NamesCon17: Rethinking the Name Badge

For the past two years, I’ve written articles about the importance of conference name badge design (2014 and 2015) to enhance networking opportunities at live events. This year, myself and the rest of the team at NamesCon thought it would be a good idea to start from scratch and completely redesign our name badge for NamesCon17.

The goal was to provide our attendees with our best, most readable name badge yet. Whether you are planning a conference for thousands, or a meet-up for a dozen, we think these tips will help you in designing your own version. Here’s how we thought about our latest, new and improved name badge:

NamesCon17: Rethinking the Name Badge

Size

I’ve always been a proponent of “go big or go home” when it comes to name badges, and especially with the impact it gives to the size of the wearer’s first name. However, this year we decided to prove that a slightly smaller name badge CAN be better.

After a lot of effort, we created a more compact, friendlier badge for NamesCon17 — without sacrificing the important factor of readability. Measuring 3.66” wide x 4.25” tall and featuring rounded corners, our new badge is more approachable and won’t make you feel like you’re walking around with a magazine strapped to your chest.

The Name

No one wants to be embarrassed by the apprehensive delay caused by forgetting the name of a LinkedIn connection or email acquaintance. Being able to quickly scan a person’s badge for all their information is invaluable when networking at a conference like NamesCon.

I strongly believe that being able to read a person’s first name from at least 8 feet away — on a moving body no less — is essential and should be done with ease, not requiring super hero-like vision. To make that possible, we selected a new serif font called Aleo that is readable and representative of the NamesCon brand (the same Aleo font appears in all of our graphics for this year, contributing to our overall branding). The first and last name are on separate lines, and the first name is printed in a bold, large font size. Company name is listed directly below without any title or attendee status in order to better promote social interactions — let’s get everyone talking!

The Badge Sponsor

Since we didn’t want to sacrifice name readability, going smaller on the badge size meant we had to shuffle things around and do away with a lot of empty space. At the top, we proudly display the Uniregistry logo, our badge sponsor and title sponsor for the entire conference.

The NamesCon logo and conference dates find themselves at the bottom of the badge — you already know where you are and the dates of the conference, so there’s really no need to display those front and centre.

New Elements

One of the exciting features of this year’s conference is our new event app, which will allow you to manage your schedule, while upping your networking game by accessing profiles of speakers, moderators, sponsors, and other attendees. With that in mind, we integrated a QR code that when scanned through the app, allows exhibitors to connect with attendees and instantly save their contact information.

Perhaps the biggest change we made this year is in switching to a double-sided one-piece plastic badge instead of a plastic sleeve and a paper insert (also thanks to DoubleDutch, we’re going paperless!). The cost is well worth the upgraded look and feel. Why? Not only does it look cleaner and more professional, but it also prevents people from storing business cards and papers in the pocket, accidentally covering up their name as a result. We really wanted to make it as easy as possible for people to make memorable connections.

Lanyard

The lanyard is one of the top two logo placements at any conference and we couldn’t be happier to have Afilias as our lanyard sponsor once again. Afilias provides one of the best lanyards I’ve seen at any conference to this day. It’s soft, wide and comes with an easy on/off clasp at the back so that you don’t have to pull the lanyard over your head to take it off. I’m not going to lie — I’m already giddy at the thought of putting it on.

NamesCon predicts another record-breaking year with well over 1,400 attendees — make sure to get your ticket and come check out our new badges. We put a lot of thought into this year’s design in order to provide our attendees with the utmost comfort and the best networking experience. And we know there’s nothing more flattering than being copied. Hopefully we’ll see our countless hours of design playing out in other conference and event name badges around the globe!

See you in January in Las Vegas!