Directional Signs for Events: Why Every Event Needs Wayfinding Signage

The success of any event relies, in part, on signage.

The right signage helps ensure your guests have a positive experience. The wrong signage, however, can frustrate attendees and make it difficult for them to find what they’re looking for. That’s why event planners need to thoughtfully consider the kinds of signage their guests will need throughout the event.

And at the top of the list is directional signage.

The Importance of Event Directional Signage

Directional signage is a type of wayfinding signage that provides guests with clear navigation instructions. These signs help attendees navigate the event space, direct foot traffic to the event, communicate essential information to guests, identify venue zones or areas, and provide a smooth guest experience from the beginning.

Successful directional signs inform viewers of three things:

  • Where they are
  • Where they need to go
  • How to get there

Event directional signage is a vital part of providing a positive event experience for attendees. At the same time, they can be used as branding opportunities to display the theme of the event, highlight the helpfulness of your business, and set your company apart from the rest.

How to Make Directional Signs for Events

Every event needs directional signage so attendees, guests, and participants can find their way to and around the space, get to where they need to go, and have a positive event experience. That means creating effective wayfinding signage—which should be not only aesthetically pleasing and on-brand but also functional and informative—needs to be at the top of your event signage list.

Keep these tips in mind as you design and post directional event signage.

Provide a Mix of Indoor and Outdoor Directional Signage

Indoor directional signage helps guests locate check-in, restrooms, cafeterias, booths, and more. Outdoor wayfinding signs show attendees where to find parking lots, different buildings, and venue entrances. A mixture of both indoor and outdoor directional signage is essential to a positive event experience for your guests.

Make Sure Your Signs Stand Out

If your directional signage isn’t easy for your guests to see and read, they won’t notice it. Make sure your wayfinding signs grab the attention of passersby, stay unobstructed, and are big enough that they can be seen from a distance.

Give Guests Plenty of Notice

Don’t wait for guests to get to the entrance of the event venue before they come across a directional sign. You should give guests plenty of notice—start directing them as soon as they enter the event premises. Place wayfinding signs where attendees enter the parking lot, direct them to the event entrance, and show them where they need to go next.

Keep Things Simple

Directional signage should be informative. Keep it simple; otherwise, your guests could get confused or lost.

Start by staying on topic and sticking to one message on each directional sign. Use contrasting colors that are easy to read, add icons or symbols when possible, and be as straightforward as you can.

Consider the Backdrop

Where will the sign be posted? What does the backdrop look like? What’s happening behind your sign?

The last thing you want is for your carefully designed, informative, and tasteful directional signage to be displayed against a backdrop making it difficult for guests to notice or read. Consider the backdrop ahead of time to avoid clashing colors.

Reinforce Your Brand Image

Event signage—including directional signage—is a branding opportunity. Think about your company’s brand as you design wayfinding signs. Use the same color scheme, font, images, logos, etc. to reinforce your brand image. Alternatively, for events with their own branding, make sure the directional signs match the rest of the event materials so any guests walking by know that the signage is intended for event attendees.

Be Consistent

Whatever color, typeface, icons, or branding you choose, the most important thing to keep in mind is consistency. All of your directional signage should be consistent to give your brand and event a more cohesive look. Then, guests will have an easier time navigating the event space.

Use Arrows

If you are asked to picture a directional sign, an arrow most likely comes to mind. That’s because arrows are a classic feature of effective wayfinding signage. Use large, visible arrows whenever possible to create clear, concise, helpful directional signage.

6 Event Directional Signage Ideas

Just about any type of sign can be transformed into informative, helpful, and attractive directional signage. Here are a few of the most popular types of directional signage that you should consider when planning your next event.

1. Stair Wraps

Stair wraps are an effective and unique way to guide attendees through an event venue. Staircases and railing offer a lot of often unused space; why not use that space to inform and entertain your guests?

Stair wraps can also be used to help brand the event and venue. Stair signage that matches the branding of the event ensures guests that they are in the right place—and going in the right direction.

2. Barrier Signs

For busier events, guests often have to wait in line. Barriers are one way to funnel event attendees toward a certain place, like the venue entrance, a check-in booth, a concessions stand, or the event stage. Print or hang wayfinding signs on these barriers so guests know where they need to go.

Another thing to keep in mind is that directional signage is an important part of identifying where a guest is currently. There’s not much that can hurt a guest’s experience more than going where a barrier leads, waiting in line, getting to the front, and then finding out they’re in the wrong line. The good news is that informative, helpful barrier signs will help guests confirm they are in the right spot.

3. Banners

Banners are a multi-functional and affordable option for event directional signage. Retractable banners can be set up both inside and outside, are quick to put up and take down, and offer plenty of space for informative, branded content. Free-standing banners are perfect for placing in strategic spots around your event space. And this type of event wayfinding signage can be used again and again for different events, making them especially cost-effective.

4. Projections

Depending on the venue, you may not be able to hang signage from the ceiling or stairs, print decals on the floor, or post banners in high-traffic areas. However, if you have wall space, you can create a digital directional display and project it on the wall.

Projections are an eye-catching, customizable, and practical type of directional signage for events. You can have the projector scroll through different signs, change up the information based on the event, and even include interactive elements for guests who want to visit your business website or follow you on social media.

5. Floor Decals

What do guests do when they don’t know where to go? Often, their reaction is to check their phone. While they’re looking down, catch their eye with floor decals and graphics that provide wayfinding information.

Floor decals are a perfect way to direct the flow of traffic, guide guests to welcome tables, and give attendees directions to important event zones like restrooms, concessions, booths, and more.

More often than not, the floor of an event venue is unadorned with signage. Take advantage of this space and incorporate some helpful floor decals.

6. Yard Signs

Thoughtfully placed yard or lawn signs draw traffic to your event—both from people walking by and those driving down the road. Use these signs to point toward event entrances and exits, parking areas, and more. Even a simple yard sign placed in the parking lot and featuring the event name and an arrow will let guests know they’re at the right place, even before getting out of their vehicle.

Create Custom Directional Signage for Events at United GMG

At United GMG, we are a one-stop shop for all your event marketing, signage, and printing needs. Our experienced designers and printers are ready to help you determine what types of directional signage you need, design eye-catching materials, and print your event signage with our high-quality machines.

Contact us to get a free quote or call to speak to a United GMG representative today.

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