Everything you need to know about event signage

Planning an event? Vendor at a trade show? Chances are, you’re going to need signage. But where to begin?

Planning your event signage can be overwhelming, but there are some standard pieces of advice that can make it a bit easier to manage. Here are some of the most frequent questions we get about event signage and what you need to know to ensure your event goes off without a hitch.

What kind of signage will I need?

This is a big question, and the answer really varies from event to event. If you’re a vendor at a trade show, you may be restricted in the types of signage you can bring. If you’re running a large, outdoor event, you may be looking at hundreds or even thousands of pieces of signage. Here are a couple examples of what you might need for some common events we deal with.

Hosting a trade show:

If you’re hosting a trade show, here are some key pieces of signage you will need to think about.

  • Registration booth display
  • Trade show display
  • Hanging banners
  • Fabric walls
  • Roll-up banner stands
  • Table banners
  • H-stand signs
  • Floor decals
  • Brochure stands
  • Wayfinding signage  
  • Promotional stickers

Vendor at a craft show:

If you just have a small 10×10 space at an event, the signage you will be bringing will be much more minimal.

  • Table banner
  • Fabric wall
  • 1-2 Banner stands
  • Brochure stand
  • Scrim banner to go along a tent if the event is outdoors

What should my signage look like?

First and foremost, your signage should be a clear, attention-grabbing representation of your brand. But there are other factors to think about, too.

  • Do you need to acknowledge your sponsors and partners?  
  • Does the signage need the location or time of the event on it?
  • Can the signage be generic so you can use it again?
  • Does your tagline or mission statement need to be displayed?
  • How much text do you want on the signage, and is there space for it to be displayed legibly?
  • Will people understand who you are and what you do by looking at it?
  • Do you want any photos or graphical elements incorporated?

You may want to have a graphic designer layout your signage to ensure each piece looks professional and attractive while incorporating every element you need.

How early should I start planning my signage?

If you need your signage designed from scratch, you’ll want to talk to your designer at least 3 months in advance to figure out timelines and ensure that you and the designer can come up with a layout that you’re happy with before sending it off to print. You may need even more time if you have multiple pieces, so talk to your designer well in advance. If you’ve already got the files ready to print, most printers (including us) can get most pieces out within a week, but things like trade show booths can take up to 6 weeks for production. Again, always call to confirm how much time your printer needs for the number of items you need printed. If you have 100 pieces of signage to print, a week is probably not enough time.

We hope this gives you a better idea of what to expect when it comes to signage the next time you’re planning or attending an event.