After what has to be the strangest summer in living memory, it feels like fall has arrived before any of us were ready – but there’s no denying the shortening days and that distinct chill in the air each evening.
As the leaves begin to turn, so our minds also turn to making the most of the great outdoors before winter weather starts making life more difficult. Crisp, fall days are perfect for outdoor events, especially family outings, and this year more than any other venues will be looking to capitalise on outdoor events which are deemed much less of an infection risk than indoor attractions. From lantern walks in forest parks to pumpkin patches, spooky Halloween trails and fireworks displays, over the coming weeks venues across the country will have a chance to celebrate the season outdoors in the closest thing to normality we’ve enjoyed for many months – but in order to do so safely, they’re going to need to be on top of their signage and display game!
Even for outdoor events, physical distancing will be key this fall as we all strive to minimise the risk of a second Covid-19 wave. That means crowds that could previously have packed into a smaller space must now be more widely dispersed for safety. As a result, venues are likely to seek out larger or more elevated displays that are more easily visible at a distance. Venues that could previously get by with sidewalk signs or outdoor retractable banners may benefit from an introduction to portable flag poles, feather banners or large banner frames in order to make sure their signage is visible from further away, without forcing people to jostle or crowd together to read important information.
Mix it up
Variety is the spice of life – and it’s also important when conveying complex messages about safety protocols in a pandemic! Before Covid, it was much simpler for venues to display messages for patrons because the messages were also simple – here is the entrance, here is the exit, here are the bathrooms etc. Now, there’s a whole slew of guidelines people must follow in order to keep safe – things like physical distancing protocols, hand sanitising arrangements, restrictions on numbers or the length of time spent in one spot, and reassurances around the steps being taken to protect their health. A mix of different displays is vital for getting these messages across, and different products will work better in different areas. From large banners to hammer home the most important points, to frequency of small displays and sanitiser stands using the power of repetition to influence behaviour, events and attractions are likely to dramatically expand the number and type of portable displays they have at their disposal this fall.
Don’t spook on hygiene
Printers are well used to technical questions relating to the dimensions, weight or performance of the display products they sell, but in this strange new world it’s not uncommon to also be asked – how do we clean it? The cleanability of portable displays and banners stands is now an important consideration for venues that are open to the public – especially at events, where these signs are likely to be handled or in close proximity to large numbers of people during use. Don’t forget to extol the benefits of the banners you’re selling this fall, even for outdoor use – in fact, many of the features that make a product suitable for use outside will also make it easy to clean and able to withstand regular disinfection. It’s worth considering the impact of regular cleaning on graphics as well, and in the current climate you may be able to upsell customers onto heavier vinyls or additional laminates if they are concerned about the impact of frequent cleaning on their displays.