Once you’ve got your head around what digital signage is and how you can use it at your event, it’s time to start thinking about implementing it. A large part of that is working out how much it’s going to cost.

When it comes to pricing, there are a few things you need to consider which we’ll run through in more detail in this post:

  • Number of screens you want to implement
  • Size of each screen
  • Software licences
  • Media players
  • Content production and management
  • Electricity
  • On-site installation and support
  • Set-up fee and bespoke features or integrations
  • Internet connection
  • Screen housings and/or rigging costs

These are the basics you want to bear in mind while deciding what you want your digital signage to say and look like.

It’s worth bearing in mind that a large part of your costings will depend on your goals for visitor experience, the visitor journey, and the challenges you are looking to address with your signs.

To find out more about that check out this post here.

Let’s delve a little deeper.

1. How Many Screens Do You Need and What Size?

  

Like with anything else, the more screens you have, the more expensive it will be. Not only do you have to pay for the extra screens, but they’ll require more management, more time and resources to set up, and more content.

Some companies (like us!) price on a flat, per-screen basis, so you pay for how many screens you want to implement.

Don’t know how many screens you need? As a general rule, we suggest event organisers book one screen for every 1,000 visitors.

What does it cost? The rental price of a typical 50” screen is around £250 for a three-day event.

If you want something a bit fancier, like an LED billboard, be prepared to spend more cash, especially if the system you choose requires additional rigging.

2. Software Licences

All digital signage systems need software in order to display content. If you are looking into setting up and managing a digital signage system yourself, you’ll likely have to pay a software license cost.

Some companies might also tack this onto your order separately any way, especially if they use an off-the-shelf supplier, like a package from broadsign.com or brightsign.biz, the two leading off-the-shelf digital signage suppliers.

What does it cost? The cost of software licences vary greatly depending on the company you use and the product you’re buying. Expect to pay anything from under £100 to over £200 per unit.

When using screens from EventIgnite, there is no separate software licence cost.

3. Content Production and Management

This is the most costly part of setting up your digital signage system.

By now, you probably know the kinds of content you want to display at your event, whether it’s digital timetables, timed calls-to-action, or animated digital adverts.

The next step in the process involves uploading the content and any additional assets, including custom designs and colour schemes into the system.

A lot of events – and yours might be one of them – generate revenue from professionally animated digital adverts (like the ones you see on the screens in the London Underground) which tend to be made from scratch, adding again to the overall costs.

This step also includes setting up Twitter feeds, creating static and video proofs, and getting them signed off with organisers and exhibitors.  

If you want to run a simple, DIY digital signage system, you can get a lot of this work done by a design agency or in-house, but if exhibitors are involved the amount of work for the event organiser can keep on creeping up (and, ergo, so do the costs).

What does it cost? Depending on the volume of screens and the complexity of the content to be displayed, at EventIgnite we charge £250-£600 per screen.

4. Set-Up Fee and Bespoke Features

When researching digital signage and A/V companies, keep your eyes peeled for an additional set-up fee. We don’t charge an additional fee at EventIgnite, but a lot of other places do.

In addition, if you need bespoke features added to your signs which need to be developed, expect to pay extra and allow additional lead time for those features to be implemented.

5. Media Players

In order to transfer the content you have to your digital screens, you need to have a media player.

This is a small computer or laptop that is connected to the screen and processes the content. In some circumstances, one media player can power up to two screens if they are both showcasing the same content and are close together (like a double-sided unit, for example).

What does it cost? You’ll need an additional media player for each unit, which typically cost between £30 and £50 each.

6. Electricity

The cost of electricity varies depending on the venue and it’s worth checking for organiser pricing with your Operations Manager.

What does it cost? For a regular, 50” sign, you only need an ordinary 500 watt socket, which costs around £80 in the UK. If a sign is near an existing power socket, it could be connected at no extra cost.

7. Internet Connection

A good digital signage system should work well both online and offline, but you’ll probably want to hook it up to a reliable internet connection to run instant updates and access real-time monitoring of each screen (and, if you want to run live social media streams through it, the internet is a must-have).

In most cases, you’ll need a hard-wired internet connection for each screen.

You can do this by purchasing one Internet drop at 2Mb or more and spreading it out across all your screens using VLAN technology. This is the most common setup and is available at pretty much any venue.

What does it cost? For 10 screens, you’re looking at around £600 for the Internet drop and £80 x 5 screens for the VLANs.

8. On-Site Installation and Support

When you install your digital signage, you’re going to need one or more A/V technicians depending on how many screens you’re implementing. In addition to this, you’ll need on-site support to perform manual updates, especially if there is no reliable internet connection to hand.

What does it cost? For a three-day show in the UK, you’re looking at around £900 for a dedicated A/V technician.

The Total Cost of a Digital Signage System

So now we’re going to go ahead and add up all this to give you an overall cost. Remember, though, that prices vary from event to event, so it’s worth really considering what you do and don’t need for yours.

Let’s use an example here.

Let’s say we’re costing for a UK-based event with 10,000 visitors that needs 10 digital signage screens that each display digital timetables, animated digital adverts, visitor calls-to-action, and live Twitter feeds.

Based on our pricing, EventIgnite would cost you 10 x £500 – £5,000 for this kind of system.

On top of that, you’ll also need to pay up for:

  • Hardware rental (including screens and media players): £2,500 – £3,000
  • On-site support: £900
  • Electricity: £800
  • Internet connection: £1,400

Grand total for system: £10,600 – £11,100.

Of course, this will vary depending on the number of screens you want to implement and the kind of content you’re displaying (and we do offer volume discounts for large shows).

Once it’s all in place, you’re ready to start generating revenue with your signage system. To learn more about that, you can check out this blog post right here.

Thomas Walczak

By Thomas Walczak

I am the Founder and Managing Director of EventIgnite, a technology company dedicated to creating an effortless experience at events. EventIgnite develops professional digital signage systems, including interactive and large-format digital signs. Don't hesitate to send me an email at thomas@eventignite.com