Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Trade Show Orienteering

Provide better reference points in windowless buildings
  (+14, -1)(+14, -1)
(+14, -1)
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I went to a reeeeally big trade show last year. Yes, there was a map, but it was just about useless due to the overwhelming pile of stuff all around me. Yes, there are frequently banners overhead with numbers on them but sometimes even these are absent and looking for little numbers painted on the floor is darn near impossible due to posh trade booths that have their own carpeting. I ran into a couple of people who, in desperation, were using their rather expensive GPS recievers to find out where they were. What's needed are better internal North-South East-West markers that can make up for the lack of external references. Two solutions come to mind: a ceiling-mounted lighting display that includes sequenced lights that chase in one direction, say, the Northwest corner of every building. Another way to do it would be to issue actual compasses to all attendees. They're cheap, but very few folks think to bring them. 2020 Addendum: when I had the original idea smartphones with GPS and a compass app were pipe dreams.
Steamboat, May 30 2006


       One acronym: GPS.
m_Al_com, May 31 2006

       I have always wanted little NSEW markers on the floor everywhere I went, possibly colour coded for easy recognition. If this were complimented by a an aditional arrow that points to the direction of the centre of the building (or city) with some kind of rough length indicator to work out how far from the centre you are, you could definately work out where you are going.
PainOCommonSense, May 31 2006

       Put information on the ceiling. I've been in hotel rooms that have little arrows pointing toward Mecca.   

       On a more subtle note, put moss-coloured paint on the north side of the support pillars.
baconbrain, May 31 2006

       with a sense of direction as bad as mine, anything helps. [+]
tcarson, May 31 2006

       What's needed here is a fleet of radio controlled blimps. You phone up an operator in the control room, say ,"help! I'm trapped next to Bovis' uberstand and I need to get to Willy Wonka's Edible Building Materials", and a little silver airship comes along, finds you, and leads you to safety.   

       Not subtle, not sensible, but fun.
moomintroll, Jun 01 2006

       i like the blimps. you could probably have personalized messages scrolling on them as well.
tcarson, Jun 02 2006

       I think your idea is generally good except for the compass part. Electrical devices (especially flourescent lamps) and building wiring produce magnetic fields that can cause compasses to act erratically and therefore don't generally work well inside.
akgeo, Jun 02 2006

       Good grief.
zigness, Jun 02 2006

       Good problem solving, Steamboat, but I'm also intrigued with moomintroll's variation using blimps. Just wondering how small ones are kept aloft (besides your imagination)?
biff, Jul 19 2006

       Ideally, each compass would be delivered by a fleet of radio-controlled miniature blimps. There: you're both right!
lahosken, Jul 20 2006

       If you supply a map with markers on them which coincide with large stickers on the floor at intersections people would be able to tell where they are by matching the point on the map to the sticker on the floor.   

       Adding an arrow on the sticker will help where direction is concerned.
startupcaribbean, Dec 23 2008

       Some flea markets have "street signs" at each aisle, so you can tell someone "meet me at Main St. and 3rd Avenue in an hour".   

       This should be expanded to a simple coordinate system for easier understanding.
phundug, Dec 23 2008

       IBC at the RAI in Amsterdam is a NIGHTMARE. [+]
AbsintheWithoutLeave, Dec 23 2008

       Addendum: the idea is now moot since everyone can download a compass app. Back in '06, when I thought this up, a GPS cost a bloody fortune. Moore's Law triumphs once more: wheeee!
Steamboat, Mar 20 2014


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