Many of us have attended a trade show and if we have a quick nose around there are sign points guiding us to the star attractions, food and drink stands and most importantly signage to the toilets. But if you take a step back signage is more important that you first think.
Signage is key!
It is the leader in influencing a visitor’s journey. Subtle but very powerful. Use signage to show the direction of flow around the event through to clever ways of pointing visitors where you want them to go.
Facing an unfamiliar environment for the first time can be daunting and scary. There is plenty of research to suggest visual clues and clever event layout can make the experience an enjoyable one for all. But it is important to note that there is a clear difference between “wayfinding” and “signage”. Wayfinding is very broad and in simple terms it is a way of providing clear direction. Signage on the other hand is a singular element of wayfinding. The idea of signage is visitors don’t realise they are being directed. This is achieved with well-placed and most importantly well-made signage. It is known to have a significant effect on a visitor’s experience without them knowing it.
Signage is there to have a purpose – it can motivate and inspire others. It can influence decision making at the event. Events can be daunting especially if it is a huge event and there are rows and rows of stands. Visitors can quickly become overwhelmed and stressed and from the offset want to be elsewhere. There is nothing more frustrating than arriving to the maze the quicker the visitor can find their bearings the bigger the impact it will have on the rest of the event in question.
Over the last ten years signage has transformed significantly. Technology nowadays allows us to develop exciting and dramatic signage. Functional signage can sometimes let an event down. Without knowing it the physical look and feel of the signage can leave an unconscious impact on all.
Signs of good signage are ones that are visible unless you are looking for them. But should be noted good signage is clear, to the point, and recognisable instantly when it is seen.
Link with Digital
It can be creative and innovative to improve the entire customer experience. The benefit of digital is real time information. For example, if there is a delay in a talk this does not need to mess the entire signage system up. Digital signage allows organisers to be responsive and pro-active but don’t forget these still need to look great and be housed in a more traditional frame to make it obvious what the information is.
Growing in popularity there is more emphasis on how to improve the customer experience. Even more so as customer demands are growing all the time.
The future for signage is looking high. Events need not be daunting anymore.