Creativity Begins on Arrival with These Clever Name Tags

What’s in a name tag? Much more than a name, it turns out.

Don’t let name tags be an afterthought; instead plan ahead to make the most of them. Here are our tips for unique and interesting name badges that will spark conversation, connect attendees to one another and increase guest engagement.

Name Tags—Not Just for Names

  • Names are an obvious necessity, but make sure the name is large enough so people don’t have to squint to read it.
  • Including social media information is becoming increasingly popular. If an attendee wishes, include his or her Twitter handle, and always include the event hashtag. Promoting the hashtag will be helpful for those already engaging on social media and will encourage others to start getting social as well.
  • Identifiers may, or may not, be important to your meeting purpose. Consider displaying attendees’ job title or company affiliation if appropriate.
  • In contrast to serious career-related information, you could add some fun too. Leave a “Fill in the Blank” phrase beneath the name. You could try “World’s Greatest ________” or “Professional _______,” which leaves room for creative—or work-related—accolades.
  • What about all that blank real estate on the back? Use it for icebreakers! Include prompts like “Ask me what my favorite movie is,” “Ask me about my most embarrassing moment” or “Let’s find something we have in common.” Or perhaps include scavenger hunt clues that ultimately lead to an evening networking event. These can be great conversation starters during networking events or downtime.
  • If you’re planning an event for a tech-savvy group, consider adding QR codes. If an attendee scans another attendee’s QR code (QR scanning apps can be easily downloaded on smartphones), he or she can see that person’s contact information—including, but not limited to, name, title, email, phone number, and Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts.

Stick ’Em, Hang ’Em or Clip ’Em?

  • Stay away from sticky name tags. They are inefficient for multiple-day or long events, especially if attendees need to change and are expected to preserve them overnight. They can also ruin clothing—especially if someone is wearing a nice sweater or something sparkly.
  • Clips are a great alternative for name badges—but not everyone may be able to clip it to a pocket, suit coat or somewhere easily visible.

  • Hanging name tags may be the most versatile option for meetings. They ensure everyone’s name tag is in the same place, there’s no risk of ruining clothing and they can be used over multiple days. Plus, the name badge lanyard offers a branding opportunity.

What other elements have you included on a name tag? How have you had attendees wear name tags? We want to know all of it! Tweet us at @MtgsImagined or tell us on Facebook!

And here’s one last thought: At smaller events, name tag displays can also be used as décor. Suspend colorful name tags from vertical displays or arrange them on a table with other design elements and centerpieces that will draw attendees to the name tag pick-up area.