Why You Should Have Directional Signage at Your Next EventNOVEMBER 26, 2019| SpeedPro
Signs are a crucial part of our everyday life. They tell us things like how fast to travel on the highway, where we can or can’t park and how to find the restroom when we are out and about in a public place. We’ve all been there — full of directionless dread and scared to ask for help. Luckily, signage makes it easier than ever for people to know where to go.
Directional signage, one type of wayfinding sign, is an excellent tool for events like trade shows, conferences or conventions. Implementing directional signs for your event signage makes your business appear helpful and welcoming, while it also gets your name out there.
What Is Directional Signage?
As mentioned, directional signage is a type of wayfinding sign that many businesses use to display messages containing important information regarding direction. Wayfinding refers to information systems created to help guide users throughout an area the best and fastest way possible while enhancing their understanding and experience. A structured, successful wayfinding system should tell people where they are, where they need to end up and the steps they need to take to do so.
Wayfinding has four main types of signage — identification signs, informational signs, regulatory signs and, of course, directional signs. Identification signs don’t provide directions and instead are signs like “you are here,” telling people where they are and what major things surround them. Informational signs provide people with helpful details as they move toward their destination, such as signs along the highway indicating deer zones or construction zones. Regulatory signs notify people of essential rules and requirements in place, such as no parking signs or no smoking signs.
Directional signage is excellent for businesses that require a high degree of customization. You can get signs created based on your business’ needs, since they get printed on a different base substrate. In addition to providing directions, custom directional signs at your event can assign names to rooms or buildings, relay critical information or specify certain zones or areas.
- Provide directions: Directional signage can help direct foot traffic to your business or event and guide guests around the building once inside. Your business can add bold colors and arrows to directional signs to help them stand out and bring in even more traffic. For events, directional signage must direct guests where to go before they enter the building, from parking to door entry, to avoid guest frustration before the event even begins.
- Assign names to rooms and buildings: Assigning different names and numbers to different meeting spaces, rooms, offices and event halls in your building can help guests who have never been to your business easily navigate. Make sure to mark names and numbers, and that they match with the property names so anyone familiar with the building, from custodians to managers, can help provide directions.
- Relay critical information: For almost any question, a directional sign should be able to provide a useful answer. Directional signage is vital in communicating important information to guests, such as store hours, bathroom locations, parking rules, help desks and more. Guests don’t want to spend time seeking this information out, so your business needs to have it all readily available.
- Specify zones or areas: Directional signage can highlight different assigned areas, such as parking lots, drive-through lanes, waiting rooms or terminals. At any major event, parking can be a nightmare. Make sure your business has designated lots and spots marked so guests know exactly where to go and can have a smooth experience from the very beginning.
Why Use Directional Signage?
Directional signage can enhance any business’ professional appearance, while easing minds by guiding people on how to navigate in an unfamiliar place. While implementing directional signs might seem like a polite thing to do for first-time guests or customers, it’s much deeper than that. Through directional signs, your business can make guests feel welcomed, provide reassurance by pointing them in the right direction and enhance your business’ branding.
- Directional signs to welcome guests: With signs telling visitors exactly where to go, guests can breathe a sigh of relief knowing they are in the right place. For events where there is a constant influx of people coming in and out, it’s essential to distinguish your business from the others and make guests feel welcomed. Using directional signage is a great way to accomplish both of these tasks.
- Directional signs to provide reassurance: Another critical duty of directional signage is providing reassurance to guests. Many people have anxiety when traveling to a new place, especially alone. The last thing they want to worry about is where to park or which door to use to enter. Answering any questions guests may have through directional signage allows them to navigate throughout the building quickly and easily. It gives them the assurance and confidence they need to relax to make the most out of your event.
- Directional signs as a branding tool: Using directional signage can distinguish your business from its competitors and put you at the top. With different permanent and temporary directional signage options, your business can switch it up or keep classic pieces around.
Studies show people tend to act on signs. For example, signs have proven successful in improving seatbelt usage, reducing collisions between deer and vehicles, reducing speeding and minimizing conflicts between pedestrians and drivers. Another study looked at the influence of floor plan complexity and several types of wayfinding signage within multiple buildings on a college campus. The study found the added signage resulted in a 13% increase in the rate of travel and a 50% decrease in wrong turns. Although event layout should still be of utmost importance, useful signage can help guests navigate a building with even the most complicated floor plans. Your business can take advantage of the different kinds of directional signage for its next trade show, conference or convention to guide guests and spread brand awareness.
Different Types of Directional Signage
Depending on how you want your business to make the most out of custom directional signage, you have some different options to choose from. Using a combination of various options, including indoor directional signs, outdoor directional signs and directional floor decals, is sure to enhance the guest experience at your event and benefit your business.
1. Indoor Directional Signs
You’ll find indoor directional signs in both private and public settings, including but not limited to places such as grocery stores, arenas, warehouses and large office buildings. Due to their vast array of uses, indoor directional signage is the most commonly used directional signage. This signage helps people get where they need to go quickly and easily. This signage is also extremely durable, making it a long-lasting winner for giving directions inside a building, signage for trade shows or directions toward an elevator. Indoor directional signage is also useful for:
- Locating entrances and exit points, including clearly marked emergency exits
- Relaying wheelchair accessibility, which is essential for meeting guidelines within the Americans With Disabilities Act
- Finding the different departments
- Locating the restrooms
- Discovering where separate rooms, offices or hall spaces are
- Guiding to cafeterias and lounges with vending machines
2. Outdoor Directional Signs
Outdoor directional signs serve all the same functions of indoor directional signs, just outdoors. Since these signs get exposed to the elements in a way unlike other directional signage, outdoor signs will often use a coating to shield them from the sun’s rays. This coating offers a layer of extra protection for outdoor directional signs and keeps them bold and bright. Your business can even choose from various signage laminates to protect it from harsh weather and to match the sign’s completed look. Outdoor directional signage helps locate parking lots and direct foot traffic along walkways and sidewalks for your event. Some additional uses of outdoor directional signage include:
- Informing guests of store or office hours
- Designating different buildings
- Finding terminal areas
- Locating entrances and exits
- Identifying different parking lot locations and their respective hours
- Indicating trails and paths
3. Directional Floor Decals
Whether you’ve become entranced in your smartphone, are waiting for a long line to clear or in a hurry and quickly navigating, your eyes are likely pointing toward the floor. Directional floor decals take advantage of this opportunity and catch people’s attention when they least expect it, from the ground up. Custom floor decals in indoor or outdoor environments are a unique method that allows your business to make the most of its floor space. They work like stickers — you peel them and place them around various locations that get a lot of traffic and, as a result, command attention from even the most passive passersby.
Directional floor decals typically consist of three main parts:
- The base vinyl layer, the flexible layer where images get printed on
- An anti-skid laminate coating, also known as the matte mask, which helps protect the design against any scratches, slips, skids, discoloration and more
- The strong adhesive layer, which binds the decal to the floor upon installation
Floor decals can help your business create a space heavily influenced by your brand by contributing to experiential design. These decals allow guests who step into your building to feel more at home and connected to your space. In addition to branding, directional floor decals guide traffic. You might see this method of directional signage used at grocery stores to label aisles or at outdoor outlet malls to identify storefronts. For your event, you could even use floor decals outside to label the preferred entry point. Labeling entry with floor decals prevents any guests from pulling on locked doors, which can affect how welcomed they feel.
Custom floor decals can also make your business more aesthetically pleasing. Decals accentuate a room, bring more vivid, vibrant colors into the office and serve as a more decorative element. As a result, your business breaks the mold of conventional expectations for office appearance and, in turn, can be both professional and lighthearted. Whether your business is bringing floor decals into the office for semi-permanent use or incorporating decals into your next event for a short time, they are sure to wow guests. Don’t know what to include on your decal? The options are virtually limitless. Floor decals can feature things such as:
- Logos, slogans or taglines
- Mascots or other company figures
- Geometric patterns and shapes
- Product pictures
- Industry awards or distinctions
- Quick facts about your business
- Mission statement or values
How to Make the Most of Directional Signage for Your Event
With all of the different directional signage options, it can be tempting for your business to want to dive right in. However, there are some crucial considerations your business must keep in mind before incorporating directional signage into your next event.
- Think about visibility: Your signage should be hanging in spots that are clear and easy to read, but also high up enough to remain undisturbed if that’s a concern. Signs should remain unobstructed, as guests may become frustrated if your sign is impossible to read. These directional signs should also give guests ample notice of the direction they need to travel in, so ensure you place them accordingly. To do this, your business may want to brainstorm all the possible directions people will be traveling from to determine the best placement for your signage.
- Keep things simple: Sometimes, less is more. Don’t try to incorporate more than one message on your sign, as it will likely confuse guests. Simple, bold fonts that are easy to read close up and far away are always great options. Paired with a color scheme that reflects the primary colors and shades of your business or brand, font and color are a winning combo. Any pictures, symbols or icons you use on your sign should be simple, straightforward and minimal, adding to the sign’s message. For events like trade shows, you could incorporate your business logo onto your directional signage to help you stand out from the crowd.
- Choose a smart backdrop: Don’t spend hours perfecting your signage, only to hang it on a wall where the background completely clashes with its design. Consider your backdrop ahead of time — what material is going behind your signage? Will the sign be freestanding, wall-mounted or a floor decal? Are you planning to hang signage around any other vivid colors or near other high-resolution images such as a mural? These are all things to factor into your decision, so your backdrop doesn’t interfere with guests’ ability to focus on your signage.
- Know what you need: Consider whether your directional signs are for permanent use or temporary use. Placement will help you decide whether you want to use an a-frame sign or mount a sign with standoffs, screws or adhesive. You must also consider quality, however, as 68% of consumers believe a store’s signage directly reflects the quality of its products or services.
- Consider Velcro: Since traffic patterns can be unpredictable, your business could use fabric fasteners like Velcro to create some general direction signs that could adjust flow direction as needed. Considering you can also use Velcro to repurpose your signs for other future events, this fastener provides an extra amount of flexibility to your signage.
- Think about lighting: As directional signs typically use vinyl, plastic or glass substrates, you want the indoor lighting to illuminate and accentuate your designs, not cause a harsh glare. To avoid glare, place signs near wall sconces, picture lights or LED wall lights for more even light distribution that makes your sign easy to read in any lighting situation.
- Don’t entirely rely on signs: With all the talk about signs and how they can virtually answer any directional question a guest may have, it’s essential to remember that even the best signage can’t replace human contact. As great as signs are, you still need to make sure to staff events with people prepared to direct guests and answer any question with a smile on their face.
With these things in mind, your business is ready to go and take the next step toward directional signage for events. Here are some other unique ways to incorporate custom directional signs in any event to ensure an impeccable guest experience.
- Stair wraps are a unique way to guide guests and can also be a branding opportunity for your business.
- Barriers create the path that funnels guests into an event toward check-in, so it would be a crucial place to include directional signs.
- Banners point out where you need guests to go, and are a budget-friendly option if your business repurposes them.
- Use the landscape to complement outdoor signage, or use the signage to cover any landscape imperfections.
- Projections can be an excellent option for events that may restrict hanging signs, but have plenty of wall space.
- Handwritten boards for things like seating charts when guests are inside a room provide a personalized touch that may make guests feel more welcomed.
- Signposts are great for significant events to direct traffic flow and help guests who are unfamiliar with the space know where to go.
Need Custom Directional Signs for Your Next Event? Contact SpeedPro Today
Your business can expand its branding efforts while giving clear-cut directions that ensure guests feel welcomed with custom wayfinding and directional signage. Wayfinding signs are part of our everyday life and vital to our daily travels. At SpeedPro, we can provide custom signs and graphics for your business to outshine its competitors. With custom signage, an otherwise straightforward message can go a long way. Don’t wait to make an impact at your next trade show, conference or convention. For unmatched timeliness, professionalism and product, find a SpeedPro near you or request a quote for your custom wayfinding and directional signage needs today.