One of the best things about event planning is the potential to make the mundane magical. Even small details like event badges can be opportunities to flex some creative muscle and design something that is useful and, in a way, whimsical.
Custom event badges are often underutilized communication tools that can help brand your event and connect with attendees in a compelling and creative way.
Before we explore what to include on a custom event badge, let’s review the benefits associated with investing in custom event badges in the first place.
Why invest in custom event badges?
Investing in custom event badges offers compelling benefits for all involved.
In fact, as an event organizer, you should consider investing in custom event badges for enhanced engagement and the ability to:
Lead with a stronger professional image
Custom event badges offer a polished and cohesive look, creating a positive first impression for attendees. A well-designed badge reflects the attention to detail and professionalism of the event organizers — all of which reflects well on your event overall.
Elevate your branding and promotion
By incorporating your event logo, colors, and graphics on a custom event badge, you can reinforce your brand identity and increase brand visibility among attendees. Badges act as mini-billboards, promoting your event throughout the duration of the gathering.
Enhance networking for everyone
Better facilitate networking by displaying attendees’ names, designations, and company affiliations on custom event badges in order to make it easier for participants to identify and connect with each other. Doing so helps foster meaningful interactions, which can help create valuable connections, including qualified leads.
Integrating security features like holograms, barcodes, or RFID technology can help event organizers like you prevent unauthorized access and counterfeit badges. These measures enhance event security and ensure that only registered attendees can access restricted areas or participate in exclusive sessions, a reality that benefits both organizers and attendees, not to mention exhibitors and sponsors as well.
Streamline your check-in process
With custom event badges, the check-in process becomes smoother and more efficient. Attendees can quickly verify their identity and collect their badges, reducing waiting times and minimizing administrative hassles. This streamlined process helps create a positive attendee experience from the very beginning.
Prioritize the personal
Use your badges to feature personalized attendee information, such as names, titles, and organizations. This level of personalization adds a touch of professionalism and makes attendees feel valued. Additionally, you can tailor badges for specific groups, such as VIPs or speakers, to differentiate their access or privileges.
Collect and analyze data with ease
Custom badges can incorporate QR codes or RFID technology that enables easy data collection and analysis. By scanning badges, you can gather valuable insights about attendee behavior, session attendance, and preferences. This data can inform future event planning and help improve the overall event experience.
Make it memorable
While it might seem insignificant or silly, event organizers should never overlook the fact that most attendees appreciate and even collect event swag. By dedicating some time to creating a custom event badge, you immediately present event attendees with a meaningful souvenir of their experience.
What should be included on a custom badge for my event?
Before you jump into the fun and unique elements of custom event badge design, make sure you’re not overlooking the obvious — and critical — pieces of information that should be included, such as:
Clearly and prominently displayed, without this information, introductions and networking might be delayed.
Title or designation
Job titles are good to know, particularly in professional settings where attendees are eager to connect with similarly-designated colleagues or anxious to find people who fit specific roles.
Organization or affiliation
Similar to the professional designation, attendees want to identify which companies or organizations are in attendance. Making sure this information is clearly expressed on a custom event badge is key.
We all know a well-recognized logo can do some serious heavy lifting, communicating an impressive amount of information instantly. Save some space on your custom badges for company logo inclusion. Pro-tip: This goes for the event logo, as well!
Emergency contact details
Play it safe by incorporating emergency contact information onto your event badges to ensure everyone knows how to communicate in the event of an emergency.
Keep unauthorized “attendees” from accessing any part of your event by adding security solutions like watermarks, barcodes, and holograms to authenticate attendees.
Social media buttons and tags
Make it quick and easy for everyone to connect and share highlights of their event experience by displaying the event’s social media handles and corresponding hashtags on the event badges.
Now for the customized elements; in other words, the fun factor …
Here are seven things you’ll want to include on a custom event badge:
1. QR Codes
Small but mighty, QR codes will take up minimal space on your badge and can create various opportunities to boost engagement, make stronger connections, keep attendees in-the-know, and much more. By simply using their smartphones, attendees can get instant access to event information by scanning the QR code. With a QR code, you’ll be able to allow attendees to rapidly and seamlessly check in to event sessions, making it easy to track attendance and automatically enroll attendees for post-session content.
2. Meal tickets
Give your attendees one less thing to worry about by incorporating meal tickets into their badges. By streamlining dining arrangements, attendees can rest assured knowing that once mealtime comes around, they can easily use their badges to gain access to a much-needed meal to refuel from an insightful day at your event. This will also allow you to reduce operational hassle, avoid lost meal tickets, and give attendees more independence.
3. Wi-Fi password
Keeping your attendees connected throughout the event is key, and one way to facilitate that is by answering the most common question before they ask it, ‘What’s the Wi-Fi password?’ Adding the network name and password to their badge design will ensure seamless connectivity for attendees throughout the entire event.
4. Event schedule
Help attendees navigate through your event smoothly by placing the event schedule right around their necks. Keeping track of the event schedule in real-time can be stressful. Having the schedule accessible on their event badges will allow attendees to plan their day more efficiently and avoid the risk of missing out on a key session.
5. Hotel or convention location information
We understand there isn’t an infinite amount of real estate to work with on a conference badge, but simply including key details on their badges can go a long way. By including the location and/or details for accommodation, you can help attendees avoid any confusion and stay organized.
6. Networking event ticket
Allow attendees to easily scan in and out of specific networking sessions by integrating authorization elements into their badges. Instead of weighing down your attendees with networking event tickets, give them the autonomy to go in and out of sessions as they please and focus on what matters most – fostering meaningful connections with other attendees.
7. “Ribbons” (attendee, exhibitor, sponsor, VIP, first-timer)
Kickstart conversations that lead to meaningful connections by allowing attendees to display their key qualifications with a colorful ribbon added to their unique badges. Keep your custom event badge simple yet clear by highlighting different attendee categories, exhibitor status, sponsorship levels, VIP access, and first-time attendees. This will make networking a breeze.