by Tim Fullmer | August 01, 2004

Putting up banners and signs at an event does more than just help attendees find their way through the facility’s labyrinth of unfamiliar corridors. They give each meeting a cohesive look and feel, branding the event with its own character.
    In the past few years, advanced digital technology and sheer imagination have expanded the role of event graphics. From huge banners, displays and backdrops to wraps around tour buses or other vehicles, colorful signage catches attention and generates excitement. It also can create more visibility and value for event sponsors, increasing this revenue source for your organization.
    When considering event graphics, it makes sense to look to the experts. A professional sign maker will work one-on-one with you to conceptualize the graphics that will meet your needs. They will review your goals and work with you to come up with ideas for signage that fits into your budget. In addition, they can free up time for you to deal with all the other event management details by providing full-service coordination meaning they’ll handle everything from planning and printing to installation and removal.

Designer Look
While preparing visuals for your next meeting or special event, keep the following tips in mind. 
    Have a plan. Begin by thinking about the big picture. What is your objective for this event? Characterize the average meeting attendee and imagine how graphics could enhance his overall experience. 
    Keep it simple but strong. Next, determine the number of graphics that will compliment your event but not overwhelm attendees. Then, work collaboratively with your venue and colleagues to select the best locations to hang the signs, keeping in mind the routes your attendees will be taking each day. Every graphic should be positioned to break through the visual clutter, create awareness, provide the greatest impact and fully maximize marketing and sponsorship dollars.
    Determine the look. Be bold and imaginative. Select images and creative text that will draw attention and effectively deliver the messages that are important to the host organization, your company or client, and any participating sponsors. Have fun with your graphics and take full advantage of the visibility they provide to dress up the facility or meeting environment. Carefully select colors and images that will generate on-site excitement, increase energy levels and leave lasting impressions.
    Use caution, however; organizers and planners often make the mistake of choosing text, logos or images that are too small for attendees to see. Graphics and messaging are ineffective if they cannot be understood easily from a distance. Think “larger than life,” but be careful not to overpower the event. 
    Select the products wisely. Whether it’s an indoor or an outdoor event, a good sign company generally can develop graphics to fit any location. Grab the attention of the public and attendees by placing signs at the entrance gate, on the walls, in parking lots, sidewalks, windows and even on company vehicles. Banners and signs are no longer limited to standard sizes. Some can be as large as 105 feet high by 300 feet wide. 
    Sell, sell, sell. Graphics can provide a huge source of revenue by attracting sponsorships. Extra-large banners and displays dramatically increase visibility, and the more visibility sponsors receive, the “deeper” their pockets might become. Planners can substantially improve negotiations with potential sponsors by providing information about the use of graphics to deliver marketing messages and gain greater exposure.