Wayfinding / Directional Signs

Go With the Flow Signs to Help With Crowd Control

Author: Drue Townsend
An expo has signs hanging to help direct traffic

The State Fair of VA has a sign pointing to the festival stage

Some of the most memorable times of the year are when communities come together for entertainment and celebration. Concerts, fairs, festivals, sporting contests and so many more - these are the events that make up part of a community’s identity. But sometimes, we can take these events for granted. Behind all of that fun and fanfare is a team of professionals and volunteers that put months of work into planning the event, whether it’s lining up sponsors, attracting talent, registering vendors, organizing workers or keeping the public safe. Planning a successful event is all in the details, and tackling crowd management should always be close to the top of the list. Here are a few strategies event organizers can use to keep large crowds happy and safe.

Get Familiar With the Venue

Before any workers or vendors start setting up, and definitely before any patrons start coming through the gates, you’ll want to take in a thorough review of the venue. Are there any major safety hazards that need to be repaired? Where are the exits, and are they properly marked? What is the capacity of the venue as determined by the local fire marshal? These are all questions that should be answered far in advance of the event. The more familiar you are with your surroundings, the more likely you’ll be able to handle the organized chaos of a large event.

Hand Out Maps

You will know the venue like the back of your hand, but for many of the patrons, this will be their first time at the event. That’s why we recommend handing out maps at every entrance. Printed maps can detail the intricacies of a venue in a way that a smartphone’s GPS can’t, making them a valuable tool for anyone in need of directions. In addition to keeping guests moving in the right direction, maps can also provide valuable space for advertisers.

Location, Location, Location

In the event of an emergency, you want to be sure guests can quickly find the help they need. That’s why it’s so important to consider the placement of emergency signage. Post emergency signs high enough to be easily seen by all. Universally recognized emergency symbols, such as the first-aid cross, are effective locators, but also consider more direct safety signage. One best practice recommended by the federal safety agency, OSHA, is listing direct messages on emergency signs. For example, a sign that reads, “Safety First”, could instead read, “Emergency Booth Left” with an accompanying arrow. These messages can bring calm and clarity to a crowd during a stressful situation.

Update Event Signage

We’re all familiar with traditional signs for events - the banners and flags that give big events a decorative flair. But why not make the most of your signs with updated event signs like LED screens and interactive displays. These digital signs can serve as interactive wayfinding signs as well as informational hubs for guests. One of the biggest advantages of using digital signs for events is the ability to customize the messaging. Is there a weather alert? Is part of the venue closed? Are there any delays? Let patrons know immediately with a digital sign they can’t miss.

If you need any more tips for your event signage strategies, give us a call at 800-FASTSIGNS.