Guest post: 4 steps to great event badges

This is a guest post by Jim Sinai, Eventbrite’s Director of Business Development.

As Director of BD here at Eventbrite, I go to a fair amount of business events. One thing I have noticed lately is the wide variety of badges I am given. Some badges are hip, some are stale. Some hang from my neck, while others pin onto my jacket. But for the most part, most of the badges I get are useless. Here’s why:

No one can read these badges!

In a crowded event floor or exhibit hall, its hard to read small fonts with burying your face in their chest or staring hard from 2 feet away. This is awkward for a variety of reasons. Most badges have nametags that include my first name, last name, and company. These pieces of information are usually the same font sizes.

In reality, however, all I care about is your first name and your company. If I want to follow up, I’ll ask for your card. So here is what I propose for making success name badges:

1) Make the first name HUGE


Smaller last Name

2) Don’t waste white space: too many badges are just black ink on white labels. While that’s cheap and efficient, they don’t pop out as much.

3) Use lanyards instead of clips or pins. They’re less of a clothing hassle, and you can even sell sponsorship on them.

4) Invest in a bit of graphic design.

Here are two examples from recent conferences:

One thing that’s great about Eventbrite is that we offer an easy tool for creating badges. Just click on the title of your event, then select ‘Print Name Badges’ from the left-side feature list. You’ll be able to customize the badge layout:

It’s a snap to create a badge that pops:

Thanks in advance for making networking easier!

[Jim Sinai does not really work for Company. He works for Eventbrite.]

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14 CommentsLeave a comment

  • I always think about this when I make name badges. Thanks for confirming it makes a difference.

  • Over at WordCamp Boston, we created badges following all your suggestions, and the results were neither ordinary or useless. We’ve gotten a ton of compliments- we exported our attendee data out of eventbrite and used a datamerge with InDesign to create these badges which were a stupendous 4 x 6 inches. People were able to actually photograph the badges from 30 feet away and use them later to identify speakers.

  • So awesome! Glad you found the suggestions helpful, and thanks for sharing the success story!

  • That feature isn’t available yet, but the request has been logged. For now we suggest running the name badges through with the logo and then running our pdf on top of that. (You’ll need to make sure everything is lined up correctly.) Thanks!

  • NameTags??? Aloha frm Hawaii. I’ve done a few conferences and integrated the registration process of attendees, with type of Lunch designation (for distribution) and also what/which seminar their attending.

    This was utilizing Filemaker Pro, your able to integrate registration, receipts, as well as various printout/reports; registration forms, checkin desk master list, seminar registra/class lists, lunch list, NAME TAGS!!!
    We used laserprinted self-adhesive name tags, sorted in alpha order. A simple typeface & big enough font size that’s readable frm a few feet away (preferable 18-24-30 point).
    Of course, what size is the name tag will dictate all font sizes.
    When it came to “coding” the individual’s Lunch selection? A simple “C” for chicken and “V” for vegetarian was placed in the upper left corner, so the people handing out the box lunches simply had to look @ the person’s name tag to see what they were having! No looking down at a list of names. AND it amazed the attendees as to how fast they got their lunch as if by magic.

    If color printing (inkjet or color laserprinting) is available), additional use of color is possible. Not only for logos and such, but also fotos and just simple color/alpha coding.

    The additional of what seminar/workshops can also be printed on the name tag (in small type @ the lower edge of the tag).

    If using card stock to print your tags (to be inserted into plastic holders), instead of printing back & front then having to cut the tags out, layout the name tag on the sheet; the same information on the left side and the right.
    If necessary, cut across in smaller sizes, then just fold the paper in HALF that would then fit into the holder. This makes printing go faster and also handling (cutting and inserting the tags into holders) alot faster

    Of course, the original project was way before online registration and payment; i’m sure there’s a way to apply these methods and layouts to online/internet-based registration systems.

  • I don’t see a way to add a company logo or graphic to the badges from the Eventbrite tool for generating them. HOW is this done?