Life After COVID – 5 Signage Tips for a Post-Pandemic World
Many experts predict that in the wake of the coronavirus crisis, our economy, our society and our way of life will continue to face new challenges and obstacles. Whatever the “new normal” is, it will be anything but ordinary, and all of us must prepare to live and function in a world different to the one we knew at the beginning of the year.
As businesses re-open, many will do so with strict hygiene measures in place. Travel, logistics and transportation will operate under strict monitoring and staggered timetables. Face masks may become an everyday accessory, and large-scale events may not even take place until 2021 or even later.
All of this will significantly affect the way we communicate with customers, employees and visitors as we help each other navigate this new world. Signs and graphics will play an essential role in such communications, and planning your signage strategy early will prevent you from scrambling as your local economy re-opens for business. Here are some essential tips to help you get started.
1. Create a Social Distancing Floor Plan
The curve may have been flattened, but some studies have suggested that social distancing efforts will continue into 2022 to keep the coronavirus in check. Whether for temporary events or your permanent space, a social distancing signage plan will be necessary to ensure the ongoing safety of your employees and visitors. Floor decals can help people maintain a six feet perimeter from others, while arrow graphics and wayfinding signs can ensure the safe flow of foot traffic to mitigate the risk of cross-contamination.
2. Tell The World You’re Open For Business
While the timing of the economy’s reopening is uncertain, one thing is clear: lockdowns will be lifted in a gradual, week-by-week manner, with certain industries and neighborhoods re-opening sooner than others. Customers may be unclear which camp your business falls into, which makes it doubly essential to announce your operating status loud and clear.
Exterior banners and flags are one of the most eye-catching and economical ways to announce your opening from the roadside. Yard signs can be positioned throughout the neighborhood to spread awareness among drivers and pedestrians. Healthcare facilities, salons and other personal care spaces may benefit from announcing walk in availability with banners, a-frames and other temporary signs.
Retail locations with heavy foot traffic may benefit from switching out their window graphics to clarify new opening hours and any restrictions still in place. Vehicle graphics will also allow you to bring your promotions on the road, with the ability to drive your message to any location.
3. Show Your Commitment to Safe Hygiene
Even after quarantine is over, businesses will be expected to practice much stricter sanitation practices than in the past. Germ prevention signage promoting hand washing and other best practices will be a ubiquitous site in many buildings. Hand sanitizer stations will need to be readily available and clearly marked. At counters and customer service stations, acrylic safety screens will act as barriers to coughing, sneezing and other airborne hazards, further reducing risk of contamination.
Businesses that experience large crowding – such as schools, airports, entertainment spots and more – may be obligated to carry out regular temperature checks, which will require extensive signage such as a-frames, banners and banner stands to spread the word.
4. Be Prepared to Adjust Your Promotion Strategies
Everyone has had to adapt their marketing and communication strategies in the wake of the healthcare crisis, launching new messages to their customers on a weekly if not daily basis. The aftereffects of the pandemic will continue to shake our economy, leaving a ripple effect of constantly changing business and consumer needs.
As a result, you’ll need to develop a communication strategy that is structured yet flexible, allowing you to switch out promotions and other communications regularly. Start by establishing the needs of your target audiences, determining the key messages and stories you need to tell them, and identifying the materials you’ll need. Make sure someone on your team is monitoring the flow of information and the public response, so you can make more informed decisions with your visual communication strategy.
The PAHO has a useful guide on developing a communication strategy for a pandemic found here.
5. Show Appreciation and Support for Other Businesses
If there is one positive that has come out of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is the solidarity it has inspired among ordinary people and organizations. Many have expressed heartfelt gratitude and support for healthcare workers, delivery drivers and other essential workers on the front lines of the crisis.
You, too, can show your support and connect with your community by using banners, yard signs or even vehicle graphics. After all, signs are much more than just communication tools. They’re beacons of hope, opportunity and celebration.
The above list is just a few ways you can prepare your business and your visual communication strategy for the world ahead. Contact our team today and we’ll happily share more ideas!
Not Sure Where To Begin? Download Our Reopening Checklist To Get Started.
Without a reopening strategy in place, you're at risk of creating confusion and disruption for your staff and clients. Instead, use our Reopening Checklist, which outlines important tactics your business or facility can introduce as you reopen, including indoor and outdoor sign solutions, staff and customer communications, as well as important safety measures.
Fill out the form to download now.