At its most fundamental form, a sign is a means of communication. Church signs provide communication with existing church members, potential members, and the community. It is a marketing and advertising tool.
What better way to add curb appeal to get your church noticed than to go with a digital sign?
Digital signage has several advantages:
- Flexible – You can quickly and easily update information. Gone are the days of having to spend hours arranging papers on a bulletin board that doesn’t really catch anyone’s attention.
- Modern – Digital signage can help to attract younger congregants and update the look and feel of the church.
- Efficient – Reduce costs associated with printing, distributing, and maintaining static signs and printed Church materials.
Some typical outdoor sign uses include:
- Community Engagement – Digital signage gives you the ability to personalize messaging such as welcoming new members to the congregation. Events like baptisms and holiday services could be advertised.
- Inspirational Messages – Post an inspirational message for the community and have it change daily or weekly.
- Event Schedules – Post your event schedule so that members of the community can be kept up-to-date on Church activities.
Some typical indoor sign uses include:
- Digital Directories – Interactive wayfinding (map) displays and digital directories help guests and followers easily find their way through your church.
- Digital Lobby Signage – Use these types of signs to replace static bulletin boards while effective communicating with guests. Welcome messages, announcements, and events, are some types of information that can be posted on these.
- Promotion – Display details about upcoming fundraisers or volunteer opportunities to increase participation.
- Digital Recognition – Recognize generous donors for their contributions.
The above are just some of the possibilities. The possibilities are really endless. Would you be able to do this many dynamic things with your current signage? If the answer is no, you may want to explore digital signage further.
You’re probably saying to yourself, ‘Wow! Digital signage seems really interesting. But what all is involved?’ I’m glad you asked! Digital signage has 3 main components and then a fourth optional component. They are:
- Digital Displays – The most obvious component is the digital display. This is essentially a TV that has the correct hookup (usually HDMI) for a player. They can come in many formats from LED, LCD, Plasma, DLP, Projector, etc. These come in both indoor and outdoor models depending on use. Commercial versions are generally rated to last more hours than residential versions, so factor in how often it will be on when making a purchase.
- Digital Signage Player –This is the device that connects to the digital display and delivers content to it. It is essentially a small computer. Think of it like a Blu-ray player. While they make special devices for media players, you could also use a laptop, tablet, or PC. If you want to be able to add content to the player without physically connecting a mouse and keyboard to the player, you’ll want to put this device on the network via a wired or wireless connection. You will also need power for the display and signage player. While this seems like an obvious thing to mention, many older buildings may not have power on the center of a wall where you would want to mount a display…so it’s something you’ll want to consider initially.
- Content – You have your signage player connected to your display, but you need content to display on them. This is the most exciting component of a digital signage solution where you have a chance to be creative and generate content that can be engaging.
- Content Management System – This is a platform for managing and configuring your content. Many signage players have this software built in, but there are also third party companies that sell special versions that can allow you to push content to all of your signs at the same time. The third party option is an optional component, but it becomes more necessary as your amount of signage grows as you likely won’t want to be connecting to 20 signs individually to make changes. Some content management systems also allow you to interface with apps which can display weather, social media feeds, news stories, etc. This dynamic content tends to draw users in.
To aide in understanding the components: In the example of using a Laptop as a signage player, the content management system would be Microsoft Powerpoint or a similar program. The display would be a TV. The content would be whatever graphics or wording you added to Powerpoint. It’s that simple!
Digital signage can be an effective way to modernize a Church and take communication and community engagement to the next level. I’ve touched on the basics of digital signage and if you are interested in exploring further, I’d recommend working with an AV Vendor or exploring some websites that sell AV equipment. Digital signage comes in many sizes and shapes and a quality AV Vendor should be able to guide you towards finding the right fit for you and your church!