As a professional event manager, it’s your job to make sure that events go smoothly from start to finish. That includes doing things like marketing a new event, gathering information about the attendees of the event and managing all the activities, speakers and other forms of entertainment during the event.
One thing that every event manager needs to know is – how do you create a name badge that helps people connect with one another? This sounds like a relatively simple task, but there’s actually quite a bit that goes into making an effective event badge. We’ll go over some general tips explaining what goes into a good quality badge, and how to create one that’s going to perform well in a variety of event situations.
What is a Name Badge?
A name badge is a tag that people wear at events for identification, engagement and data intelligence. It’s a marketing tool for companies and a good way for people to identify one another. They are typically paper or card stock descriptions of the person wearing them, and they are held within a lanyard and a plastic card holder. The finished product simply hangs around an attendee’s neck and serves as an important identifier. Badges aren’t very complicated, but they are made up of multiple parts that all have to come together to do their job properly.
What’s the Benefit of a Good Design
An effective name badge is a key component to any event. It makes people more comfortable in talking with one another and also serves as a helpful ice breaker. These badges give little bits of information that guests can utilize to open up conversations and begin networking. It’s difficult to get just the right balance and create top quality name badges.
10 Tips for Achieving an Effective Name Badge Design
It’s not always obvious how you can make a quality event badge, but here’s an overview of the considerations involved and how to make the very best badge that you can for your budget.
1. Choose a Reliable and Adjustable Lanyard
One of the most important decisions that an event manager must make is selecting the lanyard that will be used for a name badge. It needs to hold the tag in a position that’s going to be easily readable – always. That means it must not swivel around, and it should be height adjustable for different sized people. The best way to avoid the swivelling issue is by using a double-ended lanyard. Take the time to properly evaluate the lanyards for your event name badges, and try them out on multiple people of different sizes if possible.
2. Pick a Font Size that’s Easily Readable
One of the biggest mistakes that prevents custom event badges from being effective is the font size that is just too small. Nobody wants to squint to read a guest’s name, and tags that are too small might prevent people from talking to one another, or make it more difficult at the very least.
3. Select a Font that Works with Long Names
Some guests will have longer names and want them to show fully on the tag. It’s important that your name badge accommodates lengthy names without them coming out distorted on the tag. Choose a font size and font type that accepts longer names without an issue.
4. Include a Job Title
An effective name badge doesn’t just show off the person’s first and last name, it should also give valuable information that helps people open up to one another as well. One important piece of information is the job title. Right under the name on the name badge, you should include a person’s job title. This little bit of information helps like-minded people connect with one another, and can be a valuable tool for forging new relationships.
5. Consider Multicolored Badges
While it’s much cheaper to go with black and white badge designs, it’s more effective to use badges that allow for colors. Whether you want to add a company logo, a description of the event or other styles on the badge, they all show up better when colored. By picking out multicolored tags, designers will have more on their palette to work with, allowing for higher quality unique creations.
6. Make Sure Bar Codes or QR Codes Scan through the Protectors
Effective conference badges all make use of plastic sleeves to keep them in good shape. It’s important to verify that any barcodes or QR codes that are added onto the tags scan effectively through those plastic sleeves. Always test them out with a smartphone or barcode scanner before committing to a design or sleeve.
7. Select a Durable Badge Material
Events often last several days before they end. For that reason, it’s important that the tag portion of effective event badges is durable. It’s best if it is made from a heavy vinyl if it must last multiple days. For single day events, the sticker or thin vinyl tags will often be durable enough. It’s very important to make sure the badge material can handle the task that you have for it.
8. Buy Badges in Bulk
Another tip for creating a name badge set at an affordable rate is to print off the badges in bulk. Try to produce as many as possible at one time to get lower prices. Also consider buying things like lanyards and plastic holders in much greater supply than you need at a time. For instance, when buying holders for a 50 person event, it would likely be much more affordable to buy 500 holders instead of 50. The price will be a bit more initially, but over time the savings will be substantial.
Be careful to avoid buying too few lanyards and plastic covers to go with your badges, or you’ll run the risk of spending far more money than you have to at the end.
9. Getting the Size Just Right
Generally a badge that’s around 4” by 3” in size is just right when designing a name badge that’s going to work at events. It’s important when creating a badge to avoid making it too large or too small. If it’s too large, people either won’t want to wear it, or they will be uncomfortable while doing so. If it’s too small, it won’t show off enough information or it won’t show in a large enough font to be useful. It’s important to get a balance between these two extremes for best results.
To make sure you get a size that you’re going to like using, try out a few different dimensions to see what you prefer the most. Don’t rush when deciding on what to use, and make sure that you test out more than one option before making your final decision.
10. Hire a Good Graphic Designer
It’s not as easy as it seems choosing graphics, fonts and placement of all the details on an event badge. The best way to go when creating one from scratch is to hire a professional to take on the project for you. They will already have some ideas on how to create a quality product and should be able to come up with a custom creation that meets all your specific needs. Don’t rush through the design process and don’t try to do it yourself – unless you have some serious design skills. Instead, outsource the work to save time and get better quality results.
Examples of Excellent Badges
The Singapore FinTech Festival 2016 name badges below are an excellent example of good quality products for a few different reasons:
- The first is that the name is clear and the font is easy to read.
- The tag also utilizes two attachment points to prevent it from spinning around during use.
- It’s rich with color and attractive to look at.
- To top it all off, the tag comes with a large QR code that appears to be easy to scan.
This will make it easy for attendees to give out their information and create new contacts quickly.
As an event manager, it’s important to understand the process for creating a name badge. The design of a name badge is simple, but following the above tips will help you create a better quality finished product in the end. Just be careful to make a usable product that’s going to encourage new connections, and you’ll receive nothing but positive feedback regarding the badge for your events. Spend a bit more time deciding on the different elements of an event badge and invest a bit more into the final product before making the purchase. Buying cheap badges might seem like a good way to save money on your event, but it’s actually one of the biggest mistakes that you can make. You won’t save much, and will dramatically lower the experience of the attendees. If anything, it makes more sense to invest more budget into your name badges to make sure that they turn out as good as possible.