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A beginner’s guide to event signage (with cool & creative ideas)

Event signage might be the last thing you’ve got on your mind when you’re planning an event for the first time, but very important.

a neon sign on a wall

Event signage might be the last thing you’ve got on your mind when you’re in the midst of planning an event for the first time. 

You’ve got your programme or schedule to organise, event ticketing platform to sort, marketing efforts to nail… and the rest. Truth is, signage can feel like one of those annoying last-minute logistics best left to a third (more expert) party to finesse. But you’ll soon realise that it can actually turn out to be a really fun way to explore your brand, and give your event that little bit of je ne sais quois – perfect for making it stand out from the competition. 

Let’s get stuck in 👇.

What is event signage?

Event signage is exactly what it sounds like. It’s signs (a fair few of them) that direct people around your event (think: toilets, stages, bar). Signs can also be used to promote your brand, and generally liven up your venue. 

Sounds simple enough, but poor event signage can soon see an event dissolve into chaos. There’s a big safety element to consider here, too. Things like first aid signposts and exit route signs are essential for keeping your attendees out of harm’s way.

The specifics of event signage will vary depending on the type of event being run. But, here’s an idea of the basic signs you’ll need:

  • Toilets
  • Entry/exit 
  • Stages or rooms for performances/talks
  • Queue directions
  • Food and drink 
  • Electronic charging stations
  • Customer service/information
  • Cloakroom
  • First aid 

a blue sign with white text

Where to get event signs

There are loads of event signage companies out there offering customised signs at competitive rates. A quick internet search will throw up plenty of options – so it’s really just about shopping around for a provider that suits your needs and budget. For really small events, there’s nothing to say you can’t create your own signs (see our creative ideas below!) or enlist the help of a local artist to do so. 

How to plan event signage 

When it comes to figuring out exactly what signs you’ll need, it’s best to do a full hypothetical walk-through of your event as if you were an attendee. Writing this down in a bulleted list or even a flow diagram can help make sure you don’t miss anything out. Try to remember all the different things you’d do throughout the day/evening/weekend at your event in granular detail. For example:

  •  Arrive – wait in queue 
  • Get tickets checked
  • Check bag/coat
  • Head to the toilets
  • Head to the bar
  • Find seat/stage/conference room
  • Get some food
  • Head to the next stage
  • Find the exit and head home

As well as thinking about things your attendees will do on auto-pilot, think about things you want them to do, too. For example, if you’ve got a cool Instagram photo opp area or a ‘secret’ hangout den at your festival – you’ll need signs to make sure people can find them!

If you’re running a particularly large event, it’s best to consult an expert about the signage you’ll need. They’ll be able to plan things with you from start to finish, making sure you don’t miss out anything essential and your event meets health and safety requirements. 

a colorful sign with words

Unique event signage ideas to amp up your brand

Unique event signage can add serious kudos to your brand, and provide a great way to liven up your venue. Rather than going for the bare basics, there are so many fun ways you can use signage to portray your brand personality and get people talking.

Here are some fun and creative ideas to get you started:

  • Play-on-words: why stick to the usual ‘Bar This Way’ when you can write something tongue-in-cheek and hilarious instead? Comedy geniuses – let the creative juices flow!
  • Neon, neon, neon: it’s not exactly an avant-garde concept, but neon signs have stood the test of time for a reason. They’re just really, really cool, in our opinion.
  • Local artwork: enlisting the help of a local artist can be a fantastic way to get tongues wagging and give local talent a platform, too! 
  • Gobo projections: this is where you put a stencil in front of a lightsource to create fun projections – pretty handy for venues that don’t want you going OTT on the decorations.
  • Floor signs: Combining cool artwork or typeface with floor signage can result in a really fun, dynamic look for your event – and helps make use of underfoot-space, as well.
  • Fun materials and props: think: wall-garden signs made from (fake or real) foliage; directions carved onto driftwood or written on giant helium balloons; branded cushions and blankets… the imagination’s the limit. 

We hope this was helpful! If you’re brand new to event planning – you might find our hub of event planning content useful.

And to learn how to sell tickets online with Ticket Tailor, as well as all about our seamless, great value ticketing tech – just head here

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