How To Use Outdoor Signs And Pop Up Displays To Guide Attendees At Company Events

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Outdoor functions have very different requirements from their indoor counterparts, but one thing is constant between the two: the need for well-placed and clear directive signage. Guiding people around the venue is what makes the difference between a successful event and one that falls flat. That is true whether you’re hosting inside a hotel or convention hall, or outside on a field or at a county fair. Wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, having strong signing will always make it more effective. Indoor Vs. Outdoor SignsThe first thing to consider is whether you should buy pop up displays that will be usable indoors, or whether you might want to consider weatherproofed non-pop up units designed for outside use. The major advantage of purchasing a weatherproof unit now is that you’ll be able to move it outdoors later. Weatherproof stands don’t typically appear out of place when used inside, so many companies find it convenient to use one set of stands for both purposes. The right choice for your company will depend on whether you ever expect to run an indoor and outdoor function at the same time, and what your budget is. If you have a particularly busy exhibition schedule, purchasing indoor and outdoor signs probably makes the most sense. If you’re on a tight budget, inexpensive indoor pop up displays may be a good idea compared to slightly more pricey outdoor signs. The Initial Pre-Order WalkthroughBefore you can successfully place an order for any kind of signage, you have to know how many you’ll need. The way to determine your requirements is by walking the event grounds yourself ahead of time. You should carry a pad of paper with you and use it to mark down every turn. Note what direction the turn is, and whether there are multiple directions you could take (i.e., is the hallway dead-ending, or is it a T-intersection). These notes will help you determine what kind of sign will best fill the spot. Make careful notes of any intersections where visitors will have to choose which way to turn; if you’ve got a seminar to the left and a panel of experts to the right, you’re going to have to direct traffic very carefully.Planning an exhibition completely outdoors is even more complicated because you won’t have hallways to act as a natural channel. If you’re not planning to use a lot of signs for direction, you should use the booths or attractions to mark off clear paths. Without some kind of differentiation, you’ll find it almost impossible to guide traffic flow. Keep in mind that indoor and outdoor signs typically have the same basic forms, but the outdoor signs will be constructed from more weatherproof materials. You won’t need to account for substantially different designs in your indoor versus outdoor events unless you specifically want to alter the basic styling. Making Your Final ChoicesOnce you know every turn of your site, you’re ready to create your shopping list. Mark the easiest choices first: any place where there is only one direction to turn should have an arrow sign pointing in that direction, preferably printed with information about attractions that way. When choosing the sign, keep in mind how crowded you expect the event to be. If you’re thinking huge crowds, pick a taller sign. If you will be having a number of different events in each room, you might want to avoid printing information on the sign, and instead post frequent event guides near the directions. When you have a T-intersection, pop up displays may actually be a better choice for guidance. Although normally a bit larger than would be useful for guiding traffic, they can be printed with a full schedule of events and even a map. If it’s a particularly confusing intersection, have a staffer available to provide guidance. If your schedule is tight, having someone available for questions can help ensure that your attendees aren’t missing important information. Strong Planning Leads To SuccessTaking time to plan out these logistics may seem like a needless tedious exercise, but your attendees will appreciate it. Whether you’re expecting 10 people or 10,000, they will benefit from having clearly marked paths, and knowing exactly where to go. This entire planning process will take half a day or less at even the largest sites, and the benefit to your event will more than justify that small bit of time. 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Chris Harmen writes for Siegel Display. From pop up displays to outdoor signs, Siegel provides quality and value. 

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