In July 2011, the Platt Retail Institute (PRI) conducted a roundtable discussion to explore the challenges faced by universities that are deploying digital signage networks on their campuses.
Sponsored by Digital Signage Expo, the roundtable panel included representatives from the University of Denver, Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health, Marshall University, and Wayne State University. Steven Keith Platt, director and research fellow at the Platt Retail Institute, acted as the moderator for the roundtable discussion.
Among the topics covered by the participants were:
·The challenges experienced during the deployment of a digital communications network, including persuading departments to adopt digital signage.
·The different types of content prevalent on university networks.
·The distribution of content to various areas on campus.
·The funding of content development.
·The success of each panelist's respective deployment.
·Recommendations for universities thinking about launching a digital signage network.
One notable portion of the discussion focused on the question of whether content should be managed centrally or if decentralized content production can be effective. That is, should content be managed by a single department such as IT or marketing, an individual school within the university, a combination of the two, or some other approach? In order to maintain consistency and branding, centralized control is important, the panelists said, though most of the university networks allow some degree of decentralization. In addition, several of the panelists said that the quality and relevance of the content itself is a vital factor to running a successful network.