As recent as a few years ago Digital Signage was still very early in it’s overall use and acceptance as a marketing tool, as an information portal, as a self-service resource, etc, etc, etc ……..
Fast forward to today and most all of us have exposure to Digital Signage in variety of ways each and every day. Examples of Digital Signage include:
- New flashy menu boards at your favorite fast-food haunt, which show professional “mouth-watering” videos highlighting how good their new “bacon-wrapped, chipotle-flavored, cheese-stuffed double burger” looks. (Menus which coincidentally always seem change to the expensive menu items just before you find the value-menu item you came in for).
- The touch screen kiosk at the local cinema are a common interactive digital signage application, which allows you to purchase your tickets to “Rocky 26” yourself (without the need to stand in line while the person in-line ahead of you asks the cashier again why the small popcorn costs more than the movie).
- The overhead TV in your Doctor’s waiting room is another Digital Signage application that shows the local weather, today’s traffic report, news highlights, stock-market gains and losses, advertisements (for Al’s Towing, Sam’s AutoBody, and Lebowitz & Barnes Personal Injury Lawyers), as well as your daily horoscope. ALL ON THE SAME SMALL TV SCREEN AT THE SAME TIME.
So the possibilities are endless in terms of what digital signage can be used for. But while there are certainly well-designed and effective Digital Signage applications, there are also Digital Signage installations which are not so well placed. So what should you be considering before investing in Digital Signage for your Church, and what are some of the things you can use digital signage for within your Church?
What Can Your Church Do With Digital Signage
With regards to what you can use Digital Signage for in your Church. It will depend to some extent on the actual capabilities of the digital signage hardware/software you have chosen for your Church (as not all hardware/software platforms share the same capabilities). But hardware/software capabilities aside, the following is a list of some of the things you can use Digital Signage for in a Church (but this is certainly not an exhaustive list of uses/ideas for digital signage):
- Small Group/Event Announcements – where information for small groups and/or church events are shown periodically throughout the day. This can be as simple as PowerPoint slides which are uploaded onto your digital signage network (and shown in a specific order, on one or more Digital Signage displays), or more elaborate videos content that can also be displayed at specific times throughout the day. Keeping in mind that most Digital Signage applications will also allow for multiple elements to be displayed at the same time on the same screen, by separating your screen into distinct “zones” which can display different content to specific parts of your display simultaneously.
- Local Advertising on your Digital signage (if allowed within your Church), can be a potential source of income for your Church to either help offset some of the costs of your digital signage expenses, or to help raise funds for specific groups or fundraising initiatives within your Church.
- Touch screen self-serve kiosks can be built to allow parishioners and visitors to work through multi-level menu-driven options to learn more about specific groups, events, people, scripture, outreach programs, volunteer opportunities, faith teachings, etc.
- Scripture Readings – where daily/weekly/monthly scripture readings are updated for your parishioners to view on a regular basis.
- Twitter Feeds can be used to populate a scrolling message along the bottom of your digital signage display to highlight something of importance, or to allow specific people (such as our lead pastor) to post short piece of scripture that reinforces that day’s message with. It could be a funny thought of the day that is intended to get people use to looking at the digital signage on a regular basis. Or it could be as simple as a flashing or highlighted message to remind people that the clocks are changing next week.
- Room Bookings where your Church administrator/manager can use a simple spreadsheet (or tablet application) to update room booking locations and times for meetings/groups/events your Church, and to have this information displayed on a one or more displays throughout your church at specific times of the day and/or week as needed.
- Time Based messages can be utilized to bring attention to specific events, such as “Sunday Service Will Be Starting In 5 Minutes”; “Sunday Service Will Be Starting In 4 Minutes”; “Sunday Service Will Be Starting In 3 Minutes”, “Why are you still reading this, The 9am Service started 2 minutes ago”, etc…….
- Live video feeds can be displayed on your Digital Signage. For example if your Church records live video of your service, you can also show this same live video feed in areas of your Church that you have Digital Signage available during the times that the service is live.
- Web-Content from outside sources can be used/displayed on one or more of your digital signage displays as needed. For example, there are sources that can provide various types of content (sometimes as subscription based service) which you can use in your digital signage displays. It could be simply a feed which provides a local weather forecast, or perhaps one which provides a daily scripture feed to your digital signage display (without the need for your Church to create your own content on an ongoing basis).