5 Essential Event Wayfinding Tips
Event planning can be, well… Stressful to say the least. The amount of questions an event planner has to answer in rapid succession are seemingly infinite. Have the caterers arrived? Do the microphones work? Why is the air conditioning not working? Has anyone seen the keynote speaker?
With so many tasks at hand, it can be easy to overlook one of the more essential responsibilities of the night’s festivities: making sure attendees know where they’re going! Successful event wayfinding systems are what will help significantly reduce any instances of confusion, inconvenience, or cluster for any affair or occasion. But it takes more than setting up a few signs to point guests toward the bathroom or the beginning of the buffet line.
From reinforcing the night’s goals and objectives to providing reassurance and clarity for attendees, there are plenty of ways digital wayfinding strategies can improve the accessibility of any event of any size. Before you start plotting out your next fundraiser, trade show, or conference, be sure to consider these five essential event wayfinding tips to ensure the festivities go as accordingly and smoothly as possible.
1) Compile (And Clarify) All Questions
The first step toward equipping your event with efficient wayfinding solutions is to compile a list of any and all questions that could be asked by an average attendee. This is where you need to see your event through the eyes of a guest, as you’ll want to cover all of your bases ahead of time rather than figuring out nobody knows how to get to the elevators after the guests have begun to arrive.
Here are just some of the event-related questions you can expect attendees to ask that can be resolved through effective wayfinding design and placement:
● Where are the bathrooms?
● Where do I sign-in or RSVP?
● Is there a coat check?
● Where are the buffet tables? Food and beverage options?
● Where are the exits? Elevators?
● Are there handicap-accessible entrances or exits?
● Are there any smoking sections?
● Is there valet parking or parking ramp access?
● Where are security personnel or event staff assistance?
The more questions you can answer for guests through effective wayfinding design and displays, the less time your event staff will have to focus on guiding or directing attendees to wherever they need to go.
2) Create an Aesthetic
Generic fonts, arrows, or symbols may suffice for wayfinding options, but it certainly won’t push your event over the top as far as attendee experiences go. To truly create an awe-inspiring event that goes above and beyond expectations, you should incorporate intricate, elegant, and stimulating wayfinding design that goes in-line with your event’s branding and ambiance.
Technology-related events can implement digital signage displays or interactive kiosk stands to help direct or inform guests. Companies with mascots can have their visual representatives pointing attendees in any direction they need to head toward. From the font selection to the colors you choose, it’s important to blend intriguing visuals with efficient functionality and accessibility with all your event wayfinding design choices.
3) Sensory Accompaniment
With so much stimulation happening at any given event, it’s easy to forgive someone for failing to see or acknowledge a giant sign hanging above their heads, pointing them toward the restrooms. Depending on the lighting, time of day, or interior layout of your event, it might make sense to accompany your wayfinding systems with sensory stimulates, such as lighting or audio cues. Outlining your wayfinding signs or symbols with appropriate lighting or sounds can provide better direction or clarity for attendees, especially in more crowded, distracting environments.
4) Accessible and Compliant Wayfinding
You’ll want to ensure that all your guests feel comfortable and accounted for when they arrive at your event. That’s why you’ll need to create wayfinding opportunities that are accessible for those with disabilities, while also making sure they’re compliant with all ADA regulations and requirements. This can specifically pertain to directing attendees to handicap-accessible routes, restrooms, or stations, as well as informing those without disabilities that certain areas are intended for disabled guests.
5) Outdoor and Off-Site Wayfinding
Providing directions and awareness to guests doesn’t only pertain to the inside of your event; the outside of your festivities will need some visual cues and directional resources as well. From steering attendees in the right directions for entering and exiting the event to keeping them informed on any and all parking situations, outdoor and off-site wayfinding can be just as necessary and essential to the functionality of your event as indoor wayfinding systems are.
Creative Event Wayfinding Solutions From Oppna Digital
At the end of the day, you’ll have so many things to plan for and worry about with your event that coming up with effective wayfinding solutions can seem like a daunting task. When you need immediate event wayfinding design and strategies, you can leave it up to the professionals to help you get the job done! Contact Oppna Digital today to see how our wayfinding designs can accommodate your event needs, or give us a call at 651.237.5677 for answers on all of your wayfinding-related questions.