Convergent and BrightSign Introduce °SafeStore Screen Control


Fully managed solution that enables touchless interaction with in-store large-screen displays using a viewer’s personal smartphone, reducing potential contact exposure to COVID-19

Alpharetta, GA – June 9, 2020 – Convergent Media Systems Corporation, a Ballantyne Strong, Inc. (NYSE American: BTN) company and award-winning leader in delivering digital signage experiences (“Convergent”), has teamed up with BrightSign LLC®, the global market leader in digital signage media players, to offer an integrated solution that delivers interactive digital signage experiences using the viewer’s phone to control content on a digital sign. This solution allows retailers, banks and other businesses to enable viewers to navigate and access information on a large digital display without touching it – thereby reducing potential exposure to COVID-19. 

°SafeStore Screen Control is a turnkey solution, complete with all the hardware, software and services necessary, including installation, support and maintenance for quick deployment and reliable operation at scale. 

“Retailers, banks and other enterprises had been investing in large-screen touch interactive experiences long before COVID-19,” said John Campbell, President of Convergent. “°SafeStore Screen Control now delivers touchless engagement without the need for contact with frequently touched surfaces or touchscreens.”

“This solution exemplifies how AV integrators can leverage our technology to create innovative digital signage solutions,” said Jeff Hastings, CEO of BrightSign. “This capability gives businesses a quick, cost-effective way to provide interactive experiences without the need to replace expensive touchscreen displays and lets partners like Convergent deliver greater value by providing sophisticated integration and content development services.”

“°SafeStore Screen Control also lets businesses leverage the viewers’ phones for advanced functionality, like registering for events, downloading and saving product information, and calling, texting and sharing via social media,” explained Greg Davis, SVP Sales & Marketing at Convergent. “This opens up a wide range of marketing opportunities for businesses to engage with their customers in new ways that enhance the omnichannel experience.”

°SafeStore Screen Control offers the following benefits:

Widely Accessible

Works with iOS or Android phones utilizing phone’s web browser, so no need to download an app.

Easy to Use

User simply joins WiFi and launches web browser, and user interface appears on the viewer’s phone.


Wide range of programming options to handle almost any controller/display content scenario, including use of the phone’s calling, texting, sharing and file downloading capabilities.


Use new or existing displays of almost any size, make or model.

  • Choose displays that best suit your budget and store environment
  • Various display mounting options (wall, pole, ceiling)
  • The user interface on the phone and the content on the display can be updated remotely

“Convergent brings over 35 years of AV engineering and creative expertise to the development of innovative solutions like our °SafeStore suite of products” said Campbell. “Our commitment is to deliver engaging digital experiences that combine function, scale and reliability.”

For more information on this and other °SafeStore products, visit www.convergent.com/safestore  or call (770) 369-9000.

About Convergent
Convergent Media Systems Corporation, a Ballantyne Strong, Inc. company, is changing expectations about how to create and manage digital signage experiences. With over 35 years of innovation, we challenge clients to think differently about how they engage with their customers and employees and the technology they use to do it. Clients rely on us to eliminate complexity by integrating and managing best of breed technologies into single source solutions. And our award-winning creative captivates, engages and motivates buyers. Today our digital experiences reach thousands of locations around the world and are seen by millions of people each day. More information is available at www.convergent.com .

About BrightSign

BrightSign LLC, the global market leader in digital signage media players, is headquartered in Los Gatos, California, with offices in Europe and Asia. BrightSign manufactures media players and provides free software and networking solutions for the commercial digital signage market worldwide, serving all vertical segments of the digital signage marketplace. From entry-level BrightSign LS players to BrightSign XT players offering state-of-the-art technology and unsurpassed performance, BrightSign’s products are known for their signature reliability, affordability, ease-of-use, and market-leading technology. For more information, visit www.brightsign.biz . Follow BrightSign at https://twitter.com/brightsign  and https://www.facebook.com/BrightSignLLC .

About Ballantyne Strong, Inc.

Ballantyne Strong, Inc. (www.ballantynestrong.com ) and its subsidiaries engage in diverse business activities including the design, integration and installation of technology solutions for a broad range of applications; development and delivery of out-of-home messaging, advertising and communications; manufacturing of projection screens; and providing managed services including monitoring of networked equipment. The Company focuses on serving the entertainment, retail and advertising markets.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release may include forward-looking statements, such as our expectations regarding future sales, the impact, length and severity of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the adequacy of the actions taken in response to the pandemic, which involve a number of risks and uncertainties, including but not limited to those discussed in the “Risk Factors” section contained in Item 1A in Ballantyne Strong, Inc.’s  Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019, the Company’s subsequent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the following risks and uncertainties: the Company’s ability to maintain and expand its revenue streams, potential interruptions of supplier relationships or higher prices charged by suppliers, the Company’s ability to successfully compete and introduce enhancements and new features that achieve market acceptance and that keep pace with technological developments, the Company’s access to capital, the Company’s ability to successfully execute its capital allocation strategy, the Company’s ability to maintain its brand and reputation and retain or replace its significant customers, the impact of a challenging global economic environment or a downturn in the markets (such as the current economic disruption and market volatility generated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic), economic and political risks of selling products in foreign countries (including tariffs), risks of non-compliance with U.S. and foreign laws and regulations, potential sales tax collections and claims for uncollected amounts, cybersecurity risks and risks of damage and interruptions of information technology systems, the Company’s ability to retain key members of management and successfully integrate new executives, the Company’s ability to complete acquisitions, strategic investments, entry into new lines of business, divestitures, mergers or other transactions on acceptable terms or at all, the Company’s ability to utilize or assert its intellectual property rights, the impact of natural disasters and other catastrophic events (such as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic), the adequacy of insurance and the impact of having a controlling stockholder. Given the risks and uncertainties, readers should not place undue reliance on any forward-looking statement and should recognize that the statements are predictions of future results which may not occur as anticipated. Many of the risks listed above have been, and may be further be, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, its impact on the cinema and entertainment industry, and the worsening economic environment. Actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking statements and from historical results, due to the risks and uncertainties described herein, as well as others not now anticipated. New risk factors emerge from time to time and it is not possible for management to predict all such risk factors, nor can it assess the impact of all such factors on our business or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statements. Except where required by law, the Company assumes no obligation to update forward-looking statements to reflect actual results or changes in factors or assumptions affecting such forward-looking statements.

Media Contact

Greg Davis
Convergent Media Systems
(770) 369-9071

Investor Relations Contact

Mark Roberson
Ballantyne Strong, Inc.
(704) 994-8279

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The Value of Digital Signage in COVID-19 Messaging for Retail


As retailers like you start opening their stores across the country, they face a new challenge… how best to assure your customers and employees that you’re taking the necessary precautions to protect them from COVID-19?   

Clearly, in-store signage is a critical component of this communication strategy, but given the dynamic nature of the situation, paper signs do not offer the flexibility required.  This is a perfect example of where digital signage can not only improve the effectiveness of your marketing communications but can also mitigate business risks. 

In approaching this new and unusual situation, you need to consider several factors… 

  1. Different markets have had different experiences with the pandemic, and this may call for different types of messaging  
  1. Certain states and cities have imposed legal requirements that need to be reflected in your messaging 
  1. Your policies may change over time, and you need to be able to change your messaging accordingly – possibly with very short notice 

Of course, just having digital signs in your stores doesn’t fully address these issues.  You need a way to create compelling content and distribute it to the right stores in a timely manner.  Having a capable digital signage Managed Service Provider with a skilled in-house Creative Agency that can produce on-message content and distribute it quickly and reliably will ensure that you’re able to successfully address these and other changes in the marketplace.  

For more information on how Convergent can help improve your in-store marketing communications, visit www.convergent.com

The post The Value of Digital Signage in COVID-19 Messaging for Retail appeared first on Blog by Convergent .

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Webinar Recording: NEC’s Business Intelligence Platform Drives Insight and Engagement

AV Everywhere

This webinar looks at NEC’s Analytics Learning Platform (ALP) and how it drives business intelligence so that retailers using digital signage improve the customer experience and increase their sales. The NEC ALP is device agnostic and designed to be the heart of a retail selling strategy. Richard Ventura of NEC Display explains the ability of ALP to:

  • Deliver actionable insights that shape efforts like marketing ads
  • Trigger content toward a person as they enter the store
  • Measure in-store engagement and compare different results from different stores
  • Benefit other industries and applications

AVI-SPL digital signage expert Richard Daugherty emphasizes the importance of content to maximize results that ALP will track, and discusses AVI-SPL’s ability to create that content.

Commercial Integrator editor-in-chief Tom LeBlanc leads this discussion, which includes a Q&A session with those who attended the live event.

Get the recording for “NEC’s Business Intelligence Platform Drives Insight and Engagement” >

To view our Partner blog, click here

Do Your Customers Know More Than Your Employees?



Retailers are the number one users of digital signage . All those video walls, kiosks, endless aisles, sales assist tables and other forms of signage add up to some 40% of the market. And retailers are expected to retain that position in the foreseeable future. 

Stores blanketed with digital signs mean customers often are well-informed about sales and product features. The question is, do they know more than your average retail employee? Given typically high associate turnover, the answer could be “yes.” 

And the irony is, the same type of digital signs that benefit stores on the sales floor can provide similarly positive results when they’re used in the back of the house, too. Better employee communication, training and engagement – all of which can be improved through digital signage – can lead to measurably reduced turnover and increased sales. 

First, let’s consider the role communication, training and engagement play in the retail workplace.

With cramped back rooms, different shifts, tiring work and the understandable focus on the sales floor, communication in a retail environment is a notorious challenge. However, excellent communication makes the difference between successful and unsuccessful organizations. As this article says, “Well-informed management teams and associates are the ones who make the service-profit chain work … Basically, great employees make satisfied customers and satisfied customers make profit.” 

Great training also makes a consistent difference to retailers. With turnover approaching or exceeding 60 percent each year in many stores, the time and expense of training new employees is a top operational issue. But it’s also critical for store performance. In a study  conducted in conjunction with University of Pennsylvania professor Marshall Fisher, the consulting firm Experticity found that sales by knowledgeable, engaged store associates brought in 69% more money on average than sales by those who weren’t.

As this retail blog  points out, “Just because an employee has previous experience does not mean they will understand what makes your store different. You have to tell them explicitly what you are trying to do with your customers and how it is different from every other retailer on your block.” 

Finally, part of the problem with retaining retail employees is connecting them to a company and its culture when they often work in widely dispersed locations, far from headquarters. Understanding employee engagement and creating workplaces that motivate associates for maximum performance is always tricky, but it’s even harder in companies where the workforce isn’t centrally located.

While a variety of elements  factor into engagement, positive relationships, recognition, a sense of purpose, opportunities for growth and concern for employee well-being are high among them. And as with communication and training, efforts to create an engaging culture pay off – literally. “Retailers that treat their employees as more than just an expense on the balance sheet tend to have higher retention rates, higher sales per square foot and lower store return rates,” the Experticity study showed.

So that brings us to the question: How can digital signage help?

Back-of-the-house digital solutions can’t create company culture. But they do provide a great delivery system for a wide variety of communications, training and engagement efforts that can.

A simple display on the wall and/or a kiosk in a break room can:

Convergent Wall Display & Kiosk breakdown table

Taken together, better communication and training and improved engagement help create a great employee experience. And to paraphrase one expert, a great employee experience can lead to a great customer experience, which is, after all, what retailers are after.

That isn’t news. But using digital signage behind the scenes might be. If you haven’t considered it before, think about it now. What do you have to lose? With employees and sales at stake, quite a bit, actually. 

Want to learn more about how to use digital signage to create a great customer experience in your stores? Download our white paper, Brick and Mortar Still Matters .


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