The Digital Signage Insider

Avoiding Common Kiosk and Digital Signage Project Pitfalls

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WireSpring has just published a whitepaper on some common mistakes made when undertaking a new interactive kiosk or digital signage project.  These are the things that we see every day when helping customers set up or expand their kiosk and signage networks.  The whitepaper is intended to be short and to the point, so you should definitely download it and have a look.  It doesn't take more than a few minutes to read, and if you're new to the digital retailing industry or working on your first kiosk or signage deployment, it may help you avoid some common pitfalls.  Over the next few weeks, I'm going to examine some of these mistakes in more detail, and today I'm going to start with #13 from our list:

Relying on consultants who haven't done kiosk or digital signage projects before.
  As the whitepaper says, "Kiosk and signage networks have unique requirements. Be sure to choose vendors who can provide references to successful projects.  Sounds simple, right?  It's amazing how often people get this one wrong.  Before I get started on this, in no way am I implying that your project will fail if you use contractors or consultants who haven't done kiosk or signage projects before.  In fact, given the fact that there are so few contractors who do have this sort of experience, it's almost inevitable that you will work with at least one inexperienced party during your deployment, and that's ok.  However, what will get you into trouble is not working with anybody who has done this sort of thing before.

In reality, if you're reading this page, you've probably already done some research on this industry, its technologies, the unique requirements and barriers to entry, and so on.  Of course, WireSpring considers itself an authority on kiosk and digital signs, as our FireCast software for interactive kiosks and digital signs powers thousands of devices across the world.  By working with us on a project, we would bring not only our software to the table, but also the knowledge gained from working on hundreds of projects over the years.  The same could be said for many of our competitors, as well as a few hundred other companies who have worked on different aspects of kiosk and digital signage projects.

For example, if you were to focus on hardware first (not always the best idea, but the most visible part of the project, so it gets a lot of attention), you would do well to work with an experienced organization.  For digital signage deployments, the most knowledgable would probably be Electrograph, ActiveLight, and Richardson Electronics (warning: their homepage loads a Java applet that has been known to crash some computers).  While a company like Best Buy Business might be able to provide comparable or better prices on things like plasma screens, they don't provide the full line of hardware components needed for most signage deployments, and they don't (yet) have a lot of experience working on digital signage deployments.

Similarly, if you're working on a kiosk project (aside from NOT picking hardware before software), you'd probably want to work either with a reseller/integrator such as KIS or Affordable Kiosks, or a custom kiosk manufacturer like White Mountain Solutions instead of working with your local cabinet maker to build something from scratch.  Even if you don't wind up using any of these people for your project, the knowledge that they can impart is many times more valuable than the hardware itself.

WireSpring is happy to work with anybody serious about deploying a network of kiosks or digital signs, and we welcome new resellers, integrators, distributors and service providers eager to work in this new and exciting industry.  As the network of kiosk and digital sign experienced service providers increases, this problem will gradually fade away.  But for now, it is one of the most obvious and easily avoidable pitfalls for people new to the industry.

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