Top 7 Interactive Waiting Room Ideas

We have seen a shift in how people place value on a service – where once people were only concerned with how effective their treatment was, now they are concerned with how fun or enjoyable their experience in your care was as well.

As a business owner, you see the value in the services you offer because you are delivering a product or service you are both skilled at and passionate about. Patients and their families will appreciate your skill once in your exam room, but what about the time they spend in your waiting room?

By providing the visitors to your office an engaging atmosphere, you can get a jump start on establishing positive relationships with patients the second they walk through your door.

Create a Positive Patient Experience with these 7 Interactive Waiting Room Ideas

1. Welcome Your Patients to the Office with a Smile

In our technological age, we understand how tempting it is to bring digitization into your business, especially when you have already worked hard to provide external digital affordances like an informative website, online booking calendars, chatboxes, or even mobile diagnostic apps. As a result, mobile check-in services and electronic kiosks are enticing to implement to save on resources… but where’s the interaction?

There is an unmatched value in staffing your waiting area with a wonderful individual or team to greet your visitors who want to have some human interaction, rather than relying on a virtual receptionist.

These individuals are the first people your clients have interaction with inside your business and as such, should be thought of as the face of your company. They can brighten your visitor’s first moments in your space with a positive and cheerful interaction. It is this interaction that can impact their frame of mind heading into their appointment.

Face-to-face interaction extends the convenience of connectivity and this is essential to building genuine trust and loyalty that your clients will have with your business.

2. Add Digital Entertainment to Your Waiting Room

However, after saying digital greetings are impersonal, we must assure you that digital conveniences aren’t all bad.

People are eager to have an exciting outlet to take their mind off waiting, which is typically a mundane experience. Whether it’s a theater experience, video game tablets, or something more special like an interactive floor projection game, digital entertainment is a way for guests to disconnect from the mundane waiting process and connect with the fun vibe of your office experience.

Cozy theater space for your waiting room.
Fun theater area for the whole family.
Video game station for children and teens.
Floor projection game for kids.

Visits to medical environments can often be anxiety-inducing. Offering a moment of relief through a funny movie, thrilling video game, or interactive simulation can make waiting feel like an opportunity to relax and feel secure in the space they are in. Additions like these have been uniquely constructed in office spaces for both children and parents to engage with and feel welcome by making them feel like they are a part of the space.

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3. Active Waiting Room Play Areas for Kids and Tots

Like the theater and gaming areas discussed above, another interactive convenience you can add if you have a child-friendly business is a play area with active entertainment like slides, KeeBee playboards, an I Spy wall mural, or even a giant Litezilla light board.

Slides to help burn off energy.
Playboards for younger kids.
An I Spy wall mural with hidden pictures.
Litezilla giant lite brite.

If you cater to both kids and adults, you can create a special kids area or playroom just for them. IDS designers are experts at helping offices create a memorable space that is equal parts fun and functional.

A designated room for kids with a themed entrance.
A play structure for kids to play inside.
A divider wall in a large room creates a play area for kids.

Telling a child to sit still and wait is a taxing job. Parents will be appreciative of a space for their children to escape and play while they can relax knowing their kids are in a safe and fun environment.

4. Entertaining Education for Kids

While keeping kids occupied with different activities, why not add some education into the mix? Any dental office can benefit from a tooth brushing station where kids can practice brushing and flossing. A tooth model with some icky cavities shows kids why brushing is so important.

Interactive brushing model for kids.
Interactive tooth models showing healthy teeth, cavities, and roots.

Kids can play and learn at the same time, helping them remember the lessons of the day when they get home to brush their own teeth.

5. Charging Station and Free Wifi

When children are distracted by your engaging entertainment, parents have a moment to themselves and will turn to their own entertainment – their phones. Supplying your waiting room with a charging station and a free wifi hub is a thoughtful way to offer additional convenience to your visitors while they wait.

Wireless charging has improved by leaps and bounds, so don’t think of a charging station with a mess of wires. You can even add a charging table with hidden wireless charging spots to your waiting room.

Wireless charging is easier than ever.

Providing your guests with a hotspot is an enticing opportunity for your guests to share their whereabouts which will extend the name of your office out into the community. Maybe they will share a picture of their little one having a blast playing on the slide or a video of them making an artistic design on the LiteZilla lite brite.

6. Photo Ops for Your Guests

Create a social media moment and give your clients something to pose with while they wait. Photo ops are a great interactive form of entertainment that doubles as a marketing tool for your office. Parents will share photos of the fun time they and their kids had at your office with their friends and family.

7. Refreshments and Snack Stations

For an extra indulgent treat, supplying your waiting room with a snack hub can make or break a patient’s patience.

We have made a few tasty stations over the years. A few of our clients even have ice cream machines!

A few tips:

  1. Make sure there is a variety – ensure you have options that are healthy, allergy considerate, tea & coffee, sweet & salty. Your guests will be wowed and appreciate the thought behind the options.
  2. Have a suggestion box – pique their interest and have them looking forward to their favorite tasty treat when they return next.
  3. Brand your items – create custom stickers for your water bottles or tag your snacks with a thank you note. This additional step will leave guests feeling valued and aware of the extra mile you go for them and their comfort. 

At the end of the day, just show your clients who you are – the most caring provider in your community! Take these tips and modify them to suit you best and your clients will have no trouble recognizing the effort you put into your practice and space to make them feel involved and appreciated.

Including them through interaction with your space is an open invitation for them to return.

Check out these related resources for making your waiting room a fun place to spend some time:

Tips to Make Your Dental Practice More Inviting for Pediatric Patients

Top-Shelf Anxiety Books for Kids to Add to Your Clinic Waiting Area

Contact Imagination Design Studios (IDS) to get started transforming your office into an anxiety-free dental experience for kids.

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