Large corporate events (such as conferences, seminars, product launches, and trade shows) that take place in big venues require a lot of planning. Gatherings of these types also call for numerous fixtures and fittings that create the right ambiance inside and outside the site as well as help enhance the comfort of all attendees.
These additional features will also help make it more convenient for guests to do things, including navigating the venue.
These navigating features come in the form of wayfinding signs.
The Importance of Wayfinding Signs in Events
Wayfinding signs are types of signage that provide direction. They help people find their destination with ease without the need to use traditional and digital maps.
In events, the main purpose of wayfinding signage solutions and displays is to guide guests and give them directions.
If the event venue is located somewhere within a maze of streets and alleys or is simply hard to find, wayfinding signs will play an important role in directing the guests to the right area. These features will also help the attendees know exactly where they can park their vehicles, enter the building, etc.
In addition, these features can provide the attendees with essential details such as seat maps, activity schedules, and safety and vendor information.
What’s more, during an event, these signs can also help accomplish the following:
#1 Direct traffic flow
As the organizer, the last thing you want is a disordered event where crowds of people are simply standing or loitering around everywhere. Although they are free to do so, the chaos could affect the program schedule and the outcome of the gathering.
It will reflect poorly on your company’s ability to plan an event. Additionally, all the disorder could become safety and health hazards.
You can use wayfinding signs to guide traffic in particular directions or locations. For instance, if you want the guests to proceed to another section of the venue, put up signage that will lead them to this area.
In case you have designated break rooms or smoking areas for the guests, make sure they know where to find these by using prominent wayfinding signage.
#2 Promote brands, products, and services
Aside from providing directions, wayfinding signs can be used as marketing tools, too.
With the right wayfinding signage design, you can incorporate your brand, products, and services in the signs. This will increase brand recall among the guests and inform or remind them of what you offer.
Additionally, you can give the event sponsors and other companies interested in gaining some publicity the opportunity to use the signs as advertising tools. By doing so, you can split the bill for some signage and avoid shouldering the full expense.
#3 Give the guests an immersive experience
By being creative with the design and placement of the signs, you will boost the interest and engagement of the attendees.
You can do this by placing signs in unexpected locations, such as on the floors and near stairways. Aside from serving as navigational guides, the additional message, brand logo or image will catch the eye of the guests.
The inventive designs and placement of the signs will encourage many attendees to engage immediately with you or the sponsoring company. They will encourage brand awareness as well.
Tips for Designing Event Wayfinding Signs
To come up with the best wayfinding signage for a successful event, consider the following tips for designing them:
#1 Establish a budget
Wayfinding signs can be pretty expensive. To avoid breaking the bank for this particular event component, set a limit on how much you should spend on their production.
With this budget, you will know the quantity of signage you need to have produced.
If you want to ask the event participants or other companies if they are interested in promoting their brands through the signs, do this early so that you can include their payments in your budget forecast.
#2 Inspect the venue
Before creating the designs or speaking with wayfinding consultants, take a tour of the venue. Take note of the size of the building and the best way to drive foot traffic inside and outside the area.
Consider the elements of the weather in the venue location, restrictions, labor requirements, power needs, and other factors as well.
By conducting a site inspection beforehand, you will know if the budget you have set is sufficient for your signage plan. It will also help you create a strategy for placing the signs.
#3 Create a wayfinding plan
During the site inspection, take note of what signs should go where, why they should go there, and how they can be positioned there.
Make sure all signs serve their main purpose, which is to give the guests direction. As such, they should be placed in key areas such as in the venue entryway, front door, registration table, etc.
While touring the venue, put yourself in the attendees’ shoes. Think about how a particular sign will be able to help you find your destination or points of interest in the most effective and efficient way possible.
#4 Tell your story
Since wayfinding signs can also serve as promotional material, use them to tell your story. Incorporate images or short messages that inform people about your brand, product, or service or to take action.
Be creative with the design and brand-related message to create unique experiences that deliver on your goals. Make sure it will encourage people to engage with you.
Lastly, ensure that the design and additional message reflect your brand and event goals
If you are having a hard time coming up with a good design for your wayfinding signage, you can always get help from wayfinding consultants. With their assistance, you will have perfectly designed signs that will reduce confusion and chaos. These will be excellent marketing tools as well.
Zak Zakaria is a Waymaker at dezigntechnic in Dubai who also previously worked as the company’s Graphic Designer and Art Director. Zak is a creative with work experience in multiple multinational agencies such as JWT and Saatchi & Saatchi. Signage design is a family business, making Zak’s personal experience with signage his longest professional commitment.