In business since 1989, Anthony Travel is the leading sports travel management company in the United States. Collegiate sports teams, athletes and fans rely on Anthony Travel to coordinate a variety of travel needs including hotel accommodations, airfare, ground transport and more.
Recently, the company reached out to The Trade Group’s commercial graphics department to design custom wayfinding signs to help clients locate Anthony Travel representatives at events. The signs will initially be used at a variety of college football bowl games, followed by the Super Bowl in Minneapolis.
Key client pains: One-time use and clunky battery pack
According to Pete Adauto, Project Manager at The Trade Group, “Over the past few years, Anthony Travel had been looking for a wayfinding solution that would be easy for their clients to locate and could be customized for each event. We came up with a solution that allowed for the signs to be illuminated and easily interchangeable. The technology used also ensured the signs could be used in any type of weather, which was another issue the client faced in the past.”
When Adauto and Sales Consultant Lori Harvey met with Anthony Travel, these client pains were clear. There were also durability issues with previous signs. “The signs were constructed with a foam core, which is lightweight and can dent easily with use. Additionally, the battery pack was on the outside and cumbersome,” Harvey says.
With all hands on deck – TTG set out to design a superior solution
Adauto and Harvey asked the TTG engineering team to design a custom wayfinding sign that addressed two key goals:
- Create an LED-lit sign with interchangeable graphics that can be updated for different events.
- Eliminate the need for a separate battery pack, while providing easy access to batteries.
Designing a hand-held sign with a built in battery pack isn’t as easy as it sounds. The team worked through a variety of challenges during the design process.
From the initial design idea to engineering to prototypes to the final design, every department – sales, project management, design, engineering, CAD work – had a hand in creating the signs. During the fine-tuning process, engineering had to figure out how to reduce the weight of the sign because the original prototype was too heavy.
The team tested a variety of batteries to make sure both duration and power needs were met, while pondering the pros and cons of rechargeable options. They also sought out a sturdy monopod that would be easy to use and support the weight of the sign.
Original prototype of wayfinding sign with TTG logo.
Anthony Travel’s custom, LED-lit wayfinding sign.
Going the extra yard – remote controls, comfort features and more
Adauto knew the client would appreciate an innovative solution that nobody had ever seen before. “He wanted a cutting edge reusable sign. We ended up creating a product that accomplished those goals, while providing extra tools to make the product fun and easy to use,” Adauto says.
Anthony Travel’s custom, LED-lit, 17.5” x 17.5” square wayfinding signs feature:
Sturdy, lightweight, PVC frame with built-in battery case.
PVC works well for this application because it stands up to multiple uses. In addition, the team hollowed out portions of the interior to keep the frame’s weight manageable at approximately two pounds. The hollow spaces conceal wires and house the batteries, which can be easily swapped in and out.
Double-sided, interchangeable graphics.
The viewable area of the graphics runs approximately 14.5” x 12” and is constructed of an opaque white Plexi material that can be customized with team logos and mascots, or ultimately, any image or message the client chooses. The graphics can be easily changed from game to game or event to event. The sign can also be set up on a tripod with a directional arrow or other messaging, depending on the client’s needs.
To make the signs POP, while using minimal battery power, LED lights run the perimeter of the sign, behind the graphic.
Remote control with multiple lighting options.
While a remote control wasn’t on the client’s wish list, the team wanted to go the extra yard and give the client more options. With the remote in hand, sign holders can turn the sign off and on, change brightness and flashing speed and more.
Heavy-duty, retractable, 72” monopod with waist strap.
The team chose a monopod with a quick release mechanism that clicks into the middle of the bottom of the sign. The waist strap was another recommendation from the TTG team because it allows the user to rest the monopod in the strap while it is extended.
By solving one client’s challenge, a new product offering is born
As an expert in the production of live events, The Trade Group provides a variety of wayfinding solutions for festivals, fairs, sporting events, eSports competitions, concerts, VIP experiences and more. Thanks to this request from Anthony Travel, TTG is excited about the product and the endless ways the signs can be reimagined.
As Harvey explains, “We envision these LED-lit wayfinding signs being used as personal mobile billboards, which can be customized – shape, size, graphics, lighting colors and movement – based on each client’s individual goals. So if your brand wants to direct people toward an individual giving out product samples, a meeting site or a larger activation – the options are truly endless.”
Want to learn more about wayfinding solutions for your next event?
Contact our commercial graphics team at 800-343-2005. From traditional signage to LED-lit signs to printed flooring, we can create a wayfinding solution that steers customers your way.