SEPTEMBER 17, 2020| SpeedPro Tri-Cities

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines social distancing, also called physical distancing, as maintaining a safe distance of 6 feet between people who are not from the same household. This is an effective way to keep from spreading airborne germs, both in indoor and outdoor spaces. If you’re planning an outdoor event, you should look for ways to encourage social distancing so attendees enjoy the event safely. We have five suggestions to help you accomplish this goal.


Because social distancing requires people to stand 6 feet apart, you need to determine how many people you can realistically fit in a space if everyone maintains this distance from each other. As the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) explains, you can calculate this by accounting for a circle around every person with a radius of 6 feet, equating to about 113 square feet per person.

If you already know how much space you have to work with for your event, divide the square footage by 113 to determine how many people you can safely accommodate. Alternatively, if you have a certain number of people you want in attendance, then you should choose a venue that is large enough to accommodate this number. Keep in mind that capacity recommendations or limits associated with a venue may not factor in social distancing, so choose a venue that is rated for a much larger number of attendees than you plan to admit.

To ensure you don’t exceed a safe social distancing capacity, you can require attendees to purchase tickets ahead of time and stop selling tickets once you reach your capacity, or you can sell tickets on-site and stop admitting people once you have reached capacity, resuming admission once some guests have left and numbers are down. Digital signage is a great option for notifying the public of the capacity status at your event since you can update it as needed.


Directional signage, also called wayfinding signage, is essential for any event. It helps guests know how to navigate the area and find the amenities and attractions they’re after. In this case, directional signage can also help tremendously with social distancing. Some examples of social distancing directional signs include:

  • Entrances and exits: If your event has specific points of entry and exit, you should use signage to identify these areas. This is especially important if you are using a people-counting device to keep track of the capacity at your event. Clearly marked entrances and exits also facilitate one-way traffic so you don’t have people crossing paths to enter or leave the event.
  • Standing positions in line: Whether people are lining up to get into the event, buy food, get on a carnival ride, or take part in any other activity, they are likely to forget about social distancing and stand tightly together out of habit. Floor decals on the ground placed 6 feet apart can show people exactly where they need to stand while they wait in line.
  • Traffic flow directions: At fairs and festivals, people often fill the streets, moving in various directions. This makes for plenty of elbow-rubbing and close contact. To help with social distancing, you can create one-way traffic patterns. Floor decals on the pavement or freestanding sign displays can help point people in the right direction.


For outdoor events where attendees are seated, such as concerts, plays or auctions, you should rework your seating layout to create more distance. Members of the same household don’t need to physically distance from one another, so you can still have groups of seats in close proximity, but allow for distance between seating groups, and have some seats by themselves for attendees who may come on their own.

Spread Out Seats

If your seats are permanently fixed, as in the case of an amphitheater, for example, you’ll need to rope or tape off some seats to create more distance between guests. For example, you might seat attendees in every other row, leaving the other rows empty. Be sure to create signs to make it clear to attendees which seats are closed off and which are available.


Many outdoor events involve a variety of activities and attractions. For example, at a local festival, there may be food vendors, local businesses, kids’ activities, and musical performances all in the same space. This level of variety is excellent in this case because it naturally encourages people to disperse and take part in different activities rather than crowding around one attraction.

Consider adding more variety to your event if needed. It can get confusing, though, if all these attractions run together. Mark off different activities, performances, and vendors using printed event tents. These tents provide a number of benefits for outdoor events. In this case, they can help disperse people to various areas. They also provide shade and shelter from the elements and provide a big opportunity for branding.

This is why custom outdoor event tents are the way to go over plain, generic tents. You can choose vivid colors and bold text to let people know from afar where to get drink tickets, sign up for a raffle, buy ice cream, and more. If you are a vendor or a business with a booth space at an event, an event tent with your logo will help identify your booth and raise brand awareness. To top it all off, event pop-up tents are fast and easy to set up so you can enjoy these benefits with little effort.


The CDC identifies signs and messages as important means to promote healthy behavior at events to help reduce the spread of viruses. We’ve already looked at using directional signs and branded tents for events, but there are many other types of signs you can install to share important guidance and reminders for your guests. Some outdoor signage types to consider include flagsbanners, and A-frame signs.

You can use these signs to encourage social distancing simply by reminding people to stand 6 feet apart from others. You can also use these signs to remind people to use hand sanitizer, wear a mask, or otherwise promote a healthy atmosphere at your outdoor event. You can also include signs at the entrance informing people that they should only attend if they feel well and should stay home if they exhibit possible symptoms of illness.


For custom event tents, directional signs, and other event graphics, partner with SpeedPro. With our nationwide printing and graphics network, we will help you create signage that is informative and eye-catching so you can host a successful event. Give us a call at 423.415.0780.

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SpeedPro Tri-Cities

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Julie Schwab & Ed Burns