Illustration - 2 EventIgnite characters - happy on the left side, angry on the right side.

Digital signage can really put the finishing touches to your event by enhancing visitor experience and providing a visual way for exhibitors to showcase what they have to offer.

But it’s not all sunshines and rainbows.

While digital signage can be a huge benefit, there are also a few cons that you might want to buff up on before you decide to invest.

PRO: It Enhances Visitor Experience

The great thing about digital signage is it provides visitors with the information they need at the right time in an easy to absorb way – on a big screen.

There’s no need to install an app, remember yet another password, or squint at a small screen while trying to scan a long list of events and timings. Each screen is set up in the right place and showcases the information visitors need as and when they need it, giving them the chance to make the most of your event without having to struggle with any tech woes.

Basically, digital signage helps visitors make more informed decisions on the spot.

CON: It’s Expensive!

Because of it’s all-singing, all-dancing features, digital signage isn’t always the cheapest option for your event. However, as long as it’s fit for purpose and genuinely useful to your visitors and exhibitors, it is well worth the money.

Plus, the cost can easily be offset from the additional sponsorship revenue. Here’s how: 5 Most Popular Ways to Generate Revenue With Digital Signage

PRO: It Looks Sleek and Professional

EventIgnite Digital Signage - IPEXPO

One of the biggest draws of digital signage is it provides your event with a sleek and modern look. This leaves a good impression on even the most demanding audience and ties in with your branding to maintain a cohesive aesthetic.

CON: It Can Be a Pain to Install and Manage On-Site

Depending on your event and the number of screens you need, it can be a right pain installing it all successfully. We know this first hand – because it relies on the power being switched on and the internet working, it is often one of the last features to be installed before the event kicks off.

First of all, you need an experienced A/V partner to make sure all the tech is good to go, and then you have to make sure you have a reliable internet connection (manually updating each screen is time-consuming and clunky if you aren’t connected to the web).

PRO: It Can Be Instantly Updated

EventIgnite Digital Signage - Theatre Programme

Changing programmes, speakers dropping out, and emergency announcements are all an inevitable part of every event, but you can avoid any complicated situations with digital signage. Because it can be updated in minutes (or even seconds), you can make sure your visitors have up-to-date information exactly when they need it.

This also means you can update your screens to show exciting parts of the event in real-time, or stream in a social feed to make it more interactive and inclusive. It also tackles the problem of exhibitors who change stand numbers.

Digital signage is ideal for floor plans for exactly this reason – there will always be one stall holder that’s unhappy about their placement at the event or in the guide.

CON: It’s Not Always the Most Reliable Option

Because you’re relying on the internet and an intricate tech set-up, digital signage can sometimes crash out.

You might find yourself in the middle of a power cut, the internet might go down, and software bugs might creep into your system, all of which can easily trip out a digital signage network.

For this reason, traditional printed signage often has the advantage. However, using a combination of popular and tested software, remote monitoring, and a great A/V partner will minimise and, in most cases, completely eliminate these issues.

PRO: It Can Be Used to Generate Sponsorship Revenue

Adverts on EventIgnite Digital Signage - World Travel Market

Professional, animated digital adverts are a very attractive sponsorship opportunity. Not only do they give exhibitors great, eye-catching exposure, but they also help them showcase their brand and products and tell a story to their potential customers.

Digital signage is becoming an increasingly common sight in the world around us, which means exhibitors are more than happy to take advantage of it as an advertising opportunity at events.

CON: Humans Can’t Operate It

Digital signage is a software product, which means it will have been designed by software developers.

Unlike normal people, software developers (like other techie types) sometimes struggle to grasp how normal people like to use a product.

The result? Well, it’s often a complicated system that can’t be operated by a regular person!

PRO: It Reduces Stress On-Site and Eliminates Some Deadlines

It’s safe to say that putting on an event is stressful. Getting everything together in time, liaising with exhibitors, and making sure your visitors are all prepared is time-consuming and can be overwhelming.

But because of the ability to serve instant updates and product content on-the-fly overnight, using digital signage gives you more flexible deadlines and makes life a whole lot easier for your events team as well as your visitors.

Plus, when you use a digital signage provider like EventIgnite, you have a partner to help you run updates so it’s not solely your responsibility.

PRO: It Can Be a Lifesaver

Call-to-action on EventIgnite Digital Signage - Vitafoods 2017

Sounds dramatic, right? But it’s true. What with the ability to run instant updates, provide complementary calls-to-action, and showcase last minute announcements for visitors, digital signage has everything you need to create last-minute ads of the fly for disgruntled exhibitors and sponsors.

While there are no doubt some potential downsides to using digital signage at your event (especially if you don’t think it through properly), for most events it’s a great way to boost the visitor experience, generate revenue, and provide in-the-moment content.

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 [email protected]