How Digital Signage Networks Benefit Airports

March 1, 2017
How can you maximize your space and use digital signage properly?

The airport industry is no stranger to digital displays. With ad spaces to fill, travelers to direct and important information to transmit, airport screens are always a buzz. However, managing all these moving parts while maximising each screen’s usage can be quite a daunting task.

This is where an integrated digital signage network comes into play. Each screen in the network is powered by a content management system (CMS) and can be controlled from one central location. Many offer a wide range of features including playlist automation and detailed proof of play for airports to truly leverage their digital signs.

Maximise Dwell Time Ad Revenue

As any traveler knows, most time spent at the airport is spent waiting. Between queuing for check-in, baggage claim, customs, and of course waiting to board at the gate, passengers spend very little time actually doing anything of importance, such as boarding the plane.

Airports Council International - North America (ACI-NA) reported that global airport dwell time is an average of 137 minutes. With over two hours of advertising opportunities, airports should be reaping the benefits. However, 47 percent of this dwell time is wasted, meaning airports are missing out on 64 minutes worth of revenue.

At the same time, advertisers are increasingly recognising airports’ ability to reach large, yet targeted, audiences. Jameson’s 2016 St-Patrick’s Day campaign in London Gatwick Airport is a prime example of the impact a well-executed airport campaign can have.

For this campaign, Jameson installed a 360-degree photo booth where over 200 travellers posed for a photo. The brand then took over the terminal’s screens to broadcast the user generated photos and accompanying advertisements. The displays were viewed by over 100,000 travellers over a three-day period and contributed to a 39 percent sales uplift of Jameson at the Duty Free store.

To accommodate such campaigns and continue to pique advertisers’ interest, airports must have a dynamic and flexible solution in place, something single monitors and static billboards cannot provide.

With a connected digital signage network, airports can launch campaigns across hundreds of screens, quickly update inventory and target audiences based on the advertiser’s needs. These tasks can be further simplified by using a content management system with automated playback and detailed reporting.

Expedite the Traveler Journey with Way-finding

Time that is not spent waiting is often spent rushing from one place to the next. With traffic jams, long line-ups at the security check and having to catch tight connecting flights, passengers often find themselves with very little time to spare. In order to set travelers at ease and improve their experience, airports must have a detailed way-finding solution in place.

That being said, traditional way-finding solutions are often fairly limited. Static and even scrolling signs can only host a given amount of information. Airports must carefully select which information is pertinent. Travelers, however, are looking for a large range of airport services and amenities and are also planning where to go once they have cleared customs.

Deploying a system with a digital way-finding supplier such as ViaDirect is an ideal way to provide travellers with the information they need. The Lyon airport, for example, placed kiosks not only inside the airport but near exits as well. Some of the top searches over the network were for external services such as regional busses, hotels and taxi services.

With an interactive way-finding system, airports are not limited to select information, but can instead maintain a detailed database with a listing for each checkpoint, amenity, shop, restaurant and useful third party services. With a simple search, customers can quickly find what they are looking for and receive details on how to reach their destination.

“In a place like an airport, where there is so much going on, figuring out exactly what to do can be overwhelming,” said Luca Di Giacomantonio, IT project manager at the Bologna airport. “By using the ViaDirect digital way-finding kiosks, we were able to develop a user friendly solution to help passengers find what they are really looking for.” This system has led to 171,709 searches in 2016, which equates to one search every three minutes.

As an added bonus, a comprehensive way-finding solution enables passengers to quickly navigate the airport, giving them more down time. This is an opportune moment to direct customers to the airport’s shops and restaurants. The Duty Free store is actually the sixth most searched for location at the Bologna airport.

Helping travelers reach their destination is at the core of the airport industry’s very existence. With a digital network powering detailed way-finding stations, airports can truly guide customers from point A to point B.

Quickly Deploy Targeted Communications

Airports are hubs for important information and being unaware of a given communication can have a huge toll on a traveler’s experience. Ensuring passengers are updated on cancelled flights, changed gates and emergency situations is essential.

However, manually managing a range of static screens can be an error prone and time-consuming process.

A connected digital signage network ensures airports can deliver the right message to the right traveler at the right time. Important information can be slotted into the network loop and can even override current playback, if necessary. Each communication can be targeted to reach only the intended audience; thereby ensuring key messages are not overlooked.

Additionally, communication through digital signage doesn’t have to be a one-way street. Kiosks are a great tool for receiving customer comments and concerns. This is one of the main benefits Erick Perruche, Head of Quality Improvement at the Lyon Airport, appreciates of their ViaDirect way-finding system.

“It is a collaborative way to begin a dialogue between the airport and passengers,” said Perruche. “Today, with more than 1,000 instances of client feedback collected, our five kiosks are one of our major listening channels.”

Deploying a digital signage network to manage airport communication offers flexibility and provides feedback, two important features to ensure travelers are truly in the loop.

The Sky's the Limit

These three reasons to adopt an adaptable, feature-rich, automated digital signage network are only the tip of the iceberg. With such a tool in place, airports have the ability to fully control each screen with their particular needs and interests in mind.

BroadSign International is a member of the Digital Signage Federation, the only independent, not-for-profit trade organization serving the digital signage industry. The DSF supports and promotes the common business interests of worldwide digital signage, interactive technologies and digital out-of-home network industries. To learn more, go to

Maarten Dollevoet, Vice President, Global Sales, is a seasoned sales and business development expert in the digital signage industry and travels extensively to educate networks on the power of BroadSign’s automated, cloud-based platform.

Fluent in Dutch, German and English, Maarten spent seven years as the Director of Sales EMEA at BroadSign and seven years as the Sales Manager UK – Benelux at AOpen beforehand. He holds a Bachelor degree in Sales and Marketing from Hogeschool van Arnhem en Nijmegen and a MBA from Radboud University Nijmegen.

About the Author

Maarten Dollevoet | Vice President of Global Sales

Related Content