Experiential events are one of the most effective marketing strategies at your disposal. The world’s most iconic brands understand that truly unique experiences are impossible to forget. But how do you turn an ordinary occasion into an experiential event? With creativity, organization, lots of work, and high-quality signage.
What Is an Experiential Event?
An experiential event is an experience designed by a brand or organization to create an emotional connection with its audience.
The difference between an ordinary event and an experiential event is that experiential events are designed to immerse people in an experience, rather than simply having them observe it.
Due to their nature, experiential events can assume many formats. Some of these formats are familiar (such as conferences, meetings, or exhibitions), while others can be totally new.
For an example of what an experiential event looks like in real life, read our previous post, “Experiential Marketing in the Age of COVID-19”
Experiential Events: The Importance of Custom Signs
Signs are crucial to your experiential event for a simple reason: they’re the most efficient way to communicate instructions.
Imagine, for example, that you want to set up tables and have people grab a coffee with another random attendant to exchange ideas on a specific topic. One alternative is to put a person in charge of the experience and explain the idea to every new person as they arrive. Or you can achieve the same goal more efficiently with a well-designed sign. People arrive, read the sign, and understand the whole concept in a couple of seconds.
But the right signs not only offer directions or instructions — they contribute to the experience you want to create.
This will become evident as we review the various signs we created for an experiential event that aimed to spark reflections on how to build a more equitable future.
Start Off Your Event Right With a Welcome Sign
A welcome sign sets the atmosphere for your experiential event and gives attendees a taste of what they’re about to see.
With digital large format printing, your welcome sign can evoke any atmosphere or mood.
For example, in the image below, a lightbox covered in fabric displays the event name and logo and serves both as a welcome sign and a photo backdrop.
The combined effect of fabric and light conveys a sense of creativity, boldness, and insightfulness, three concepts at the core of the event.
An interactive wall is a panel that displays instructions to perform certain activities. It may also include shelves or racks that hold items users might need to perform those activities.
In the examples below, an interactive wall instructed attendees to fill out a card with their ideas for the future and place it on the wall where they would read other participants’ cards as well.
A second interactive wall had shelves with books that attendees were encouraged to read to learn more about relevant topics.
Both interactive walls display a QR code participants can use to download a dedicated app where they can chat with other attendees via a one-on-one chat.
If your event includes activities that take place on a stage, then you need a stage background.
A stage background (or stage backdrop) is a large printed surface placed at the rear of a stage to set a certain atmosphere and serve as a branding device.
The stage background in our example was printed on heavy-knit poly fabric with 3D Letters and also included a matching, custom-wrapped podium that helped draw the audience’s eyes to the stage.
Oversized letters take a typically bidimensional element such as letters, and turn it into tridimensional objects attendees can interact with in several ways.
These giant letters can be used to display the name of the event, an inspirational quote, or, as in our example, the city where the event takes place (Saint Louis, Missouri).
Oversized letters add a new dimension to your branding (in a very literal sense!) and provide participants with the perfect selfie opportunity — which in turn helps create social media buzz around your event.
Get a Quote for Custom Signs Today!
As the name suggests, handheld signs are digitally printed signs that attendees can hold and interact with.
In our example, paddle handheld signs served as directional signage. However, with digital large format printing, you can create handheld signs in any shape, opening up many interesting possibilities for memorable interactions with your audience.
For example, for a previous project, we created cutouts in the shape of sledgehammers as a visual representation of the goal of the event, which aimed to raise awareness of the need to break the “glass ceiling,” the metaphorical image used to describe an invisible barrier that prevents certain groups of people, particularly women and minorities, from advancing to in the corporate hierarchy.
The practicalities of an event (for example, where to park or how to arrive at certain areas of the venue) are also part of the experience you create for your audience.
Also in this case, signs excel at delivering your message clearly and efficiently. Some of the signs we printed for the event pictured here include:
- Directional signs
- Filming notice signs
- Venue map signs
- Shuttle signs
Of course, no two events are the same. The good news is that with digital printing, you can create customized signs that enhance the experience of the people attending your event.
CR&A Custom: High-Quality Custom Signs
At CR&A Custom, we approach all our projects with the same unwavering commitment to quality and exacting attention to detail that have come to define our work.
We are proud recipients of the WBENC, WOSB, and NMSDC certifications.