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Foyer digital advertising


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Does anyone out there have digital advertising in their venue? Do you manage it yourself, or do you use an external company? Can you also use it to advertise your own shows? I'm currently exploring the idea of using digital displays to replace our poster boards in our foyer so that we can also use the screens to advertise local businesses in order to generate some revenue.

 

Many years ago we did have one screen in our foyer which displayed a mix of show posters and adverts. The company which supplied and managed the system went under and since then we haven't looked at replacing the screen, though I think it is worth looking at again. Ideally we'd like an external company to supply the screens and manage the content, as buying the equipment ourselves might be too expensive for us to consider. Obviously we'd get more of the advertising revenue if we managed the system ourselves, but the initial cost would probably be too high.

 

Does anybody out there already use advertising screens in their venue? Do you use an external company, or do you do everything yourselves? Your thoughts and opinions would be very much appreciated.

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We have a number of screens. There is a powerpoint display which advertises what's on and coming up, distributed around the building to a number of LCD screens, some of which are visible on the street. We just make up a new presentation once a month, swapping out the posters displayed.

 

During the show, some of the screens inside the building switch over to show relay (we use a switch under DMX control so the lighting desk controls when the switchover occurs) so that FOH staff can see what's going on on stage and they switch back to rolling adverts during the interval and after the show.

 

It's a simple system that we rolled ourselves, that seems to work well enough.

 

We're looking at putting a raspberry pi on one of the monitor running some digital signage software, so that we can plug in a usb stick of photographs from the archives and quickly change the display of shots from previous shows that will be running in the public areas.

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Thanks for the replies, but I feel I should repeat what I wrote in the first post:

 

Ideally we'd like an external company to supply the screens and manage the content, as buying the equipment ourselves might be too expensive for us to consider.

 

While we could go down the DIY route, it would still cost us several thousand pounds to buy and install all the kit. We'd also have to go chasing potential advertisers ourselves if we ever wanted to make the system pay for itself. It would be much easier for us to have some external company do the legwork for us. We'd provide a site for their screens, and we can use the screens to display adverts for our shows.

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I fear you may be on a hiding to nothing here - unless your venue has phenomenal foot-fall there's just no money in this form of advertising to make it worthwhile an external company getting involved. If "someone else" does it then they've got all the same purchase costs you have, higher installation costs (as they would have to do a "proper" job since they were leaving the kit unsupervised) higher ongoing maintenance costs (because they'd have to send someone miles to come fix it whereas if you did it in-house one of the tech's could be sent to look at it) higher advertising acquisition costs (they'd have to send a local rep over to your area to actively lobby local business's) , all the central IT infrastructure and remote access software and on top of all that they'd have to be making some profit AND using up vast chunks of their resources feeding your in-house advertisements & content for "free"

 

This sort of advertising is priced similarly to internet advertising - cost per thousand viewers (and looping the adverts to the same audience doesn't count as twice as many views) and for this sort of passive marketing you're going to struggle to get beyond £20/1000 which means even on an 8-show week for a very popular show you'd struggle to charge more than £100 per advertiser. Realistically you'd not get more than half a dozen advertisers at any given time so your total revenue for the whole year is only going to be £25k - that's simply not viable for someone else to provide you with several screens and all the related services.

 

If you bring it in house you can partner up with whoever handles your program advertising to offer it as an "extra" to that, you could also partner up with your local newspaper so that they can offer it as an add-on to their existing advertisers so that you'd effectively have no "advertiser acquisition" costs, run the screens in-house so that you effectively don't have maintenance/management costs, run the screens individually from usb sticks so you don't have the cost of network infrastructure, etc Even then though you'd still not be able to get past the fact that the revenue coming in would be minimal and the capital outlay significant. We had a show a few years back where we had video screens and projection everywhere so could squeeze almost unlimited amounts of advertising in to the view of a captive audience of 1000+ affluent customers nightly and we still couldn't make the numbers stack up; for the relatively small additional revenue it would produce the damage to the brand/show experience made it uneconomical.

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Thanks for the replies, but I feel I should repeat what I wrote in the first post:

 

 

I suspect Alister was probably replying based upon the line;

 

Does anybody out there already use advertising screens in their venue? Do you use an external company, or do you do everything yourselves? Your thoughts and opinions would be very much appreciated.

 

rather than blatantly ignoring your initial statement.

 

We too manage our own content, though we have bought a flat screen TV that has a built in jpeg slideshow function off of a memory stick. Then you simply have to ask the advertiser to send you a jpeg rather than having to build slides. These screens are very much the household screen type, and with the saving in cabling, PC's, infrastructure and the like, it might be a more affordable option? We also do show photos and rehearsal photos on them as well.

 

I like Alister's idea of a DMX switch for the screen. Ours is directly behind front of house, so it'd be dead easy to get a cable from the show relay camera in to it. It's also helpful for stuff like panto when a parent has to go out with a child, as they can stand outside still watching the show. Like that idea a lot!

 

 

 

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I suspect Alister was probably replying based upon the line;

 

Does anybody out there already use advertising screens in their venue? Do you use an external company, or do you do everything yourselves? Your thoughts and opinions would be very much appreciated.

 

 

 

Correct. I appreciate that it's attractive to hand off requirements to 3rd parties (I like to do so in my day job as a software developer) not least because when something goes wrong it's their ar$e that gets kicked, not your own :-) But I thought our experience might be useful.

 

The DMX switch often catches people out the first time they program a show, they wonder why the adverts aren't running during the pre-show preset, but it's a mistake you only make once.

 

It's also helpful when someone is making an entrance through the audience doors. They'll often see their cue on the screen even if they aren't watching the cue lights (yes, yes, I know).

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The fact that the OP mentions a previous company supplying the system went under is a good indication of why the DIY approach is preferred.

 

We've got a flat-screen TV in the foyer and an old PC tucked away running Powerpoint - I like the idea of USB sticks and media players, but this was put in before my involvement.

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We used a Company Called Kaleidovision to manage all our screens see _ Kaleidovision.co.uk

 

 

or my in-house solution is :-

 

VLC Media Player outputting to 2nd Monitor (ext Desktop)

 

Windows Task Scheduler starting different files at times/days etc

 

Team viewer to remotely operate and upload new media

 

The Above installed on a cheap desktop PC (£99 max -see below)

 

Works like a dream.

 

We design all media on Adobe AE and splice together with Win Movie Maker.

 

As it happens I have a number of (ex Kaleidovison) Digital Sinage Windows PC`s for sale for only £99 (cost £2000 plus)

 

Give me a PM if interested.

 

 

 

ALSO -

 

You mentioned a company used to manage your screens but they went bump , What equipment do you have left over from that arrangement ??

 

 

...

 

 

Matt

Edited by djmatthill
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We're only a small theatre who also show films and yet Pearl and Dean are paying for a dedicated Broadband line to our venue. They are also supplying their own server to sit alongside our digital cinema system so that they can remotely manage our cinema advertising. We don't show films every day or even every week sometimes, so fewer people will see Pearl and Dean's adverts in our venue than they would in a multiplex.

 

Despite this, Pearl and Dean are still spending several thousand pounds setting up and administering the advertising service to our venue. They will also pay us for showing their adverts. I was hoping that there might have been companies offering this kind of service, but for foyer digital advertising.

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I think film is different, we had advertising at college for films, we got paid a few hundred quid for up to 6 ads a time 4 times a year, that was hitting 4000 people.

 

We would have got more money for more people simple as that. I guess if you have 4000 a week to shows and general building use, its worth putting in the money.

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  • 4 years later...

We have a really successful installation at a local Cinema/theatre that uses Sabercom digital signage on 1 screen in the foyer, one at the local railway station and one in a community centre. All linked to a Cloud server and each screen cross references events at the cinema and community centre, and the one at the railway station directs visitors to both venues and the town centre. All screens show local business adverts.

 

 

Moderation: I'll let this one go but it's worth noting that this poster works for Sabercom so isn't entirely unbiased. 'mtvb', Martin, perhaps you'd update your signature to make it clear who you work for.

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