One of the key elements of a successful hotel guest experience revolves around communicating the right information to guests at the right time. Despite operating some of the most prestigious resorts in Las Vegas, MGM Resorts International had relied on costly non-dynamic static media.
In seeking to identify communications challenges, we studied guest patterns and conducted pilot tests of new communications concepts. It became clear there was the need to promote in-house clubs, restaurants, bars and shows in order to set MGM apart from its competitors. Static posters lacked the media-rich environment that digital signage brings to the forefront, and we wanted to use dynamic content to promote each venue’s unique flavor to keep our guest from straying outside of the MGM facilities.
Many communications challenges were addressed, including the need for interactive way finding, end caps, overhead directional and digital menu boards, by installing a digital signage network, using large-screen LCD displays from NEC Display Solutions. MGM Resorts Multimedia team had familiarity with a variety of display manufacturers, but NEC was ultimately chosen based on past experiences with its high reliability, quality and industrial-strength design.
In all, there are roughly 700 NEC displays deployed throughout the MGM properties, ranging in size from 32” to 82.” The NEC digital signage allows engaging content to be scheduled throughout the resorts. Content is managed remotely by an internal team, which controls hardware, software, content and scheduling on a 24/7 basis. Apple’s Mac Mini is relied upon for players connected to the displays, and a special Mac version of Four Winds Interactive’s software for scheduling content.
MGM Resorts now has digital menu boards at more than 50 restaurants, which utilize NEC’s 32” and 40” LCD displays and Richardson Electronics’ touch overlays. Restaurant staff is able to change menu specials and line items in real-time through an internal web portal, which then automatically updates the signs without needing to engage the content management team. Guests also can make dining reservations, review menus, and view images.
Our latest resort, City Center uses more than 100 32”, 40” and 46” NEC displays for interactive way finding, menus and advertising highlighting the complexes, attractions and amenities.
The MGM Grand lobby now includes a video wall comprised of 48 NEC 55” ultra-narrow displays designed to entertain and educate guests. One of these 4x4 video walls displays a Twitter feed for guests, which includes interactive content that promotes high-profile events such as concerts, conventions, UFC fights and other major sporting events.
Lastly, the hotel staff uses digital signage to view employee information, such as health benefits, 401K program details, employee discounts and upcoming employee events through an internal communication system known as METV (MGM Resorts Employee Television).
MGM Resorts is planning additional implementations of NEC digital signage throughout its properties and continue to test new uses for the medium, including the incorporation of more social media screens and multi-touch video walls.
Randy Dearborn is Vice President of Multimedia & Guest Technology at MGM Resorts International. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.