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Dead End Street

  |   Meeting Planning   |   No comment

You’ve heard of people following the directions of their GPS onto a dead-end road and becoming lost or stuck and having to be rescued. Our daughter had a similar experience recently.


Hannah is interning for the Minneapolis office of a multi-national firm this summer. Recently she was asked to visit several local job sites and confirm that punch list items had been completed. Hannah accessed the corporate website and followed the directions therein to the first job site. SURPRISE! The directions took her to a competing firm’s location. Oops!


After hearing Hannah relate the story I thought back to times when I’ve been in a new hotel or conference center and needed to find the room(s) that the event I was attending were being held in. I could remember times where the signage to the event I was attending were incorrect, incomplete or just plain non-existent.


Clearly, someone hadn’t considered that there may be more than one way to access their event. As you are planning signage for your next event, think about the following:

  • If your attendees are all staying in the event hotel, are there multiple towers or elevator banks that people will access to get to the meeting rooms?
  • Not all of your attendees will want/be able to take the three-wide escalator bank to the next floor; is an alternate route also well-defined?
  • If your participants are staying in multiple locations and/or may be commuting to the event, how will they access the host facility?
  • Is there more than one entrance off of the street or parking structure?
  • If the facility’s signage doesn’t clearly delineate where the ballrooms/meeting rooms are, you may need to provide signage in the elevators and stairwells as well.


Don’t forget to follow the same guidelines for those small offsite meetings you may be tasked with as well. Recently, I attended a meeting as the guest of a professional organization that my wife belongs to. With no signage in the hotel lobby, we asked at the front desk; they were unaware of the meeting location and directed us to a meeting area on one side of the lobby. A large recognition event was being held there, not ours. We then walked to the other side of the lobby and eventually found our (small) group. In this case, one sign in the lobby with the group’s name and an arrow would have eliminated frustration for 28 of the 30 attendees (the woman who organized the event knew which room it was in).


Hannah’s story ended well. Siri® knew where the job site actually was, and Hannah was able to give the webmaster the proper information to make the necessary changes on the corporate website.


Will the stories of attendees at your next event end well too?

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