Digital Display Options Buying Guide - Part 1
December 03, 2019
6 Digital Display Options for Small Digital Displays
It’s a no-brainer to use a digital display in your trade show booth – it offers endless possibilities to convey information and encourage interactivity with your visitors. Besides that, your competition is using it, so you’d better get on board. When it comes to choosing your digital displays, the number of options can be a bit overwhelming. From small tablets to multi-panel display walls, the choices are staggering. So, to help you pick the best choice for your budget, venue, and audience, we’re discussing the features, benefits, and how-tos of each kind of display in two handy articles. This first article will discuss the smaller of the digital displays – tablets, computer monitors, kiosks and TVs.
Although they represent the smallest of the digital display options, tablets are a great option. Everyone has one and knows how to use it, they are economical and easy to use, they have endless app options, and they are versatile and practical in a small booth. One problem you run into with a tablet is limited visibility; however, it can easily be mirrored on a larger monitor in the booth. Another unique problem with a tablet is that it can be misplaced or easily taken. To keep the tablet in place, tether it to a fixed piece of furniture or a person. The only other risk you run with a tablets is someone possibly messing with your settings or accessing information they aren’t privy to, but this is easily avoided by locking out the settings and changes options. Tablets are a relatively low-cost option, and the only extras you need are chargers (and a reminder to charge it!)
Larger than a tablet but still smaller than a display TV, computer monitors are usually about 30 inches. They are a great choice because they have more pixels per square inch than TV and are specifically designed for long-term, up-close viewing. Computer monitors work well for longer interactions, where booth attendees might be reading text or typing in answers or interacting in some other way (e.g., playing a game). To avoid eye fatigue, remember to adjust the brightness of the screen to the ambient light conditions.
Now we’re getting into the big business because kiosks offer a lot of options. Kiosks can be display only or interactive. Touch screens, which are required for interactivity, add cost and weight to a kiosk, making it more expensive to ship because it needs to be assembled and tested prior to shipping. Custom apps and software increase the experience of the interactive kiosk, as well.
Where you position and how you orient your kiosk in the booth is going to depend on its use. A tall kiosk that towers over attendees’ heads can communicate information to a wider audience. For this, make sure you choose a clear font, simple graphics and a short message (10-15 seconds). If you prefer an interactive experience that engages the attendee, you have a few options. If the content has lots of interactive option, the best choice is a kiosk that is a guided interactive tour. For this, the display of the kiosk should be mounted vertically so that the largest number of people can see it, but only a few can interact with it, causing the least number of disruptions. If the content is engaging, and the expectation is that the attendee will self-inquire and self-guide, consider mounting the display of the kiosk horizontally. The limited visibility of the display, except by people standing very near the display, gives the attendee more confidence to explore. Oftentimes, you’ll see a slanted display screen on a kiosk. A slanted screen limits visibility (and thus the size of the audience), offering privacy for the participant and also an “exclusivity factor” during the interaction.
Because they are usually the most cost-effective, TV screens are the most popular choice for exhibits. They’re easily available in a wide variety of sizes and resolutions, and they are easy to assemble into a display. For most trade show booths, a consumer-grade TV will suffice. The only reason you might need a commercial model is if you were planning on upgrading the exhibit into a permanent installation like a corporate lobby. Commercial TVs are brighter and longer lasting and are designed specifically for ongoing professional use.
TV SCREEN INFO:
- LCD TVs can display content at different resolutions.
- HDTVs can display content at HD resolution only -- 1280x720 pixels.
- Full HD (the most common and a step above HD) displays at 1920x1080 pixels.
- Ultra HD or 4K is 3840x2160 pixels (this screen is for very close viewing of very small font).
The larger your display, the more prominent part of your exhibit it is. Make sure you have a working display with brightness, color, and contrast set to the local environment for best visibility.
MOUNTING YOUR TV:
- TV stand – this is a good option if you need the display to be portable and easily manipulated. If you don’t need to be able to move or reconfigure your display, don’t use a TV stand; they are a trip hazard and a nuisance. If using a TV stand, double-check the stability and security of the TV.
- Wall mounting – a good, inexpensive option for displaying the TV is to mount it to the wall. With this option, the TV protrudes from the wall..
Wall inset – this option works best for island exhibits. Ideally, the digital image and the surrounding static image are integrated. Because the TV screen is flush with the wall, this option is great for high traffic areas and adds to the continuity of the exhibit design. Consider a wall system like SkyRise™ from Skyline that is able to flush mount the monitor even if you do not know details regarding mounting hole patterns, bezel width, or TV thicknesses in advance.
These are just some of the ways that digital displays can work for you. Although digital imaging comes with a bit more risk and cost, the return is inestimable. An interactive or dynamic display will always trump a static image for driving content and branding.
Be sure to read Part 2 for even bigger and better and bolder ways to use digital displays in your booth!
This article was inspired by "A Buyer's Guide to Trade Show Displays" by Pierre Menard and first appeared at skyline.com