Following a successful 2011 show in Düsseldorf, Germany, Viscom has revealed that it used Caldera Variable Display to drive all of the on-site digital signage. The Viscom audio-visual team, headed up by digital signage expert Thomas Dockter, owner of Dockter Marketing and president of the Digital Signage Best Practice Awards jury, was able to install the screens and players ‘in minutes’.
Viscom Düsseldorf needed a turnkey hardware and software solution that would be easy to deploy, could be mounted behind the displays, and that could handle both static PDF and MP4 video file formats with high-quality playback. «It wasn’t possible to connect all the screens securely via WiFi over a big exhibition area like the Düsseldorf fairground.» Dockter explains. «So all media players must be self-sustaining but should be easy to set up and update. The Variable Display system offers all this in a small box with great graphics and video playback quality.»
Previous vertical displays showing the exhibition’s wide array of seminars, talks and presentations schedules had not been effective, with all the screens displaying the same information throughout the venue. «The Viscom team always tries to leverage new technologies.» Dockter says. «Since starting Digital Signage World in 2007 we had been thinking about how to use digital signage to inform visitors and communicate the broad supporting program during the show. For Viscom Düsseldorf 2011, the central idea was to deliver the right information to the viewer at the right place. This resulted in six different dynamic content playlists distributed all over the exhibition halls and the conference area.»
With eleven LG 42’’ full HD TFT screens showing different information relevant to points of entry and footfall at different times, controlling the content needed to be as easy as possible. With Variable Display, scheduling content is managed as part of the package’s easy-to-build
playlist creation, unlike some other digital signage software packages which handle timing separately. Dockter was particularly impressed by the ease-of-use and minimal setup time. «These kinds of projects are always realised under time pressure and last minute changes.» he says.
«With Variable Display, composing a playlist takes just some drag and drop actions and with one click the content is updated.»
Variable Display offered the ability to target visitors at different parts of the building and drive them to the widerange of activities and events through the large, varied show space. The screens outside each of the two halls were automatically updated throughout the day to give information about the next presentation taking place. In addition, the show’s organisers broadcast a welcome message to the exhibitors each morning before the doors opened to visitors, and changed the displays when attendees arrived.
Sebastien Hanssens, Vice President of Marketing and Communication, Caldera, says: «For Viscom to choose Variable Display to power all the digital signage at the 2011 Düsseldorf show is a fantastic endorsement of what we know is a brilliantly simple but powerful software solution. That Variable Display was able to meet all the needs of Thomas and his team without being difficult to install or use just goes to show that managing digital signage on that kind of scale doesn’t have to be intimidating or time-consuming, even for those with little or no experience of doing so.»
For his part, Dockter believes that Variable Display has ‘a lot of potential’ as an easy-to-use digital signage management solution. «It covers the basic needs for a vast number of projects.» he says. «Sign-makers and screen or digital printers especially should check out Variable Display as a supplement to their offerings for trade show stands or business communication.»
«Using the Variable Display solution on this event was the perfect opportunity for Caldera to prove the product’s potential and in-situ efficiency» says Frederic Soulier, Digital Signage Product Manager, Caldera. «We are very proud to have gained the confidence of such an important organisation as Viscom Germany.»