Event signage ideas to strengthen your brand and take your event to the next level

Why you need event signage

Here’s the simple fact: signage attracts attention. Think back to any event you’ve gone to, outdoors or indoors. From a grand welcome sign to a simple directional sign, it’s important to provide these visuals to guide attendees and create a satisfactory experience for them.

#1 Promote

Use signage to achieve higher attendance. Before your event takes place, strategically place your signs to get the word out and spark interest in your host community. 

Clean and creative signs used during your event can be used to promote your organization/event. Making your event title or logo visible provides a visual cue for all attendees, resulting in better brand recognition

You can also use signs during your event to promote upcoming events. Use signage to showcase your sponsors and advertisers. It’s important to satisfy your sponsors sufficiently so they will provide support in future events.

#2 Branding

It’s important to promote all your social media outlets, whether you’re asking attendees to follow you on Twitter, like your Facebook page or even connect with you on LinkedIn. It’s a good idea to additionally provide a hashtag (#) for your event so attendees can share photos and experiences connected to your specific event via Twitter and Instagram. The more social media buzz you can produce, the better chance you have at having successful future events.

#3 Guidance

During the event, signs generate a sense of credibility and legitimacy. You should also use signs simply for directional purposes. Sports events especially can be hectic and confusing.

What court or field am I supposed to go to? Where is the viewing section? Where are concessions? Where are restrooms? Where is the gift shop? Where are tournament results posted? 

Communication is always key; communicate to your visitors and give them an easygoing and enjoyable experience by placing signs throughout your venue that make all these areas easy to locate.

How to utilize event signage 

Now that you know why you need signage, here’s how you pull it off. 

#1 Use the Natural Landscape

Use existing landscapes and unexpected areas to display graphics, especially if hosting an outdoor event. Signs don’t have to be limited to walls, and you don’t have to install obnoxious posts just to hold a sign. Instead, try a banner between trees, hanging smaller signs from tree branches, positioning a sign within plants and flowers, or spray painting in the grass or dirt as it can easily wash away.

#2 Wrap It

Vinyl adhesive decals are made to adhere to almost any surface—flat, contoured or textured—for indoor and outdoor applications. Vinyl wrapping is a great way to use vehicles for advertising. Get your vehicle wrapped with your logo and put your vehicle on display the day of the event to really wow guests.

#3 Think Big—and then Bigger than that!

Banner graphics can be billboard size or even larger to cover locations that can easily be seen from a distance. Big visuals are more likely to attract attention and are a great option at a trade show. They can be used for the entrance and throughout the venue space to make areas easy to spot from far away, so people know what is where. 

#4 Photo Op

Create a backdrop with your event name or logo on it for the perfect photo opportunity for guests. Not only do guests get to have fun snapping pictures, but it also allows for further event marketing when the photos are shared on social media with the logo clearly displayed on the backdrop.

#5 Capture Idle Moments of Opportunity

Use areas of forced pedestrian foot traffic such as entry and food lines, stairs, the stairwell, escalators and elevators as opportunities for branding, promoting and sponsorship. Putting signs in these locations make them highly visible and ensure branding consistency throughout the venue by leaving no space untouched. 

#6 Use See-Through Graphics

Graphics such as perforated window vinyl are great products to use during temporary events, as they can be easily removed from windows. They can even block glaring light from coming in on shiny courts. Large window graphics can be made to be viewed from the outside, but seen inside as soft black screens.

#7 Wayfinding Through Your Event

Wayfinding signage is essential for getting attendees where they need to go with directional signs, maps and clearly marked areas of interest throughout your event space, regardless of size. Footprints on the floor, arrows on the walls and temporary mesh banners are all options to help guide people and improve the flow of traffic, and they each have branding or sponsorship opportunities to them. 

#8 Make a 360 Impact 

Utilize pieces that allow for 360 views of signage such as pillars. Instead of taping up a single sign, create a piece that wraps around the entire pillar. For easy readability from all angles, try a sign of repeated logo pictures. 

Fence mesh and windscreens can also be printed front and back to capture the audience on both sides. These are especially helpful in making your sponsors happy.

#9 Go Where the Fans Are

Bleachers and grandstands are great structures to utilize for installing large graphics that capture the audience’s attention on the way to their seats. Place signs on the top railing of the grandstand, on the railings of the stairs and the bottom fencing dividing the bleachers from the field or arena where the event will take place.

#10 People as Moving Advertisement 

Get custom made shirts for volunteers and event staff to wear for an effective branding opportunity. Websites make it easy for you to design shirts, pants, hats or bags with the artwork of your choosing. Having staff shirts makes it easy for guests to identify the people in charge and will also help brand the event, or you can show off some of the sponsors with their own logo placed on the shirt.

#11 Go Digital

Digital signs are a great way to grab people’s attention with the ability to display them in various colors and flashing lights. They also have the ability to display more than one image. You can set your digital sign or big screen to show off the event name, different logos, the event sponsors and sponsored content, important information or whatever you want by moving from one to another.

#12 Don’t Forget the not so Obvious

Another great place for signage is the floor. This is a space often not considered but is an excellent branding opportunity. Custom stickers or decals can be placed on the floor to create a nice visual that ties the venue together, or stickers to help guide the flow of traffic can be placed on the floor to keep moving around the space easy for attendees.

#13 Set the Stage with Props

Think outside the box of traditional signage and use props to display graphics, logos and to guide attendees. Props are a great option for event signage because they serve two purposes by promoting the event, brand or sponsors, and also being decor pieces that follow the theme of the event. Think of what props/decor you want for your event and then turn them into signs.

#14 Get Smart with Touchless Signage

Going touchless allows for ease and efficiency.Incorporate cool elements such as a sign that will deliver information right to a person’s phone when they hold it up to the sign or scan the QR code. This is a great way to limit the amount of words you put on a sign, making it more attractive and engaging but also linking attendees to additional information. This works great for taking people to your website, a specific webpage of an upcoming event you would like to promote and even menus. 

#15 Be Creative with Barricades and Warnings

Need to designate or barricade an event area within the event venue itself? A-frames are great economic and transportable ways to display graphics where no structure currently exists; they collapse easily and can be reused. Any barriers, such as pennant strings and warning signs are all customizable to have a logo on them in addition to any important information.

For further help and ideas, here is a list of a few companies that specialize in sports event signage:

  • Image360 has you covered for all your signage needs from big to small. Whether your event is outdoor, indoor or a trade show, Image360 can help. They can even help you with sports promotional and giveaway items to help your sporting event be a major hit with fans. Check out their products here for event signage ideas for your next event.
  • AMI Graphics specializes in sports facility, event, commercial and retail signage. They are nationally recognized and have hundreds of companies, teams and organizations to show for their work. Click here to browse wayfinding ideas or to download one of their three event planning guides for an arena, baseball or road race.
  • SpeedPro has over 20 years experience in the business and serves numerous industries for their sign and graphic needs. For sporting events, they know exactly what you should include in order to create a great experience from the moment attendees arrive. They have a wide variety of products and services, including touchless signage.
  • Source One Digital, a signage application innovator, has extensive experience as a top-quality graphics partner for leading brands, retailers and sports, including the NCAA, Chicago Blackhawks, and now the official signage partner for Michigan International Speedway.