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You’d be hard pressed these days to enter any mall, fast-food restaurant, multiplex movie theater, restaurant, bar, home improvement store or even museum and not encounter digital signage. Everything from menu boards to digitally looped promotional videos continually remind you of where you are and what products and services are available for purchase.

The digital signage market is one of the few markets that is continuing to grow, even in this see-saw economy. From retrofit convention centers to newly-constructed houses of worship, digital signage is being utilized by businesses and community centers more and more every day.

A Growing Industry
Businesses are quickly discovering that digital signage is an investment that gives a bigger and better return than other advertising channels. A business can program content to run for certain periods of the day to ensure the message reaches the target audience. Also, updates and changes can be made in real time, easily and at no extra cost.

Digital signage is still in its infancy and is continuing to grow and morph with the times. Nowadays, basic indoor digital signage is relatively easy to understand and install. Find the right-sized flat panel, select the appropriate mount, figure out the video signal, run the cable (if necessary) and go. Of course, when video walls come into play, it tends to get a little trickier.

The same is true for outdoor flat-panel digital signage because of Mother Nature and vandalism. Simply installing a flat panel underneath a building’s eave or dropping it into a self-made cabinet may not just void the warranty, but also create a fire hazard and other security risks.

Is it For You?
Business owners considering outdoor digital signage should ask themselves the following questions: Would customers benefit from outdoor digital signage? Often, the answer is yes, because they want to market to the people who are driving or walking by. As Marketing 101 teaches: the more people who know about the business, the better opportunity the business has to attract them as customers. And, the goal is to turn them into repeat customers. It’s all about keeping the customer happy, amused and informed.

As demand for technology increases, products flood the market, making prices more competitive. For the most part, if a business can afford indoor digital signage, it can afford outdoor digital signage since those projects are often smaller in scale with fewer units required.
There are many considerations when deciding how and where to install outdoor flat panels. In most cases, outdoor digital signage must endure different weather conditions for extended periods of time, including rain, snow, humidity, dust/dirt and even insects. Also, if the unit is placed in direct sunlight, protection against glare and UV damage are required.

Luckily, many outdoor flat panels offer anti-reflective glass; casings that keep rain, snow, dirt, dust and insects out; integrated heating and cooling systems that regulate the unit’s internal temperature; and a photo cell that dims the display upon direct sunlight and brightens when it is dark.
By incorporating outdoor digital signage, a business can entertain, inform and attract people outside of their walls. While these units cost a little more, they can withstand the elements for years to come.

Ryan Moodley is a national accounts manager at Pantel.


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