Summer is great for outdoor events. But outdoor events bring their own set of challenges. Mother Nature has always had a love-hate relationship with the event industry. Creating successful and safe outdoor programs requires upfront thinking and the right choice of promotional elements to communicate your message.
Whether you have put on one event or hundreds, proper planning is the best way to embrace for (or withstand) whatever Mother Nature decides to treat you to on the day of your event!
WIND … RAIN … HEAT
Wind is the nemesis of the outdoor venue and careful consideration must be given to how it will affect your outdoor environment. After all, if the flags or banners get wet in a rainstorm, they can be dried. But, if a gust of wind catches your banner and off it goes, that could be another story … one you’d rather not have to deal with.
Winning the battle against wind comes down to the concept of least resistance – and anchoring. It’s critical to seek out event displays that offer the least resistance to wind. When it comes to anchoring flags, banners and signage, heavy plates will keep them in place, but remember to budget time and money for those plates to be transported, stored and installed. Many outdoor displays provide bases that can be filled with water, just make sure you will have access to a water supply once on site.
WITHSTANDING THE ELEMENTS OF NATURE
As the event planner you need to ensure that your exhibit partner is aware of the intended use of your displays so that appropriate printing techniques, materials and inks are used. Some fabrics retain water more than others, which could make a display heavy and cause it to sag in the event of a rain shower. Experts suggest that for outdoor usage, that you should lean towards light polyester, sheer fabric or vinyl – materials that are not going to retain water and add weight to the display.
All in all, smart graphics and exhibit design is key when creating banners and signage for outdoor events. Viewing distance can vary greatly for big outdoor events, so try to visualize the event footprint through the attendees’ eyes. Your exhibit designer can help greatly with this process and their design renderings will help visualize each viewpoint from all major approaches. Make sure the images in your graphics can be seen from a distance and that your text is large enough, so your message doesn’t get lost in the crowd.
We hope the summer proves to be a welcome host for your outdoor events. If you need help planning or have any display questions for your next event — we’re always here to help.
Special thanks to Ed Fedorowich of Expand Media for his contributions.