A lot can happen in seventeen years. Four presidents can serve one term each; two presidents can each serve two four-year terms; a newborn can finish elementary, middle, and high school; and let’s not even talk about the changes we’d see in technology.
Or maybe let’s do just that – let’s talk about how quickly technology can evolve over 17 years, because that’s just what the team at Renaissance Dallas Richardson had to do when they realized they no longer had the bandwidth (or interest, really) to continue using paper signage. Paper signage didn’t match the property’s interior (picture a waterfall cascading over white marble in the property’s Rhapsody Atrium, Smart TVs in guest rooms, and a one-of-a-kind TV wall in the property’s Studio), and replacing paper signage each day was difficult and time-consuming, according to Michelle Morales, Director of Event Sales at the property.
“Toward the end of each day, we would print our reader boards and door cards on paper. This was a process, especially on days when all of our meeting space was in use. Keeping everything organized so that the correct door cards were placed in the correct spots could be difficult at times, and if more than one group utilized space during the same day, it was important to send someone around to physically change the door cards,” said Morales.
Send someone around to physically change door cards. Let that sink in for a minute.
The Renaissance Dallas Richardson has 28,934 square feet of meeting space, made up of 22 event rooms. So each evening, a staff member would print out signage for these rooms. The signage included information about the event and the company or person hosting the event. Someone would then walk the property and place this paper signage. But with constantly changing schedules and meetings booked with little notice, someone would have to reprint some of the signage and replace what had previously been put in place.
“It was not often a good idea to complete this earlier in the day, or when we might have had some downtime, as events could change making the signage incorrect,” said Morales. “The layout and accuracy were subject to human error as well… [and] if the person who completed this was going to be out of the office, we had to be sure someone was scheduled to complete this task.”
And that’s before the meeting host had a chance to review the signage. Occasionally, the host would request the property change the layout of the signage, which resulted in “additional scrambling,” said Morales.
In short, the property used a “time-consuming and outdated” method of making information available to guests, and eventually the team there decided it was time to update its signage process.
Enter JANUS Displays, a digital signage provider with nearly 34 years of industry experience. The JANUS Displays product line offers customers the ability to strengthen communication and engagement with guests and visitors via animated, interactive displays of event listings, wayfinding tools, local maps, weather information, dining reservations, flight status/check-in information, menu boards, advertising, directories, emergency messaging, and more.
As the property completed a massive renovation, they decided to renovate how it displayed information on site as well. Not only did it install digital meeting room boards, but it also installed a pair of vertical directories that show meeting information as well as a property map. You might think that switching from paper to digital signage wouldn’t make that much of a difference, but you’d be wrong, according to Morales.
“The immediate first impression is that we have finally caught up with current technology. The displays are professional and have great capabilities. Digital signage has become a time saver, which makes us more efficient in our daily tasks. In addition, we are allowed to communicate more than just our daily events to our guests and our clients. Being able to promote our restaurant or evening beverage rituals, as well as any special information we might want to communicate to our groups, has provided added benefits. This has definitely been a much-needed upgrade for us, and we are glad to have our JANUS displays!”
JANUS worked with the property to design enclosures for the new digital signage. JANUS tends to recommend using an enclosure that fits with the environment. For example, we’d recommend using dark wood frames on walls that have other dark wood elements (e.g., trim, baseboards, etc.). Given the walls at Renaissance Dallas Richardson, we designed metal frames for the meeting rooms and a pair of wood frames for the directories. The property opted to display two side-by-side directories in two locations (for a total of four directories), and also opted to display each pair of frames in one double enclosure. The property went with a dark wood for one enclosure and a light wood for the other enclosure, which made sense given where they installed the displays.
Pairing displays in one frame makes sense, especially if you want to display a property map on one side and an events listing on the other side. We’ve also seen displays like this work in restaurants that want to display an entire menu across a pair of screens (or a menu on one screen and other information on the other screen).
Along with the signage, the property also received on-site training for how to use the signage, and it has access to 24/7 technical support. The team at JANUS, says Morales, is professional and responsive, and she and her property are beyond happy with how the digital signage solution works.