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Amusement Parks and Recreational Facilities: Prepping for the 2018 Season

Water Country Amusement Park Signage

Some of the largest names in the theme park industry recently announced plans to hit the ground running this year, to try harder and turn around a softer 2017 than many expected in terms of overall attendance and revenue.

So what does this mean to your amusement park or recreation facility, even if you’re not in the same state – or scale – as Six Flags or Sea World?

Pretty much the same thing: it’s even more crucial to find ways to go above and beyond in terms of customer service and guest experience. One way to do that is to freshen up your signage.

While it’s easy to see signage as something purely functional to direct guests to different areas, it also can be a vital component of your attraction’s brand, and a perfect way to communicate positively with your visitors.

Signs let people know where they are or where they need to go, such as different attractions or areas. They tell people where to find basic services, like bathrooms or first aid stations. They alert guests to temporary changes, like a ride that’s closed or a show that’s canceled. They give safety information like required ride height, and help with crowd control by telling people to enter here and exit there.

AMI Graphics is able to help theme parks develop or refine their signage strategy, starting with a sign inventory that assesses the physical condition and/or effectiveness of the existing signage package and recommends ways to improve or enhance it for the new season. These can be done in person via a site visit or remotely using technology. We can then come up with options to refresh or upgrade custom sign solutions to fit any budget.

Here’s why creating a signage strategy can help your attraction make a difference in 2018:

  • Informed guests are happy guests. Signage cuts down on potential confusion for new visitors and even longtime patrons. Knowing where you are and where you’re going keeps everyone positive and satisfied. Though park staff can give directions, many guests may not seek help until they’re already frustrated.
  • New signs provide something new to look at. If a park has had the same signs in the same spot for years, longtime visitors may stop seeing them. But a new sign in a similar area every season can attract attention even if the information on it is pretty similar.
  • New signs look better. A new park map can be more visually appealing than one that has been weather-beaten, sun-bleached or graffitied. A map can also be re-imagined for current design trends - featuring photos of rides; custom cartoons; an extra-large scale; or different colors for different theme areas.
  • Signage reinforces branding. Any message to park guests is an opportunity to communicate the park’s visual identity, even if it’s just basic information. The same font, colors or logo should be used on all signs, or at least stay consistent throughout themed areas. An official mascot/icon can share restrictions about how tall or small riders have to be.
  • Signs may be studied intently. At some parks, the popular rides may have lines that stretch for more than an hour. That means park guests will essentially be doing anything they can to pass the time in line, including reading the same sign over and over and perhaps discussing the message with fellow family members or line-goers.
  • Signs can attract attention. A-frame signs alerting people to important changes or updates can be placed in areas that disrupt normal walking directions, like a main walkway or the entrance to a ride.
  • Signs can be changed. Different circumstances may require different messages, so the ideal sign solutions should be able to be easily changed.

If you’re considering updating your sign solutions for sports facilities or amusement parks before the new season, please contact us to start a conversation about how we can help.

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