It’s funny how we walk past benches and street furniture almost every day but do we actually take any notice of them until we need a place to sit? In recent times, benches have become a lot more than just a piece of street furniture and for many organisations and consumers, they have an even greater potential.
Smart benches, which are becoming more popular, will allow businesses and organisations to identify the busiest areas for the placement of one of their upcoming stores or products due to its data gathering capabilities. With the insertion of a microchip, the popularity of certain areas can be monitored and reports produced detailing the footfall, which can then be sent back to the organisation to decide whether the location is worth pursuing.
The benches can also provide advertising opportunities that has the ability to increase brand awareness for organisations, therefore increasing customer enquiries and ultimately revenue.
For consumers, smart benches will allow them to charge their mobile devices when low, as well as providing Wi-Fi capabilities to browse the internet whether it’s to find a certain shop or restaurant or for accessing other functions on their mobile devices or laptop.
With the ability to include temperature controlled ventilated seating, smart benches would prove beneficial to consumers during the colder weather and would surely increase the demand for them. Especially given the colder, snowy weather we’ve recently experienced in Northern Ireland!
Following the recent launch of our very own Stellar Bench, designed and manufactured by ESF, which incorporates the above features, we attended the highly reputable IAAPA trade show in Orlando, Florida. Throughout the course of the expo, we spoke to many influential people in the theme park and family entertainment centre (FEC) industries where we provided information and visuals of the bench to intrigued visitors.
The bench received rave reviews from those we spoke to, with a selection recommending the product to their colleagues who were in attendance, one such contact being an industry specialist who we had previously reached out to speak to.
Not only did the contact tell us that they were interested in the product, they also informed us that the Stellar Bench had been included in their next tender, unbeknown to us although very welcome news indeed!
However, it’s not all about the Smart bench at ESF.
In early 2016, ESF partnered with former Ulster and Ireland Rugby Ace, Paddy Wallace for the release of the ‘Buddy Bench’ as part of the Paddy Wallace Fund for Autism. The Buddy Bench initiative was created for young children who want to meet and play with new friends or old friends.
The ethos of the bench is to promote kindness and teach children how they can help each other, cheer each other on and share with one another. Since its launch, the initiative has proved very successful with a number of schools in Northern Ireland taking part and requesting their very own Buddy Bench. It’s a great idea and one ESF is delighted to be part of.
So as you see there’s lots to be said when a bench is more than just a bench!