Why You Want A Mobile LED Screen At Your Next Outdoor Event

Event Tech Brief

Why You Want A Mobile LED Screen At Your Next Outdoor Event



By Michelle Bruno

Guests at indoor events—concerts, basketball games, and conferences—are accustomed to seeing giant display screens. Like oversized television sets, the screens can project a performance to the cheap seats, play commercials, and even show a PowerPoint presentation. At outdoor events, giant video displays are possible, but the set up requires a little more ingenuity and cost. It’s a problem when there’s nothing to mount them on, no permanent source of electricity, and daylight that impacts viewability. One company has a solution that makes perfect sense.

Taking It To The Streets with Mobile LED Screens

A firm based in a suburb of Des Moines, Iowa is doing a brisk business in outdoor video displays. But rather than build a structure on which to mount a giant screen, they just drive it in on the back of a vehicle. Insane Impact has a fleet of mobile LED screens. The displays range from twelve feet to forty feet in width. They are mounted on vehicles of all sizes, including the tiny Insane Terrain Vehicle, scissor lifts and modified straight trucks. The company can also build towers of two-by-two-foot panels knitted together into different shapes like triangles and archways. On those, software projects one contiguous image across all the smaller screens. 

Screens Made For The Rough and Tumble

Advances in light-emitting diode (LED) technology as well as the ruggedness of the screens make it possible for Insane Impact to deliver a digital experience outdoors. Every pixel in the display is a single diode that can emit the three colors needed to reproduce any digital image. The screens are two-and-a-half times brighter than sunlight (unlike indoor screens). They are also outdoor rated, which means they can take a substantial beating from rain and sun—the company doesn’t even cover them in transit.  They can also take a direct hit from an eighty-mile-per-hour fastball or a 400-yard drive off the tee from a pro golfer.

Mobile Screens Drive More Income

Outdoor displays can be profit centers, explains Brad Veach, Insane Impact’s vice president of technology. For example, the largest screen (17 feet wide) that fits on a scissor lift rents for about $6,000 per day. It could replace any number of vinyl banners of the same size at $800 to $1,200 per banner by allowing the images to rotate. It can project live video feeds, television commercials, or branded videos—all advertising and sponsorship revenue opportunities. Because it can be placed in locations that can’t easily accommodate traditional banners, event planners can charge a premium to advertisers, while saving money on the setup labor. 

Double Dipping With Mobile Displays

The versatility of outdoor digital displays, especially the mobile ones, is what really sparks the imagination. At marathons, Insane Impact can park a mobile screen at the starting line for the first four hours, project live news coverage of the event (as they did with NBC at the Chicago Marathon), and then drive it to the finish line well before the first runner crosses. Outdoor displays are used at tailgate parties (even fans without tickets can still watch the game), music festivals, golf tournaments, groundbreaking ceremonies, and all types of fan and brand experiences. They can even be used as giant game stations or social walls.

The Experience Is Insane

One way to understand the impact of large screen digital displays is to imagine any outdoor event without them. The addition of digital imagery and sound can have a profound impact on the attendee experience. But as with all outdoor events, the high set up costs for such experiential luxuries—even if they do generate revenue when managed efficiently—is a pain point. That’s why fully contained mobile LED screens that require minimal setup are such an attractive option for event organizers. Besides, “the huge impact of what we do for any event is insane,” says Veach. There’s that.




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