How digital signage could save UK swimming pools this summer

31 Jul 2020

2020 has not been the best of years for physical fitness. Gyms across the country have been shut now for months due to the COVID-19 pandemic and swimming pools have also been covered now since March. There has, however, been a thin ray of hope cast in our direction recently with the announcement that swimming pools and gyms can reopen on the 25th of July. But it’s not going to be a case of ‘business as usual’.

The official Government guidance is quite comprehensive, with measures including limiting the number of people using the pool at any one time, enhancing cleaning throughout the premises and “Considering how the way people walk through their venue could be adjusted to reduce contact.” And that’s just the cliff notes.

But before leisure centres up and down the country start panic buying floor stickers and ripping stalls out of the changing rooms, there is a more practical and elegant solution to consider: Digital signage. Because, while you might have believed that a combination of humidity and water would prove something of a death sentence for digital screens, modern digital screens are more than capable of handling the unique atmospheres of a typical leisure centre.

So, how could digital signage help to make the reopening of pools in just a few short days go (pardon the pun) swimmingly?

Health and Safety - First and foremost, digital signage can be utilised to make your indoor or outdoor swimming pool safer. This can be done by installing LED screens or health and safety signs in changing rooms to remind customers of social distancing and hygiene practices and to keep people at a distance. In changing rooms, traffic light systems could also be installed to ensure there are only a certain number of swimmers in the area at any one time.

Training tools - Poolside digital signage could also be used as a unique training tool for professional swimmers or those being taught to swim for the first time. For example, the University of Bath Sports Training Village installed a 60 inch LED screen enclosed in a watertight polycarbonate cladding that allowed swimmers to view themselves while training so they could improve their techniques. Signs could also be used to track times for competitive swimmers in training and plenty more besides.

Navigation - Controlling your customers is going to be of paramount importance in the coming months and a large element of that control is ensuring everyone is moving (quite literally) in the right direction. To ensure minimal contact between swimmers, not only should direct routes to and from the pool be outlined but swimming lanes should be segmented too.

Booking and instructional messages  - There is bound to be an influx of frustrated swimmers descending on pools come July 25, particularly if the weather is good. That means you’ll want to have a system in place that clearly states everything from prices to current capacity, as well as what is expected of customers. Digital signage is ideal here, particularly digital information screens, which can be used to display a variety of messaging.

Equipment systems - It’s going to be particularly important in the ‘new normal’ that all equipment is cleaned and sanitised after it’s used and before it can be passed onto the next user. This includes armbands and floatation devices for young swimmers as well as leisure equipment such as balls and rings. A digital signage system could be used to keep track of what equipment is being used and when it has been cleaned and ready to be redistributed amongst the swimmers.

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