There are only a few weeks left until the big reunion. So far, your preparations have gone smoothly: almost all of your attendees are registered, the flowers are arranged, the band is booked, and the layout of the room is perfect. All you need to do now is make sure your attendees know each other! So, now it’s time to prepare those stinky tags.

While preparing your attendee’s name tags is often the last thing on your to-do list, that doesn’t mean it’s the least. There are several important name tag aspects to consider that will ensure the comfort and accessibility of your attendees. Ask yourself the following questions and you will be able to effectively manage your name tag creation and distribution.

What is the dress code?

Decide on the style of name tag and holder that will best suit your members’ wardrobes, ie adhesive, magnet, clip, lanyard.

What information will be printed on the identification tag?

In addition to your name, include title, company, and city of origin. This is a great way to speed up networking and break the ice.

Will you need designers?

If you have a mixed audience with exhibitors, speakers, buyers, spouses, vendors, managers, etc., consider some type of designation, either on the name tag or as a stackable ribbon.

Is anonymity a problem with some assistants?

For singles, youth, support or health groups, it will be wise to limit the amount of information that appears on identification tags for safety and emotional reasons.

Where will attendees pick up their name tags?

You will need to set aside part of your registration area specifically for your attendee name tags. The display of the name tags is up to you, but I recommend a few of these organizers for maximum accessibility.

What happens if your attendees bring their own name tags?

For Chambers of Commerce or other networking groups, some people prefer to bring their own custom labels. Don’t be offended if you want to wear your own name tag. Hey, at least they have on a name tag!

What is the function of your identification tags?

If your attendee name tags have more than one function, ie meal tickets, security, or table information, be sure to include that in your order and/or create the name tag.

What if someone checks in late or doesn’t have an ID card?

Bring a portable printer, extra name tags, extra lanyards, Sharpies, badge holders, and clips. It is always good to be prepared. Also, if a last-minute attendee needs a name tag of hers, don’t give her a second-rate “orphan tag” that looks nothing like the others. They are embarrassed enough already!

REMEMBER: Name tags are not everyone’s favorite part of the meeting, but if they are not created and distributed effectively, frustration will ensue. And it will reflect badly on you as the meeting planner. So consider these name tag issues and you will ease the burden of forgetting the name, starting conversations and networking. And go the extra mile! Why? So your attendees don’t have to!


What’s the worst name tag you’ve ever seen?


Before your next company or association meeting, give me a call and I’ll tell you everything you need to know about creating and distributing effective name tags.

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