Top Tips For Great Event Name Badges

Speaking with planners we learn about their frustrations, and one of the items that comes up a lot are event name badges. In this post we are sharing top tips to get them right for your next event.

Please hold the handwritten sticky labels

Planners spend a lot of money on events, but tend to want to save a few dollars on name badges and lanyards. Not a good idea! Attendees too spend a lot of money coming to your event. Name badges allow for networking, it’s the first thing people look at when they meet someone. It is part of your event brand and a feature of your event. Insure that right from the start you have ample money in your budget to produce an excellent name badge and lanyard.

Pick the right size

There seems to be a trend to increase the size in name badges. Recently, I attended an event and the badges were about 4 ½ inches wide and 10 inches long. They were filled with sponsor logos, my name and affiliation was still only about 1/8th of the badge. Each time I sat down the badge crumpled in my lap. At the first break most attendees had removed their badges. They were just too big.

Badges need to do one thing and one thing very well: share a person’s name, title, affiliation and perhaps where they came from. I know some planners will disagree with me on this. All of the operational stuff on name badges may help the planner, however confusing name badges take away from the networking value for the attendees.

Reading glasses required

It is not OK to print all information on badges in a 12-point font. It is simply too small. If you have to squint at someone’s name badge to read his or her name, the text is too small. The first line on the badge should be in an as large font as possible and should be the person’s first name, or full name, depending on the formality of the audience. The second line could be the last name or the title of the person. You can add affiliation and location on the 3rd and 4th line in smaller fonts. Stay away from elaborate fonts also. Sans serif fonts are preferred.

Barcodes or QR-Codes

Aside of legible text, name badges can be enhanced with simple QR- or Barcodes adding more value to the badge. Registration software such as Eventinterface will let planners generate name badges directly from the system. Badges will include a QR-Code or barcode that ties to information. At Eventinterface the QR-Code connects to the attendee’s contact information and anyone at the event with a smartphone using a QR-code reader or the Eventinterface app can scan the code and collect the contact details. No more need to collect hundreds of business cards and enter them manually post-event.


Your badges and lanyards are one of the few items at an event that have a constant presence. They should reflect your event or company’s brand. They badges can include a logo, and be full color, but the branding should not interfere with the information that needs to be shared with the audience.

ALL CAPS and misSPellED names

Nothing is more annoying than an attendee walking up to the registration desk and stating that his or her information is misspelled on the badge. Most events use online sign ups and attendees enter their own information. With so many variations on names, a planner never really knows if a name is misspelled, and we assume that attendees are actually capable of spelling their own name correctly. Same counts for the attendees who love to write their name in all CAPS. Annoying right?

As planners we must figure out if our guest relations policies are to reprint any nametag if requested or if we put policies in place to encourage attendees to get it right at the sign-up stage?

Last year I signed up for an event and the planner had clearly spelled out on the event registration page that the information on the name badge would be exactly as I would input it during the sign up process. If somehow I misspelled the information and needed a new badge at the event I was warned that I would have to pay the equivalent of an early registration fee to get a replacement badge. Interestingly enough there were no misspelled nametags for this event.

One sided, two sided, programs?

Unless using a pinned on name badge, they rarely remain in a position where you can read the badge. Some planners will provide name information on one side, and program details on the other side of the name badge. At the event half of the audience is showing program information the other their name. Name badges should be what they are named after, share names and names only. I’m a fan of printing name badges two-sided, so no matter how they twist and turn, you can always read the name, and isn’t that what a name badge is all about?

We want to hear from you. What are your tips? Share them in the comment section below.