Everything You Need to Know About Digital Signage

Digital signage at Koelnmesse by sld mediatec GmbH

Digital signage at Koelnemesse by our AV Alliance member sld mediatec

Over the last couple of decades, digital signage technologies have gained a lot of popularity because of how they increasingly impact our lives on a day-to-day basis, so much so that chances are that you are likely to come across an electronic signage solution at least once a week these days! These digital installations that display multimedia or video content for advertisement or informational purposes can be found almost anywhere, and are used for several purposes including directional/gate info services at airports and trade fairs, advertisements at bus stations, food ordering systems at fast food restaurants and so much more.

Digital signage is the perfect tool for guiding visitors across a site or venue and providing them with up-to-date information. At the same time, the displays function as digital advertising space and can therefore be used in a variety of ways, both indoors and outdoors. Most of our AV Alliance members are involved in providing digital signage solutions to their clients worldwide, and for some it even represents a significant part of their day-to-day business.

As this technology continues to evolve to cover a broader scope of service solutions, it presents new innovative opportunities for the world of business. One notable trend is how electronic signage capabilities are rapidly evolving from mere passive information, advertisement solutions to more sophisticated systems capable of interacting, connecting, and pulling relevant information from diverse sources independently and in real time.

In this article we will take an in-depth look into what this technology really is, its scope of application, and potential of digital/electronic signage solutions in our modern society.

What is Digital Signage?

Digital signage solutions or technologies are subcategories of electronic signage technologies, which are typically displays such as LED, E-paper and projection devices, LCD, etc. There are three major sub-components that they are built on:


This includes the tangible, physical components which we can see, touch, and feel such as the screens, cameras, payment devices, mounts, printers, etc. The hardware itself would be incomplete without two very important sub-components, Installation and Connectivity.

The installation components are each of the apparatuses used to carry out the installation of the signage system. Oftentimes, most of these components do not make it to the final equipment, however, the final equipment may not be achieved without them. The connectivity components are each of the apparatuses that connect or interlink the rest of the device back to the Content Management System. Sometimes, they may comprise of a series of hard lines.

Other times, they can simply comprise of a Wi-Fi setup or other kind of mobile technology. However, without this inter-connectivity, the rest of the Hardware, Content, and Software components would be unable to interact.


This refers to the digital substructure that enables the creation, management, analysis, and deployment of content installed on the hardware. They’re called digital signage software.


As you have already guessed, this typically includes all the inventories of image, graphics, video, text, audio, and all other forms of content that can be assembled to inform, advertise, or tell a unique story.

Impressive array of digital signage at the Kölnmesse, installed by our AV Alliance member sld mediatec

How Does it Work?

Electronic signage systems and technologies have evolved over the years. They have developed from what used to be single-purpose systems that provided advertisement and other more one-sided functions to more sophisticated machines that provide a plethora of solutions. Today, there are various assortments of digital signage systems for clients to choose from. Some of the most favored technologies include: multitouch screens, capacitive displays and capacitive touch technologies, infrared-assisted technologies, beacon technologies, etc.

One key element that’s necessary for setting up a digital signage solution is a smart screen. Today, you can find several different assortments that provide various functionalities. When setting up an electronic signage, the first thing you need are hardware components. The digital screen also falls under this category. The ideal screen should have internet connectivity. If not, an external hardware device can be plugged in.

The next essential component is a digital signage software. There are several great varieties of these software available in the market. This software provides you with the application environment necessary to run your deliverables.

Next, is a Content Management System. This system helps you design and set your deliverables to your smart screens. They usually have a minimalist, user-friendly design that makes it easy for anyone to use. With this, you can create professional-standard on-board posters, digital menu boards, and several other kinds of content.

Finally, there is content. Your electronic signage solution will only be as good as the content you put out. As such, it’s important to develop professional, targeted content that carries the right message for your audience, and will meet them at the right time and place.

Many signage solutions work similarly as content management systems. They offer a dedicated user interface (UI), which enables their users to upload and manage content and even distribute them across various screens. Although the scope of digital signage solutions is constantly evolving, this trend doesn’t look to be going anywhere soon. However, future electronic signage solutions should be able to connect, interact, and pull information from any relevant third-party resource, local or on-cloud. This upgrade will expand the type of information and entire scope of content that digital signage can provide, making for a more fluid experience.

Digital signage at airport, photo by Waldemal Brandt via Unsplash

Digital signage at an airport

What are the Uses of Digital Signage?

Digital/electronic signage can be used across a broad variety of sectors including retail, transportation, health, information, technology, education and so on. They can be useful to several different industries, and can even be instrumental for increasing traffic, boosting user engagement, increasing customer satisfaction, and increasing revenue.

For instance, banking institutions can utilize them to reduce waiting times, using interactive self-service digital signage tools; restaurants can use them to effect menu changes digitally, thereby providing more quality service and customer satisfaction; retail outlets can utilize electronic signage technologies to offer more fluid, quality services to their customers, thereby increasing sales and customer satisfaction.

Here are some of the favorite places to find electronic signage:

Brands and Retail Outlets

Many brands typically set up their signage in public places in order to have unlimited access to both their current customers and potential customers. This way, they can deliver their content to a broad audience base and capture new prospects.

Retail outlets also practice this kind of marketing strategy. You can quickly find retail providers hoarding large digital signage at their store fronts, alerting customers of short-term, instant discounts and other relevant updates.


Digital signage display technologies help healthcare providers such as hospitals and medical facilities get information to their wards quickly, without wasting too much human effort. This way, they can easily engage more patients, while providing topnotch service.


Restaurant businesses are one of the most fondly places to find digital signage displays. These installments help to interface with customers and also deliver various services without having a staff do it manually.

One of such services is displaying menus and menu changes, showing discounts, and other important advertisements to attract visitors. This minimizes the costs and efforts involved in getting these important details across to visitors and customers.


One popular feature in modern airports are digital signage screens that display all the flight statuses, and other relevant information. This way, passengers boarding a flight can see any relevant information that pops up concerning their flight such as if departure time changes, if they’re still waiting for more passengers, and just basically any other information regarding the flight status. This also helps to minimize the longer lines on queues inside the airport.


Many modern schools utilize digital signage screens to advertise their colleges and universities. They use these technologies to put word out when they need to, engage with parents to entice them to enroll their wards, and so on. Also, some institutions utilize them for making important announcements and so on.

Our technology partner ROE Visual showcasing its Carbon Series digital signage solutions at InfoComm 2017

Outdoor and Indoor Digital Signage Solutions

Modern outdoor and indoor digital/electronic signage solutions replace old-fashioned printed sign boards and other mundane forms of signage technology. They increase flexibility and allow business owners to stream and update content remotely and even run time-scheduled campaigns and so much more.

With a range of outdoor and indoor digital signage technologies, you can capture the attention of current and prospective customers and partners in the most creative and engaging ways.

Digital signage technologies are ideal for multiple kinds of communication needs and marketing purposes. With the right solutions you can effortlessly send your brand message and advertisements across in the most memorable way and with maximum impact.

Outdoor Digital Signage

Outdoor solutions are mostly used communicate with customers outside businesses and storefronts. These solutions can be mounted at bus stations, airports, billboards, train stations, corporate organizations, etc. to attract potential customers or communicate brand identity.

Unlike traditional outdoor signage, outdoor digital signage solutions offer powerful visual communication. They engage the audience more and still help save more on operation costs, while providing several other benefits. Some of the advantages of incorporating outdoor solutions include:

Optimized Visual Appeal — Outdoor electronic signage solutions are dynamic and enable businesses to display information, advertisements, and communicate using multiple formats, such as video, graphics, multimedia, emergency alerts, social media, texts, animations and more.

Flexibility — With outdoor digital signage, you can easily change content. This allows you to experiment with multiple media types and messages, choosing the right tone and feel for each purpose. This way, businesses can evaluate the effectiveness of their audience engagement rates.

Scheduled Content — Outdoor electronic signage allows businesses to create scheduled content in form of content calendars, determining what is displayed at specific times. A good example is how restaurants can display lunch in the day, breakfast in the morning, and dinner at night.

Multiple Ways of Influencing Customers — With outdoor digital signage, businesses can leverage various kinds of user-generated content in their adverts. For instance, they can display contests, customer reviews and more.

Indoor Digital Signage

Indoor digital signage technologies are the ultimate communication tools for many businesses nowadays. They provide effective solutions for informing, advertising, communicating, and generally providing a more optimized employee and customer experience.

One advantage that indoor electronic signage solutions have is their versatility and effectiveness for broadcasting multiple kinds of content in real time. They help to increase your unique brand message visibility and identity, leaving a memorable and indelible mark in the minds of your customers.

Indoor digital signage technologies are instrumental to several market segments including:

  • Public transport industry
  • Corporate industries
  • Medical and health industry
  • Retail industry
  • Food service industry
  • Hotels and convention centers and more.

Types of Indoor Digital Signage Technologies

There are various types of indoor digital signage solutions for various purposes, and they can be found at different business establishments. Some of the most popular indoor set-up include:

  • High Brightness Window Digital Displays — single sided digital displays, dual sided digital displays, high brightness digital poster displays, etc.
  • Product Digital Displays — clothing rail, product stands, interactive product stand displays, etc.
  • Transparent Showcase Digital Displays — landscape transparent showcase digital displays, portrait transparent showcase digital displays, etc.
  • Interactive Tables — interactive coffee tables, interactive touch tables, interactive nursery tables, etc.
  • Interactive Kiosks — interactive single pod kiosks, interactive dual pod kiosks, interactive L kiosks, etc.
  • Wall-Mounted Digital Displays — wall-mounted digital poster displays, shelf edge digital displays, menu board digital displays, square digital displays, stretch digital displays, etc.
  • Free-Standing Digital Displays — portrait freestanding digital displays, easel freestanding digital displays, landscape freestanding digital displays, dual combined freestanding digital displays, A-Board freestanding digital displays, rotatory freestanding digital displays, etc.

AV Alliance member LMG‘s DSE 2019 APEX Awards nominated digital signage solutions

Permanent Installations of Electronic Signage

From large digital signage display installations on brand premises and storefronts to digital video wall installations at executive briefing and innovation centers, interactive displays at hotel lobbies and corporate centers and more, permanent digital/electronic signage installations offer an ideal means of providing information and communicating your brand’s identity, building trust, and maintaining brand loyalty.

Permanent signage installations are ideal for creating environments that leave lasting impressions. Their smart engineering creates an immersive feel for your visitors and tells your brand story in the most memorable and actionable way, creating deeper and more meaningful connections.

Why Permanent Installations Matter?

Signs play crucial roles whether your business is new or existent. They act as silent marketing agents, constantly interacting and communicating your brand’s identity to current and potential customers and partners.

Those permanent exterior installations will appeal to prospects and draw attention to your establishment, while also making it stand out from the crowd. Permanent interior signs are not left out; they help show customers around, lead them to merchandise, create indelible marks, and spur up impulse sales on special occasions.

Permanent Digital/electronic signage solutions are instrumental for long-term branding strategy. They continue to tell your brand story several years after their installation. As such, they are integral for long-term business success.

They can be installed on walls, buildings, and several other outdoor settings.  They are often illuminative or reflective to make an outstanding impact.

Permanent signs are ideal for:

  • Promoting your business long-term, instead of investing in a short-term or temporary solution.
  • Maximizing the dividends of a long-term investment in branding.
  • Incorporating a solid marketing campaign for your business, especially if it will occupy the same space for a longer period of time.

Here are some favorite places to find permanent digital/electronic signage installations.

Hotel and Corporate Institutions

Hotels and corporate institutions usually incorporate top design and architecture for their permanent digital/electronic signage fixtures to produce the most stunning environments. The goal is usually to create a unique and engaging experience.

You can find such fixtures as custom fabric lightboxes, interactive kiosks, fine art framings and custom wallpapers, etc. These fixtures are ideal for corporate wall displays, dimensional logos, conference room designs, directional signage and custom wallpapers.

Storefronts and Retail Establishments

Presenting your retail business in the most attractive manner in public light can be highly instrumental for determining the success of your business. As such, brands incorporate permanent signage installations for product showcases, storefront advertisements, and so on.

Some popular permanent installation solutions for retail establishments include:

  • Large format graphics
  • Visual consultations
  • LED lightboxes
  • Custom fabrication

Museum and Exhibition Centers

Museums utilize a lot of signage technologies to bring their artifacts, art exhibitions, history, nature, and information to life. Apart from that, signage technologies help to instill a sense of awe in the minds of guest, and so, by incorporating digital signage solutions, these organizations can create more memorable and interactive experiences for their visitors.

Some common digital/electronic signage installations to find around museums include:

  • Interactive displays
  • Lightboxes
  • Video walls
  • Custom fabrication
  • Large format screens and monitors, etc.

Digital signage being installed at Koelnemesse by sld mediatec

Digital Signage in Events

Since at AV Alliance we make events for a living, we cannot conclude our exploration of this technology without mentioning live events as one of the best, and without doubt one of the most fun places to incorporate electronic signage, especially when it involves large crowds or very vast arenas. It is often used to provide a more impactful experience: you can find huge screens displaying all kinds of information or providing real-time feeds of the event, especially if the stage is set some good distance away.

Besides its technical effectiveness, digital signage also provide beauty and glamour to events, making them generally appear more sophisticated and professional. By integrating these solutions for your event, you can create a more memorable and worthwhile experience for your audience.

Digital signage can also be used in other aspects of the event and not just in the main event itself. One such area is during the process of admitting guests into the event. This service capability is most effective for private events where only specific guests are invited.

During events, you would want to ensure that you get it right and do not disappoint your guests. For this reason, it is always best to hire professional hands for the job. These experts will know what kind of electronic signage display solutions to deploy and how best to implement them. They will also help to save you the cost of doing it twice or incurring damages in the process.

Digital signage solutions are essential for the success of various businesses. They have multiple applications and can cater to the needs of different businesses, from marketing and advertising to information and communication, maps, infographics, etc. They give your brand and business the power to get your messages across in an effortless, vivid, engaging, and entertaining manner. They provide an excellent means to kickstart your marketing campaigns and position you to stand out in any space.

To learn more about the technical aspects digital signage, the necessary equipment, and the related costs, we invite you to get in touch with us and find out what our AV Alliance members can do for you!