Exhibition and Showroom Control
Getting a grip on your interactive technology
‘Can anyone turn on the showroom, please?’ – this or similar calls eventually are likely to become heard when you invite guests and prospective clients and customers to your brand-new showroom. If now you can react to that call with a single touch of the start button on your control tablet and a laid-back “Done!”, you have done everything right – and can stop reading this article right here. However, if no idea springs to mind of how to jump-start your showroom or your interactive exhibition for your visitors, you might want to take a look at the following practical tips.
Interactive technologies form an increasingly large and integral part in a growing number of exhibitions and showrooms. Where in the past shop displays merely contained sample products, nowadays companies set off downright digital and interactive fireworks for their visitors. But this kind of interactive experience also involves more technology and more control features becoming necessary. Here is a list of typical components in a showroom that work best if controlled centrally:
- lighting technologies
- sound technology
- monitor walls
- interactive stations and installation (such as, e.g., multi-touch tables)
- climate-control technology
- entrance/admission and exit
- blackout features (curtains, blinds, etc.)
The Show Must Go “On”
Typical control commands are, for instance:
- booting and shutdown of the entire exhibition (on/off)
- start/pause function for exhibition intro or welcoming sequence
- allocation of content and types of stations
- manual volume control
- manual lighting control
As Much Automation As Possible
For you – the presenter – to not have to worry about the technology and focus on your visitors – the audience – instead, automation as well as careful preparation trump everything else. Ideally, you are already aware in advance of the specifics of the next group coming to visit the exhibition or showroom and thus can adapt and individualize your presentation or tour accordingly.
Example Case: Control Of A B2B Showroom In A Medium-Sized Company
- content presets: Let’s say you are expecting a delegation from your client’s procurement department in your showroom. You take the control tablet off its magnetic wall support and activate the relevant new products on several interactive stations. Then you select and activate the appropriate language settings for your showroom and upload the client’s business logo for use in the intro to be played on monitor wall and multi-touch table. By clicking “activate” you have taken all necessary preparatory measures.
- smart room control: By virtue of its person sensor and smart configuration, the showroom itself largely takes over control from here on: once everyone has gathered inside the showroom, the doors close, the lights dim, and the welcoming intro starts. Monitors displaying the client’s logo, lighting and sound as well as the introductory film all work together harmoniously.
- activation of interactive stations: You’ve planned the tour through your showroom as a group activity where everyone proceeds from one station to the next together. Either the group approaches the next station to be activated, or the respective station (for instance a product demonstrator) is triggered by the central multi-touch table.
- change of scenario: Before going on your planned visit to the other buildings on your business compounds, you spontaneously decide to have a brief round of discussion in your showroom. On your control tablet, you simply select the preset scenario for that, and the interactive showroom dims down, whereas the spotlights are on the sitting area or podium. But feel free to imagine any other automations and scenarios that might fit your showroom.
- lights out: Once everyone has left the exhibition or at the touch on the control tablet’s “off”-button, the entire room shuts itself down.
Sounds Smart – But How Exactly Does It Work?
Optimally, exhibition control along with Contentment Management are planned in one go already during a showroom’s conception phase. In a nutshell, there is one central server controlling all technical components via network. This server offers a web‑based admin interface, which the presenter can access, for instance, via tablet PC. Of course, a prerequisite for a scenario such as the one given above is a built-in sensor system as well as connectivity between all the showroom’s components. But those also can be installed into a preexistent room at a later point and an exhibition thus be retrofitted with the necessary technology. If it does not require major construction work involving the breaking open of walls and floors, retrofitting in a lot of cases actually is a cost-effective option.
If now you sense that your showroom, too, might benefit from a central control, please reach out to us – our experts are happy to help you assess the options and possibilities – non-binding and free of charge.
You Are A Stickler For Details And Like To Work With Definite And Concrete Requirements?
Then here is a checklist containing the most important control commands for your showroom:
- automated activation/deactivation of the entire exhibition technology following an editable weekly schedule
- on/off command for entire showroom
- on/off command for individual interactive installations
- booting and shutdown of PCs with “Wake on LAN” function
- starting/closing of PC applications by means of locally installed individual application triggers
- automatic reboot of applications in case of occurring software problems
- on/off function for network-controlled monitors and projectors
- controlling of network-controlled lighting features, audio mixers, and other controllable components
- control of the application’s specific settings, for instance: individualized welcoming messages, content presets for different target audiences, either globally applicable or for individual stations
- exhibition monitoring function supervising the status of all network-integrated devices
- PCs are monitored and checked regarding different hardware parameters (e.g., CPU temperature and display refresh rate) and the operation of application processes necessary for the exhibition.
- automated email notification in case of malfunction or failure