Large print banners serve a number of purposes at events. Most uses are pretty conventional — providing directions to registration, displaying a schedule of events, general branding and pre-event advertising.
However, creative planners can do a lot with this unassuming “low tech” solution. Banners can help transform the environment at an event, draw in attendees and drive interactions, even provide a source of surprise and delight.
Rather than thinking of print banners as a secondary surface for promoting other event features or materials, think of print as an opportunity to create totally custom experiences. Here are some event signage ideas to get you started:
Tip #1: Use signage to create ambiance
Banners can set the stage as a big part of both the outdoor advertising leading up to the event and exterior “welcome” displays onsite. But all too often, the look you see on billboards and at the front gate stops once you’re inside an event.
That’s a missed opportunity for a more cohesive, all encompassing branding. In fact, banners are great for adding color and brand visibility throughout drab event spaces. They create a sense of atmosphere and do wonders for unifying a look. In addition, you can match banner visuals with the design aesthetic of other design elements to create a fully branded experience.
Don’t forget to connect your print aesthetic with digital assets like apps, social media deliverables, and webpages to give your event a tight look. Remember, a special event is an opportunity to experiment with branding, to step away from your regular company branding and do something extra.
Tip #2: Create photo ops
Step and repeat backdrops are publicity banners used at events to elevate the look of red carpet press photos. They’re increasingly a branding feature at conferences and seminars, where people can meet to take photos with colleagues and friends. Adding a step and repeat banner to your event allows for additional sponsorship and promotion opportunities as well.
Your event doesn’t need a red carpet to take advantage of photo ops. The signage you include for photo booths, selfie stations, and other highly visual spaces can inspire user generated content that gets the word out. The more signage you produce, the more opportunities people have to shoot branded photos.
People love sharing their experiences on social media, why not provide them with some eye catching art to serve as a #selfie backdrop? Add an interactive element to your signage, like an illustrated design or bold Instagrammable pattern that inspires guests to engage. Maybe even provide fun props like hats and sunglasses to create an experience. Let your imagination run free!
Tip #3: Include hashtags on signage
Hashtags provide event attendees with a way to join a larger conversation, share tips and experiences, and connect with their audience. Driving people to use a hashtag is hard when no one knows what the event hashtag is, though. Your signage can play a big role in getting everyone on the same page.
Always include hashtags on your signs and banners. Not only will you drive more traffic to your branded hashtag (and your social media presence), but you’re adding value to the branding you create.
Bonus Tip: Do your homework
Check out Pinterest for onsite corporate event design ideas. Dig deep into some event hashtags from your favorites and take notes on what other people are doing. Large print banners can extend the life of an event by inspiring a digital marketing strategy: social media UGC, email follow-ups, remarketing, and so on. The more ideas you can come up with, the stronger your potential marketing play could be.