Finding Your Way on Campus

Post-secondary campuses can be large, complex and a bit confusing for first-time visitors. Melissa McKay, director, strategic events, Office of Advancement at the University of Calgary, offers tips for ensuring attendees don’t get lost on the way to your on-campus sporting event.

Hunter Student Commons, University of Calgary
Hunter Student Commons, University of Calgary
PHOTO: Riley Brandt, UCalgary

By Angela Kryhul

Pre-event Preparations

  • Provide online links to campus maps and floor plans noting parking lots, public transit stops, key venues, your event’s registration desk, food courts and overnight residence buildings
  • Include photos showing the exteriors of key sports venues to make it easier for athletes and attendees to find
  • Provide the contact names, email address and phone number of your registration desk as well as for campus security services
  • For deliveries as well as taxi or rideshare pickups, provide a specific address closest to the registration desk or main competition venue rather than the general university address
  • Ask what types of signage are allowed in each building. A-frames and sign holders? Wall posters? Floor stickers?
  • Ensure outside signage can withstand rain, snow and strong winds

Be creative

  • Ensure your signage matches the look and feel of your brand and event invitations
  • After dark, light the outside of venues in your brand colours
  • Use QR codes on wayfinding material to communicate additional details
  • Ask whether campus digital signage can be customized for your event

Look at it from the attendee’s perspective

  • Place brightly dressed greeters at bus drop-off points and along the walking routes to your venues
  • Ask your campus planner whether other events, construction or roadblocks may impact your sporting event and the experience of participants and attendees
  • In the weeks leading up to your event, walk the campus and observe where people typically stop and look around. “You would want to place signage at those decision points,” McKay suggests.
MacEwan Hall, University of Calgary
PHOTO: Riley Brandt, UCalgary
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