Planning & Promotion

Breadcrumbs For Your Event - Wayfinding And Navigation Tips

Eventually Learning Team
Wayfinding is how attendees orient themselves with the location and the site map at in-person as well as virtual events in order to navigate through the booths, meeting rooms and their desired points of interest at the event. Wayfinding signage and tools need to be extremely catchy and creative in order to captivate the attendee’s attention and guide them around the venue.

Wayfinding signage has been a display of innovation ever since the beginning of events – be it huge sports events, music shows, tradeshows, summits or expos! It can be the overwhelming crowd, size of the venue or simply the lack of guidance that can make the attendee feel … LOST!

Wayfinding signage and graphics are important because, "Even the most geographically savvy event attendee seems to fall into the trap of walking around in a daze at an event." It might come off as a fragment of the event that the event organizer can avoid investing in, but it helps to understand that your attendees have to be in specific spots at specific time without getting distracted or lost, to make your event a success.

Be a step ahead of the competition by enrolling technology in your wayfinding strategies!

Herding Cats Made Easier With Tech

Sounds funny doesn’t it? But Wayfinding AKA Cat herding - the act of collecting masses of attendees and gathering them at different points of the venue is not one person’s job for sure! This is where technology jumps in. Let’s take a better look at some of the technical wayfinding methods.

AR Wayfinding

Wayfinding signage is a navigation tool but in addition to that, within the events ecosystem, digitized wayfinding plays the major role of boosting engagement. This year, Google I/O, Google’s annual developer conference had a keynote session in which they introduced AR wayfinding feature in their event app.

There are various ways in which AR can be leveraged for wayfinding. A few of them are listed below:

  • To invite the sponsors by pitching creative sponsorship ideas like wayfinding signage
  • Leading and engaging your attendees with gamification (think Pokémon Go) and more!
  • Through digital wayfinding of any kind including the AR powered event apps, we save a lot of paper and other material – taking a sustainable approach towards it!

Now that we know how digital wayfinding adds to the environmental balance, let’s get an in-depth understanding of the process.

Digital Wayfinding

Digital wayfinding can be configured with the event’s existing digital infrastructure, like integrating it with digital walls at the venue. It is highly personalized and the attendees love it! Especially at massively crowded events digital wayfinding is a saviour. Here are a few more ways in which it is beneficial for the entire events ecosystem.

  • It enhances flexibility
  • It is targeted and has a customized approach
  • It has dynamic navigation and is easily manageable
  • It has automatic updates

Since it is a location, can in-built GPS and Geo-targeting in event apps not be a great solution for wayfinding?

Off-site Wayfinding

Adding GPS and local maps to your event’s application can be of immense help to the attendees as they can load the map and find their way around the event and the city where it is occurring!

Recent marketing trend of holograms and projection mapping has made us think if wayfinding can also have an immersive experience, and it sure can!

Projection Wayfinding

Projection mapping, lighting and gobos are an excellent way to indulge the attendees and lead them through neon lit passages and more. “Un Truc De Ouf” (a crazy thing), isn’t it?

Although we are a growing digital economy, there is a reason so many attendees still prefer experiential in-person events over virtual events! Insert our wayfinding ambassadors!

Wayfinding Ambassadors

People smiling and cheering you up guiding you through the right path sounds like a scene right out of the 80’s when internet and phones weren’t big games and people relied on locals for directions! Ambassadors portray the event’s hustle-bustle energy and they add to the overall experience.

The Vista System has an entire code of ethics for the ambassadors like avoiding crisis, honest appraisal and confidentiality. But are there more creative means of wayfinding?

Creative Ways Of Optimizing Wayfinding

Make your event signage an experience of grandeur that your attendees remember and your sponsors subsidize. Here are a few interesting ways in which you can put forth state-of-the-art wayfinding signage:

  • Display a musical experience – Musical wayfinding is an excellent opportunity for you to leverage your sponsors product or the cultural music of the place your venue is located at. Your attendees don’t necessarily need to hear – they can listen and follow.
  • Fitness Is The Key – If your attendees love a good game, present them with an interesting mix of calorie-burn based puzzle as wayfinding! You can get it sponsored and then delivered through mobile phones.
  • Stay True To The Nature – Create nature-based biophilic designs for the signage and attract a larger environment-friendly crowd. You can mix lights, eco-friendly and reusable material along with some urbane designs for an attractive signage strategy.

Case Study: IBM’s World Of Wayfinding

According to IBM – ‘less is more’ approach works best while designing for the event’s signage. They use the grid method for creating the event signage maps. It is a framework and the skeleton of the entire visual set up. Here is a picture for reference.

Writer’s Choice: Top Picks Out Of The Wayfinding Tools Available On The Shelf

While researching for the wayfinding technologies for events, we discovered a few amazing élites that can assist you in your next event. Go ahead and browse through!

  • Mapsted’s routing maps target the attendees’ devices via GPS and seamless landmark-based methods. It is optimized property-wide multi-location indoor wayfinding software to make your attendees reach the right place at the right time!
    • Finest Feature - Seamless outdoor-indoor navigation that works anywhere! No beacons, Wi-Fi, or additional external hardware required.
  • Lavastar follows the core principles of signage while designing a strategy for wayfinding at events. The organization believes in creating an identity at the location and using landmarks for orientation cues.
    • Finest Feature – They create bespoke wayfinding signage which aligns with all core principles to get the ball rolling on a navigational signage system for your property or project.
  • Indoo.rs wayfinding services are really cool with directional assistance, mobile routes, barrier-free navigation, parking spots and sponsor locators added to the entire package.
    • Finest Feature – The team makes it easy for physically handicapped visitors to navigate the exhibition in a smooth manner.

Consider your attendee as someone you have to protect and guide in order to save their valuable time and get the best results for both of you when you plan your wayfinding strategy to make it an award-winning one!

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I have a separate budget for wayfinding signage at my events?

Yes, you must have a separate budget for wayfinding as it is a crucial part of the entire event engagement.

Is there weather protecting signage?

Yes, different types of extreme weather conditions need weather-proof signage in order to save these during the windy storms, rain and thunder or extreme heat and sun. Here are a few global weather protecting signage providers:

  • Armagard
  • The Marlin Company
  • NoviSign
  • Zapmeta
  • Vismyo

What are the benefits of indulging in wayfinding at business events?

  • LOTS OF ENGAGEMENT. Your attendees will most likely remember your event due to its signage and your sponsors will have an excellent chance to catch the eye of the prospects.
  • Attendee Value and Time. You can save your attendees’ time by minimizing their efforts with wayfinding signs.

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