Alternative uses for Portable VMS

With over 9 years in the industry, we have seen many uses for our portable original 5-colour Bartco VMS units.

There has never been a time that has challenged and pushed our sign’s capability more than during the pandemic and as a result, we wanted to take the opportunity to shine a spotlight on some of the more interesting uses of our signs that we have seen outside of the traditional applications.

Stadiums / Arenas

A core use of our signs is to communicate with high numbers of people at any one time. However, what information is being displayed and under what circumstances this communication takes place is extremely versatile, being able to accommodate a wide range of locations.

One application we have seen an increasing need for our signs is in Football arenas and Stadiums, who have been relying on our units to help convey a wide range of information, from match scores to helping to fight homophobia.

Using a portable VMS at a stadium ensures maximum exposure of your message and it allows venues without an integrated electronic scoreboard to use one that can be moved to the best location.

Likewise, for larger stadiums where there may be blind spots on a pre-installed display, our VMS offers an innovative, portable scoreboard that can be updated quickly and easily when the message needs to change. This was especially useful during the pandemic when audiences were more dispersed than usual due to social distancing.


We have seen some amazingly innovative uses of our signs in the retail industry recently, helping with practical and safety issues such as social distancing, queue management and informing customers of the store’s COVID policy before they enter the premises.

This was mainly applicable to the specific parts of the retail industry who were permitted to stay open in the height of the pandemic. They were required to ensure that the nation were not only keeping their fridges full, but also shopping safely for the benefit of everyone.

Phil Spencer, manager at New Leaf Plant Centre in Dronfield commented, “The unit and support from MVIS has been invaluable to our re-opening and has clearly reinforced our commitment to the Health & Safety of our staff and customers. […] It has given reassurance to all that they are dealing with a professional and caring company.”

Public Spaces

Along with basic communication, our signs are also adept at influencing behaviour. This can be done for a multitude of reasons but traditionally our VMS have been used to encourage drivers to travel at slower speeds or drive more carefully – usual traffic management applications.

During the significant social change of the pandemic however, new behaviours began to emerge, from dangerous rule breaking to anti-social actions such as littering in the few public spaces we were allowed to visit during lockdown, like at national and country parks.

Using our portable VMS in conjunction with our portable CCTV, site managers of public spaces were able to implement a VMS – CCTV feedback solution that could not only monitor the situation on the ground without requiring a physical presence, but could also use the VMS to feedback messages to visitors to help stop or even encourage certain behaviours.

Looking further afield than national or country parks, many public spaces around the UK saw the unique benefits of our signs for much needed crowd control and public information.

Whilst our signs are traditionally used for wayfinding and crowd control applications for some of the largest events in the UK, it is unprecedented for a national requirement to be this critical and widespread- using our signs to help control a global pandemic is certainly a diversion from the ‘traditional’.

Deploying our VMS on high streets and city centres gave the displayed messages maximum exposure, helping to spread important safety information at a very important time.


In the same way that our signs have been used to influence behaviour in public spaces, they can also be used to do the same in not-so-public spaces.

Protecting private property with our combined VMS / CCTV unit grants site managers visibility on a desired location along with a highly visual deterrent to warn trespassers away and that they are on camera.

For a security company, this option may be preferable to many other solutions they would traditionally go for and it may even be a suitable alternative to manned security options.

If you would like to learn more about our Variable Message Signs for your application, please contact us via our contact form. Alternatively, you can call us on 01629 580 570 to speak to one of our friendly team, or you can email us via