Why Your Name Badges Suck

Name badges

It happens at nearly every conference. The organizer wants to impress the bosses, and as such the badge is designed highlighting the conference or a company that’s sponsoring. The badge probably looks very attractive on the table when attendees pick them up, but when they go to meet other attendees, speakers and exhibitors, they have a hard time doing what they’d expect to be able to do with others’ badges: read people’s names.

Here at EventDay, we don’t have that problem. It’s not that we’ve invented a revolutionary way to introduce people sans badges, we’ve focused on what’s most important about name badges and highlighted those parts. Here’s what we think more conferences should do:

Make the name bigger
At least the first name. Last name and company can usually be a little smaller, as we don’t think people greet each other by last name and “what company do you work for?” is a fantastic introductory question. Highlight that first name above all else.

Don’t worry about the conference logo
Unless the badges are sponsored, there is no good reason to have a large logo on them. None of the attendees need to be reminded where they are, and they probably take off the name badge when they leave the premises, so advertising the event is pointless. Leave some white space so others can focus on that important information on there.

Color coding is easier to recognize than labels
Any event that has vendors, presenters, attendees and any other distinct groups can use color coding to determine access or material type. For the people that run the event, choose bolder colors, as they’re easier to pick out in a crowd. For the attendees, lighter colors works, as they’re more inviting. 3-5 segments is probably the max, as too many will confuse you, too.

Use two holes for hanging name badges
No one likes a twisted name badge, even if the content is on each side. A better solution is to have two holes to secure the badge on top, even if it’s a little pricier. This also means you could put content useful to the person wearing the badge on the back, in a smaller font, and not have to worry about readability beyond a few inches. Also, room for sponsors.

Make friends with technology
QR codes, RFID chips and NFC capabilities can provide extremely useful data to conference organizers and allow attendees easy access to information. Real-time crowd traffic flow, contact information sharing and even purchasing power can all be integrated.

Anything we didn’t mention? Are you usually happy with the name badges at events you host or attend?