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Rotary Club of Ancaster - A Digital Sign without the Sign

The Rotary Club of Ancaster, Ontario has taken a new approach to digital signage - no digital sign. They currently use their StrandVision Digital Signage exclusively on their website. This makes sense since members come together for meetings but otherwise communicate electronically. The website-based digital signage gives a dynamic way to constantly be available to Rotarians and also provides a way to communicate with the community at large. In this way the Rotary Club of Ancaster is able to promote its events, as well as its local and international charitable development work.

In an innovative twist, the Rotary Club of Ancaster has created an "Online TV" on its website, www.ancasterrotary.com. The StrandVision Digital Signage was added to the Club's existing website to provide a dynamic, animated information source that is prominently displayed on its home page.

Explained Lee Kirkby, the Webmaster, Director of Public Relations and Past President, "What the StrandVision tool has allowed us to do is update the site more efficiently. It's very easy to go to StrandVision to quickly keep the page current with messages and photos."

Sample of the Rotary Club Signage
The signage includes general information on what they are doing in Ancaster and in the Hamilton, Ontario area. It promotes upcoming events and can be immediately updated to show recaps and pictures of the events once they happen.

"We're also using the RSS module to feed information and news from Rotary International's Rotary.org site. It helps keep the site dynamic and gives us regular updates on what's going on in Rotary around the world."

Kirkby appreciates the flexibility and ease of use. Previously, he would update the site about once a month. Now, the digital signage component is updated every two weeks and immediately after events. "All of us in Rotary volunteer our time, so anything we can do to use that time more efficiently is good."

Reaching the public

One of the primary purposes of the website is to promote Rotary in the Ancaster area and the StrandVision Digital Signage helps in that regard.

"We're a small club and we don't have a big advertising budget, so we have to do most everything by word of mouth. By having the signage the way it is, it allows us to tell a bigger story and the StrandVision tool fits in very well with its ability to deliver information in a professional way and be updated very quickly with a lot less administration."

The website and digital sign provide an excellent forum to inform the public on Ancaster Rotary's Haiti Relief Fund and its Haiti Water for Life Project. This project was started by Ancaster member Roy Sheldrick in 1996. The program, which was established well before the world's attention became focused on Haiti following the earthquake, has grown to include many other Rotary Clubs and has raised more than $1.2-million.

The site with the digital sign has also helped recruit new members. "We've actually had people inquire about membership in the club because of the site."

Kirkby is exploring other potential uses that involve physical digital signs for business marketing. One is to place a signage display in a community center that would enable the Club to further promote its activities and sell advertising, while listing the center's upcoming events and announcements as a community service.

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