Neutron Science


SNS Lobby Display wins Platinum MarCom Award

This interactive, informational display at the Spallation Neutron Source has won a Platinum Award in the Ads/Trade Show Exhibit category of the 2013 MarCom Awards.

More information here.

The Spallation Neutron Source Lobby Display has won a Platinum Award in the Ads/Trade Show Exhibit category of the 2013 MarCom Awards.

In preparation for a review by the DOE Office of Basic Energy Sciences in August 2013, the Neutron Sciences Directorate Communications and IT staff were tasked with updating and improving the communications tools in the lobby of the main SNS office building. This assignment was in collaboration with a larger project to make better use of the large space, making it more inviting for guests and staff by encouraging them to linger in the area for informal  discussions, etc.  The plan was to add furniture, interesting graphical displays, and education/informational materials.

At the time, the area contained only a large poster with a layout of the SNS facility and how it works and the occasional poster on an easel announcing an upcoming event. The large SNS poster was used weekly, sometimes even daily, primarily for guided tours. This large poster was expensive to update and reprint and blocked a lot of the natural light coming into the lobby.

A small NScD team worked together and, working with an outside display company to implement the design, came up with a plan for an 80-inch, high-quality video screen that could be used to replace all of the information (such as facility layouts and equipment, operational, and aerial photos) on the large SNS poster that was needed for tours. The screen is now the focal point of the lobby and invites visitors to come take a look. In addition to its initial primary goal of being used for tours, the screen is used for other information including videos of how the facilities work and instrument information. A rotating slideshow provides information about current and recent research; facility activities such as special events and equipment upgrades; and photos of various groups and teams within NScD, making it easier for staff and visitors to get to know their colleagues. This media is easy to update, and plans are in the works to add more videos and educational/informational materials.

In addition to the screen display, a high-tech-looking graphic display in the middle of the lobby invites people to come examine the work and read the description of the research the image was taken from. The display serves to separate the viewing areas of the lobby from the “socializing” area, while also providing information about neutron science. This display was designed in a way to make it easily updated at a minimal cost.

What makes this achievement significant is that it has helped transform what was basically wasted space into an engaging area where people can comfortably linger and learn more about neutron science at ORNL. Moreover, moving to more modern media, such as the audio-visual media center, has made maintaining communication and tour information not only more engaging but more economical to maintain. The addition of these communications materials in have provided a new venue for NScD to reach out to visitors, as well as staff, and provide up-to-date, visual information about the importance of neutron science and how it’s impacting, and improving, our everyday lives.

This information and more pictures of the display can be found here.


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