There was resistance the first time Ryan Wilhelm suggested a retail outlet in an airport put in an LED screen.

The owner was worried the dwell time, the amount of time customers spend in the store, would go down. Instead, having the information in-store about when their flight would be leaving and how long it would take to reach the gate gave fliers the peace of mind needed to stay for longer.

Now, Wilhelm, Regional Sales Manager for Unilumin, is seeing more airports adding LED screens, even with fewer travelers, as the pandemic offers an opportunity to make improvements.

“When you think about it, people would be shopping, and their dwell time went up three times at that point. They’re shopping and saying, “I can spend more money and spend more time here,’” Wilhelm said.

Upping the amount of time and money people are spending in retail outlets is hardly the only reason transportation centers are upgrading their displays.

An airport often serves as travelers’ first impression of a city, influencing the way people think about an entire place. That’s why economic divisions and tourism boards are utilizing LED boards for wayfinding, making sure arrivals aren’t puzzled as they look to find their luggage at the baggage claim or their Lyft from the ride sharing station.

Others are simply looking to make the airport look more pleasant.

“You can advertise your city, so the municipality’s economic development could be better, too,” Wilhelm said. “Some of them are not only for economic development, but for art. They’re putting that ‘tech-orating,’ that word everyone uses, they’re putting art there and using it as an art project.”

Then, not only do travelers understand where to go, but they’re also in a good mood as they head into their destination.

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