Name Badges Done Well – A Conference Detail that Counts

by Leah Doyle | March 1, 2016

“We don’t need no stinking badges” is a famous line from the 1948 film The Treasure of the Sierra Madre starring Humphrey Bogart.

The Mexican bandit who said the line was clearly not a conference planner. If he was, he would definitely assert that yes, he did, in fact need a stinking badge. But often conference planners leave the name tags/badges for their event to be one of the last details covered. Many times, a name tag is an afterthought. However, if your attendees spend good money on registration, transportation and accommodations, they should get a quality badge.

In the article,Anatomy of a Name Badge, Adrian Segar suggests the following should be on the front of the badge:

  1. Name – first and last on separate lines.
  2. Affiliation – the company the attendee represents
  3. Twitter ID
  4. Event identification
  5. Badge wearer’s role at the event

Nothing else is needed on the front of the badge, according to Segar.

But what about the etiquette of a conference name badge? Here are five tips:

  1. SIZE. Font size is extremely important. Name tags should be printed in a size that practically fills the badge. It is a waste of space (and considered unprofessional) to use a small font, even a standard 12-point type. Use the largest you can and adjust only for longer names.
  1. POSITIONING. The name is much more vital to see clearly than the organization with which that attendee is affiliated. When you are looking at a fellow conference goer, you zoom in on their name first and foremost. It is confusing to see their company name on top or in larger font. Position the name where it is the most clearly seen information.
  1. NO HANGING BADGES. Do not use hanging name tags. The length is difficult to get right so the tags end up close to some attendees’ bellies. No one at a conference wants the people they network with staring at their stomach.
  1. NO PINS. Do not use name tags that need to be pinned on. These ruin clothes. Magnetic name tags are ideal.
  1. NO TRIVIA. Don’t waste space with meaningless information. No need to put where someone hails from. No one cares about any awards someone may have received. Remember the purpose of a name tag.
  1. DESIGN WELL. Thin and sleek – make sure that the employee name tags are thin and sleek, so that most of the people would love wearing it without forcing them to do so. If not done properly, nametag design errors can adversely affect your brand image.

A conference nametag may seem like a tiny detail, but it can have big impact. Make sure this aspect of your planning is thought through with attention to the points that make a great badge, great. Subconsciously, everyone loves to see their name in print. It gives a sense of worth, especially at a big event. Remember this and make your name badges have a sense of worth too.

Improve ROI at your next event



Topics: Blog

Written by Leah Doyle


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