5 Ideas for Effective Educational Waiting Room Videos

From a customer service standpoint, waiting room videos serve several purposes. Waiting for an appointment at a medical clinic, government agency or any office can seem more tedious if people are not provided with a distraction to pass the time. Dead air in a waiting room can heighten the tension, encouraging people to needlessly ask the staff if it’s their turn yet. Young children especially need entertainment that will keep them engaged long enough to sit out the waiting time serenely. A thoughtful selection of videos that can be looped to play in the waiting room’s audiovisual system is also an indication that the institution is, at least, concerned about its customers and clients and imposing on their time schedule by making them wait. Giving people a chance to select the TV shows that they could play in the waiting room is not always a good option because there is a risk of disagreements and content selection that would be inappropriate for others in the waiting room.

1. Choose Content that is Appropriate and Interesting for a General Audience

Dedicated content that reflects the business of the office may help answer questions that people in a waiting room may have. Even when showing videos that are cued to the audience’s needs, such as informative content on proper tooth-brushing techniques in a dentist’s office, avoid the shock-and-awe approach. Imagery should be neutral, inoffensive and easy to understand. Using well-known personalities, including cartoon characters if the main audience will be children, is attention catching and engaging.

2. Present Ideas as Infographics

You can’t always count on the video’s sound recording to explain the content. In most cases, the sound is turned down to a barely audible level to maintain a pleasant ambiance in the waiting room. As such, it is helpful to present your content as easily decoded infographics that should be colorful, animated and dynamic. Zoom in on certain parts of the infographic to emphasize focus points, and make sure the video moves along at the right pace to allow enough time for the audience to read each part of the graphical presentation but not too slow that they lose interest.

3. Design the Presentation with Interactive Segments

Video content may incorporate interactive sections. The audience is more engaged when they contribute something to the process. In the case of videos in waiting rooms, you could have the spokesperson on the video ask questions of the audience. Allow a brief pause, as if waiting for the answer, before proceeding to the next section in the video presentation.

4. Incorporate Social Media Trends

Elements of popular culture will lure the audience into paying attention to a video in the waiting room. Incorporate witty reactions to trending topics and memes or co-opt popular trends as part of your content. This will ensure that your audience is able to relate to your content. In using memes, adaptation of trend elements and even in using celebrities as spokesperson, make sure that you content remains consistent with the message of the video.

5. Adapt a Minimalist Outline

The average attention span of adults is eight seconds with a potential maximum of 20 minutes for healthy individuals. The attention span for children is much lower. This information suggests that video presentations, no matter how informative and well-intentioned, should be presented in digestible segments. Divide a sprawling topic about auto insurance into 10 or 15-minute segments, making sure to have a distinctive beginning and ending shot for each segment, and your audience becomes more likely to stay interested and retain the intended takeaways from your educational video.

Take advantage of the unique marketing and educational opportunity that is inherent in video presentations shown in your waiting rooms. Choose content that is relevant to your mission or line of business, and prepare high-value content that is engaging and informative. Create video content that is interesting by incorporating elements that are relatable to your audience. Long wait times can be made more tolerable if people feel like they are doing something productive with their time by watching educational waiting room videos.