generating promotions based on the higher number of hotel visitors who view the hotels’ portfolio of advertising.

David Gothard is president and chairman of Activision TV, Inc. He has spent the past 18 years developing, manufacturing and marketing patented digital flat-panel products, including the Works in a Box. He has a degree in aeronautics.

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© 2014 Penton Media Inc.

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