Case Study: Wayfinding in Action

The Fredericton Convention Center 12/16/2010 7:22 AM Eastern

Case Study: Wayfinding in Action

Dec 16, 2010 12:22 PM

The Fredericton Convention Center

 Wayfinding 101

Fredericton Convention Centre Wayfinding System

PSAV Presentation Services based the Fredericton Convention Centre’s new interactive digital signage system on X2O Media’s Xprensenter platform. The touchscreen allows guests to access information about events, facilities, and amenties via a number of strategically located 46in. HD displays.

The city of Fredericton is the capital of New Brunswick and home to Atlantic Canada’s newest meeting and convention facility, the Fredericton Convention Centre (FCC). Fredericton is known widely as a smart, innovative community, and its citizens wanted a state-of-the-art interactive digital signage system to reflect this aspect of the city’s character.

In the conceptual phase, the designers of the FCC envisioned a touch-screen system that would not only provide a wow factor for visitors, but would also offer them a better experience in getting to meetings and taking advantage of the FCC’s many amenities.

On a given day, the FCC will host hundreds of meetings, held by a variety of companies. The digital signage solution needed to serve as an intuitive guide to the events taking place throughout the facility and give attendees the up-to-date event information through a visually engaging and highly responsive interactive interface.

The commission went to PSAV Presentation Services, a supplier of AV and event technology equipment to hotels and other institutions. Basing its system on the Xpresenter digital signage platform from X2O Media, PSAV installed a digital signage network that models a modern version of what’s possible: advanced touchscreen technology, interactive wayfinding, 3D animated maps, weather, news, flight information, and more.

The Visitor Experience

The FCC’s touchscreen system enables guests to access information about scheduled events, facilities, and amenities via any of the strategically located and vertically oriented 46in. digital HD displays. When these displays are not in use, a virtual greeter—the FCC’s marketing manager, in fact, dressed appropriately for the season and in harmony with the surrounding décor—invites guests to touch the screen. In addition to a watermark explaining how to use the system, a series of 3D animations demonstrates how the screen works.

Upon choosing their preference of English or French, guests are given a variety of options. They can go to a landing page that lists their company’s meetings, times, and locations. By clicking on a meeting, they can use the wayfinder feature to view the path to their desired location, while exploring available amenities along the way. Everything from the way the map flies onto the screen to the way it positions the viewer gives the map an unusually realistic and engaging feel.

Another page shows information on local area attractions around the convention center in a Google Maps-type application. By simply clicking on a point of interest, visitors can view directions to the desired attraction from their location. A realtime text ticker at the bottom of the screen provides live weather forecasts and news reports, RSS feeds, personalized messaging created by FCC staff, and regularly updated flight arrival and departure information for the nearby Fredericton International Airport. Throughout the FCC, 19in. screens in front of every meeting room show the name of the current meeting and schedule of events.

Case Study: Wayfinding in Action

Dec 16, 2010 12:22 PM

The Fredericton Convention Center

Interactive wayfinder maps

FCC’s interactive wayfinder maps feature start and end points and animated directional arrows that indicate the desired path. To ensure that the most current meeting location information is presented, Xpresenter was integrated with FCC’s event management system.

Bringing it All Together

PSAV served as project manager for the digital signage installation, developed the master signage plan, determined size and placement of every sign, and managed all screen installations at the FCC. PSAV, an X2O Media partner, delivered a solution based on the Xpresenter platform specifically geared to the hospitality industry; X2O’s Xpresenter is a complete suite of applications designed to streamline the process of creating and managing digital signage content while delivering broadcast-quality graphics and videos.

A key feature for the FCC was the interactive wayfinding maps with start and end points and animated directional arrows that indicate the path. To ensure that current meeting location information is presented to attendees and that expired events are automatically taken off the screens, Xpresenter enables each display to integrate with and access data directly from the FCC’s event management system.

Likewise, integration of live data feeds such as weather conditions, news, and flight arrival/departure data allows screens to be updated automatically with content relevant to the visitor. Without the need for FCC staff to manage scheduling and perform data entry for event details, meeting room updates, and other announcements, or to update dynamic content, the digital signage system improves the accuracy of information, frees up staff time for other tasks, improves overall operations, and lowers FCC’s administrative costs.

X2O Media also provided all creative design and graphics creation, enabling the FCC to offer fresh, branded messaging, as well as ad-based content, with a natural flow from page to page. X2O’s Creative Services team built professional templates and transitions specifically for the FCC, which drive the look and feel on all signs.

A unique aspect in the design and programming of the FCC’s digital signage system was a Fredericton ordinance that requires all public signage to be in French and English. With X2O’s smart template approach to content, the same templates are used for interactive pages shown either in French or in English, and programming provided by X2O enables immediate translation of text and format for everything from weather conditions to event names and text tickers. This powerful capability greatly simplifies the time and cost required to create a fully bilingual solution.


The screens were configured for the FCC in June 2010 and are currently being installed in the facility. The convention center will officially open in January, and there will be a soft launch this month.

“When designing the FCC, our goal was to create a space where the technology was thought out very well and incorporates the same, if not better, advanced technologies you would find in convention centers for larger cities,” says Mike Richard, vice president of operations for e-Novations ComNet, a municipal corporation owned by the city of Fredericton that oversees the city’s many digital signage networks. “We want FCC visitors to be able to go to any other convention center in the world and say, ‘Hey, they have that in Fredericton.’”

Richard says that the results at FCC, in terms of quality, ease of use, and time and money savings has convinced them to undertake a process to change Fredericton’s other digital signage networks to run on the Xpresenter platform as well.

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