Thursday, December 18, 2014

Blog #199 - the year+ in review, start 2015 off with some solid education resources!

-Deacon Wardlow
All said, I lived in Japan for about 12 years. The time, people, and culture definitely affected the way I look at the world. Every December, Japanese get ready to send out their "O-sho-gatsu" (New Year's) cards. A card is sent out to the people in their life, both personal and professional contacts. The card is a way of keeping in touch with the people who've touched their lives in some positive way. Gifts are also given to people who've helped them in some way in the year - a kind of year-end accounting and "thank you" to everyone who helped them get to where they are. I love the tradition and, while I no longer send out a stack of cards each New Year's - I appreciate taking stock of the year past and acknowledging the many people who've helped, challenged, assisted, and gotten me to where I am.

This article makes #199 in the series started about two and a half years back. My thanks to my fellow "Special Ops" Director of Spectacular Media (Scott Hofheins) and our associate/friend/all-around pontificate Mike Prongue of Signvine. Our thanks go to Vantage LED for giving us a place to rant, rave, educate, elucidate, and help bring a little order to the chaos that is Digital Signage (without having to write advertorials or "sponsored" pieces, but rather sticking to the truth and helping people get educated on what matters most for LED and other Digital Signage). It's been a long road with a longer one ahead and we're glad to have you, our reader, out on the journey with us. If you read our articles and have a question - drop us an email or line (email - - or We all like to hear from you and appreciate feedback.

This will be the last posting for the year (we'll start up a little after the new year). I've done my best to sort the articles we've released into categories so you can find helpful info a bit faster. If there's some way we can help out, a topic we've missed or something to delve into deeper - let us know (we're happy to have more to write about and the year ahead promises to be a full one). If you have a moment, checkout the SignVine site (these are guys who know a lot about giving and lending a hand) -

We wish you a safe, happy, and most excellent year-end. I hope your holidays are full of friends, family, and happiness. Problems are simply challenges helping you along the path to success and hopefully we've written something here which can help you overcome the obstacles you're facing (or will encounter down the road).

Digital Signage Sign Tech & Spec:
  1. What to Expect when you're expecting your LED Sign...
  2. Providing Correct Power Voltage to LED Signs and Why 120 VAC and 240 VAC are Both Important
  3. Power Supplies
  4. Don't get screwed, modern module securing systems
  5. Front Access Design Considerations for Digital Signage and Hinged Faces
  6. Factors Affecting Image Quality on Outdoor Digital Signage
  7. How Color Values are calculated
  8. Viewing Size vs Cabinet size (big differences can add up to false $$ savings)
  9. Controller options for LED Signage
  10. Virtual Resolution (aka pixel sharing)
  11. LED Sign Components
  12. Service Access options for LED Signs
  13. The truth behind "ultra bright" LEDs
  14. Communication Methods for LED Signs
  15. Myths and Misunderstanding about LED Signs
  16. The good and bad of LED Signs and how to tell the difference
  17. Powder Coating
  18. New Coating materials (Dragon Skin)
  19. Make sure you have the right tools for DS!

  20. Standards for Outdoor LED Digital Signage

  21. Help! My sign isn't communicating! Steps to a solving communication problems.

Digital Signage Content:
  1. The New Expectations for LED Sign Content
  2. Professional Content is a Must!
  3. Real World Effects of LEDs per Pixel on Outdoor Digital Signage
  4. Time and Temperature on LED Be or Not to Be
  5. Quality LED Signs Managed Responsibly Improve the Community
  6. Professional Quality Content on LED Signs Benefit Resellers Directly
  7. How 'LinkedIn' is Digital Signage for you/your clients?
  8. Why DS Fails
  9. Keeping Content Current/interesting
  10. Ensuring text comes through LOUD AND CLEAR
  11. LED Signs & Free Speech
  12. Create a call to action with Digital Signage
  13. The benefits of PSAs (Public Service Announcement)
  14. Get the most from your website (Digital Signage is online as well)
  15. Being a good neighbor with LED Signage
  16. Content scheduling/creation (planning ahead)
  17. Use Content and Scheduling to Target Your Message On Outdoor and Indoor Digital

  18. DisplaysCustom Content -vs- "Stock" or In-House Content

  19. CMYK vs RGB and Other Design Factors for Digital Content on LED Signs.

Digital Signage Sales 101:
  1. Without a defined desire, there is no sale.
  2. ADAPT the sales technique
  3. Be a "go-to" person; know your LED Sign and DS information!
  4. What does Digital Signage Cost?
  5. Sell your company first, product second...
  6. Why Cheap LED Signs Sell Well But Fail
  7. Door to Door is Dead
  8. Sticker Shock Syndrome; dealing with cost objections
  9. LED Sign Sales- Closing Technique Suggestions- 1 of 3
  10. Closing Technique Suggestions- Installment 2 of 3
  11. Closing Technique Suggestions- 3 of 3
  12. Objection Handling Part 1 of 2
  13. Objection Handling Part 2 of 2
  14. Stop selling and start solving - Customer Centered Selling
  15. Better is Better, Always!
  16. Value Based Selling Is a Win for Local Sign Companies
  17. The cost of a system - Good/Quick/Cheap... Speed, Quality, and Price with LED Signs/DS Solutions.
  18. Wow Your Customer
  19. Build bridges, don't burn them
  20. Business Relationship Suggestions
  21. What Is True Customer Service?
  22. The Tech Train is Leaving the Station

  23. The importance of being "in" the know with Digital Signage

  24. Your Customers Return The Investment You Make In Them

  25. Keep it simple

  26. No Free Lunch, Only Buy and Sell Quality LED Displays

Why LED Signage?:
  1. Use Outdoor Digital Signage to Give Thanks, Spread the Holiday Cheer, and Grow Your Organization.
  2. Outdoor Digital Signage Helps Focus and Sustain Advertising to Potential Patrons
  3. A Road-Map to Success is Important With Digital Signage
  4. Common Misconceptions About LED Signs
  5. How an LED Sign can help business
  6. LED Signage earning potential
  7. Be different, Be Branded, Be Seen with Outdoor Digital Signage

  8. Power of Communication for Non-Profit Organizations

  9. Why Digital Signage is Important

  10. How plazas, malls, and multi-tenant locations benefit from LED Signage.
Costs for Digital Signage:
  1. How much can an LED Sign Cost?
  2. Short term gain, long term costs (cost of a "cheap" LED Sign)
  3. "Value Line" vs. Single Level of quality (i.e. why there aren't iPhone or Droid "lite" versions)
  4. Is an LED Sign (or any Digital Signage) an investment or a purchase?
  5. Selling the value of a Digital Signage Solution (LED Sign, LCD, or other)
Digital Signage 'How To':
  1. Networking Basics
  2. Securing Wireless ( WiFi ) Communications for LED Signs
  3. System monitoring obstacles and options
  4. Check The Power! Electrical Supply and Outdoor Digital Signage
  5. Basic LED Sign Troubleshooting and Logic
  6. LED Sign Permitting Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3
  7. Finding a reputable installer for LED Signage
  8. Sourcing the best LED Sign manufacturer for your business
  9. Calculating Power Costs
  10. Information on the National Electrical Code as applied to LED Signage
  11. Electrical Safety Certification Marks explained
  12. Different LED Sign Sales approaches
  13. Project Management with LED Signage
  14. Embracing new technology for business
  15. CRM/ERP Options for your business
  16. Simple LED Sign troubleshooting
  17. Importing from China (buyer be very wary).
Digital Signage 'Need To Know':

Quality vs Cost
  1. What makes a good LED Sign?
  2. How an LED Sign Manufacturer's Approach to Support Can Affect Your Reputation
  3. What's the best solution for a Digital Signage system?
  4. How an LED Sign Manufacturer's Approach to Design and Engineering Can Affect Installations
  5. China Manufacturing Stumbles
  6. When comparing LED Sign solutions (EMC/EDS/CMS/Etc), make sure you're getting what you expect
  7. Is Anything Really ‘Made’ in the USA?
  8. Domestic LED Sign manufacturers vs. off-shore
  9. Importing from China
  10. Low quality systems' affect on business
  11. Supply Chain Logistics on components
  12. Beware of a "bait-and-switch"
  13. The cost of going cheap on component choices from a manufacturer
  14. How an LED Sign Manufacturers Approach to Growth Can Affect Your Own

  15. Digital Signage Learning Curve, how to tell a good manufacturer from a questionable one

  16. China, Stack 'em Deep, Sell 'em Cheap

Warranty and After Service
  1. Isn't "The Cloud" the Same as Wireless Connectivity?
  2. Make your LED Sign Stand Out From the Pack
  3. Why cloud control for your LED sign is better than using localized software
  4. Notes on Successfully Implementing an LED Sign Program
  5. Why simple software is better with DS.
  6. FAQ about LED Signs for IT Professionals, End Users and the Industry
  7. New technology making things simpler with LED Signage
  8. Explaining LED Sign Technology Simply and Effectively to Your Audience Directly
  9. The Cloud, Cloudware, and LED Signs
  10. Statistical Analysis of the Relationship between On-Premise Digital Signage and Traffic Safety
  11. Exponential Growth for the LED Sign Industry?
  12. You Deserve to Make a Profit on LED Signs
  13. What does Web App/Cloudware mean for Digital Signage/LED Signs?
  14. Own It! Be The Trusted Authority on LED Signs and Educate Truth
  15. The Ghost of LED Signs past (the cost of going with the cheapest option)
  16. Digital Signage is more than a dynamic commercial - it's about communication.

  17. The Gold Rush Continues

  18. Financing & Leasing Options for DS

  19. Creating Lifetime Fans

  20. Demand Attention and Target Your Audience With Outdoor LED Signs

Vantage LED has white paper resources and more educational material on the website (, please check it out when you have a moment. Note all posts/thoughts/writings are strictly the viewpoint of me and me alone and do not reflect nor speak for Vantage LED’s beliefs, attitudes, thoughts, etc. unless specifically noted.

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