Badge your event better

Whatever the size of your event or conference, first impressions count. The car parking, the pathfinder signage and welcome branding; it all counts towards determining your guests’ initial impressions of your event.

And the same goes for their name badge.

So rather than printing out their names in Times New Roman and buying the same old throw-away badge holders, turn it into an opportunity.

Branded, personalised name badges make a big impression

Greeting attendees with a branded, plastic name badge conveys a far more professional image than a paper one ever could.

It’s also a key branding opportunity: one that’s on show for the whole of the conference or event, and will be prominent in any photography or media coverage.

So what’s the best – and most cost-effective – way to do it?

You’ll need a plastic card printer, commonly referred to as an ID card printer.

These aren’t as expensive as you might think. The model you’ll need (and therefore the cost involved) will depend on how much of a workhorse you need it to be. Entry level plastic card printers like the Evolis Badgy start at around £650 and are perfectly good for the light user, though you can spend up to £3,000 on an all-singing, all-dancing model if you need to produce large volumes of cards quickly.

Evolis Badgy ID card printer
Small and lightweight, the Badgy has everything you need to get started – just plug in and print

Most are small and lightweight, easy to carry around and designed to sit comfortably on a registration desk.

Before the event, set up the design template you want printed on the badges (you do this through the card design software) and do some test runs.

You can then pre-print attendees names so that they’re ready for them as soon as they arrive, or if you want to minimise wastage, print them when they turn up on the day.

Speed the process up by having the base cards pre-printed

Where this doesn’t work so well is when you have large numbers of people arriving at the same time.

One way to speed up the process is by having the card design pre-printed onto a stock of cards, so all you have to do is over-print the name on the day.

The most cost-effective way to do this (particularly in large numbers) is for a plastic card bureau to print a bank of cards, which you then put through your own ID card printer when required.

The bigger the run of cards at the bureau, the cheaper the unit price. So if you have a number of events planned throughout the year, think ahead and order all your cards now to make it most cost-effective.

Need the cards to be more than just name badges?

Using a card bureau is often the best way if you need the cards to do something more than just identify the wearer. For example, if you want the cards to also act as an access control card, or smart card; allowing the attendee to access VIP areas of a conference for example; it’s quicker and easier to have these capabilities already programmed rather than trying to do it on the day.

Then think about how your attendees will wear them

If you’ve spent time creating beautifully branded name badges, make sure they are shown off to their full advantage. Some card holders can encroach on the design; others require you to punch a hole in the card to attach to a lanyard or holder.

Pin crocodile clip for name badges
Using this fitting, the name badge can be pinned or clipped onto clothing

The easiest way to let the name badges take centre stage is to use a pin/crocodile clip, that affixes onto the card via an adhesive pad.

Want to recycle and re-use the cards?

Thousands of name badges end up in the bin at the end of conferences, but there is a way to re-use them.

A re-writable ID card printer, like the Evolis Tattoo, allows you to rewrite and reprint the same card up to 500 times.

Which not only makes it rather clever, but also highly economical and environmentally efficient.

Evolis Tattoo rewritable card printer
Lightweight and small, the Evolis Tattoo can re-print the same card up to 500 times

So ask your attendees to hand their badges in at the end of the conference, erase the name and you’ll have a card ready for your next event. The branding design that was pre-printed by the card bureau won’t be erased; just the name details you entered through your own card printer.

One thing to note: you’ll need to buy rewritable cards, regular plastic cards won’t do it.

Of course if your budget will stretch to a self-service registration kiosk that automates the entire registration and badging process, then brilliant. But if it doesn’t, there’s still plenty you can do to improve the way you badge your attendees.

 

Don’t throw name badges in the bin after an event – reuse them

How to re-use and re-issue your name badges at your next event or conference

Box for name badgesIf you run events or conferences, you’ll know that you never get back all those name badges you’ve spent time creating.

Usually, a big pile of them end up in the bin by the door. Or most commonly, the attendee doesn’t hand their name badge back in – and they end up in the bin by their door.

If you’ve spent time and money on your name badges and holders, this can be rather annoying.

Not to mention wasteful, and bad for the environment.

So what’s the answer?

There is a way you can reissue your name badges with a new name at your next event – using a rewritable card printer.

Rewritable card printers, like the Evolis Tattoo, are different to regular card printers in that they use rewrite technology rather than printer ribbons. The benefit of this printing method means that the print can be erased and new details printed time and time again, on the same card.

In fact, the same card can be erased and reprinted up to 500 times.

So rather than your name badges being one-use-only, they could carry on badging attendees at future events, and on, and on.

event name badgeThe benefits of using plastic cards for name badges

When you choose to print your name badges as plastic cards rather than paper, you’re making a statement that you value your attendees’ presence. They convey a more professional image, and are a valuable branding tool – one that’s on show for the whole of the conference (and appears in all the photographs).

Although more expensive than their paper counterparts, using rewritable cards means you’ll save money in the long run by reusing them, and help with your company’s environmental policy too.

Now you just need to ensure they get handed back in

The easiest way to do this is to set up a stand by the exit with a sealed box, asking people politely to drop their name badges through the slot as they leave. You could also add an incentive for doing so; say a bottle of champagne to the first card pulled out.

Using a sealed box protects your attendee’s privacy and is more secure, preventing unwanted guests from finding a name badge and gaining access without your permission.

Read more about rewritable card printers and rewritable cards.

The one detail you’ve probably overlooked in the event planning

Include a disclaimer or instructions on the reverseGetting all of the little details right can make the difference between a good event and a truly great one.

This won’t be news to you. That’s why you have such a long checklist to run through – from the way finder signage to the welcome drinks, branded menus and speaker slides.

And the thing you’ve probably spent the longest time sourcing – the goody bag – is surprising, relevant and on-budget.

But you’d be surprised how many times all of this effort gets blown the moment an attendee takes off their coat.

First impressions count – and last

The one thing that’s rarely prioritised high enough on the list – if it’s there at all – is the Cloakroom.

Failure to consider how you’re going to deal with your guests’ prized belongings can create the wrong impression at the start – or ruin all those positive feelings you’ve worked SO hard to engender right at the end.

A few tips for a good Cloakroom experience

  1. Create an allocated space for the Cloakroom

Might seem a bit obvious this one, but you need to create an allocated space away from the welcome desk. You don’t want a queue to build whilst you’re registering guests and dealing with their coats. Keep a steady flow-through and you won’t have disgruntled attendees before they’ve even got into the event.

  1. Get the logistics right

Make sure the Cloakroom is big enough to cope with the number of guests. How many coat rails and hangers will you need? How many coats can you realistically get onto one rail? Where will you place bags? Where will you keep umbrellas in case it’s a rainy day (which let’s face it, it normally is?)

  1. Make sure you have enough staff – and that they’re the right ones

Everyone hates having to queue for the Cloakroom, particularly at the end of an event when you just want to get home. Don’t let their positive impressions turn to negative ones because you only have one person checking tickets and gathering possessions – especially if that person isn’t known for their customer service skills. You don’t want them leaving what was otherwise successful event with a bitter taste in their mouth.

  1. Don’t reach for the book of raffle tickets

    Branded Cloakroom tags make a statement and are less likely to be lost than paper tickets
    Branded Cloakroom tags make a statement and are less likely to be lost than paper tickets

The last thing an attendee wants to be handed in return for their expensive Armani Shawl is a tatty raffle ticket that’s looks like it’s straight out of the school tombola. Apart from the disastrous impression it gives in branding terms, they’re easily ripped and lost.

You can pick up ‘off-the-shelf’ paper cloakroom tags or plastic cloakroom tags cheaply. And if you go for the plastic versions, they can be reused time and time again.

Branded Cloakroom Tags are even better. You can have them printed with the event’s branding for consistency – and what client won’t love that?

Or have them printed with your own Event Company’s branding. As well as being able to reuse them for future events, they’re also a great marketing tool to help turn those attendees into future clients. You could also add a disclaimer on the back, clearly spelling out your liability policy (that’s another box ticked).

  1. Bring the Cloakroom into the theme and branding of your event

If you’ve spent a lot of time and money on theming all the other areas of the event, make sure you do the same here. Think about the signage, the product placement – even how your Cloakroom staff are dressed. Don’t make it seem like it’s an after-thought.

If you’re spending thousands on an event, don’t let the Cloakroom be the one area that’s forgotten in the budget. Make those first – and last impressions – count.

 

Create Christmas invites with a difference

Christmas bauble invitation

 

If you’re holding a lavish Christmas party or event this year, make an impression straight away by sending guests an invitation with a difference.

Get people talking – and interacting

Rather than sending a traditional paper invitation, think about what a printed plastic cards could do. For a start you’ve already stood out for being unexpected, which will start creating a buzz far in advance of the event.

But printed plastic cards can do much more than just give time and location details of the party.

Include a QR code

Start generating intrigue in the event as soon as your guest opens the envelope. Ask them to scan the QR code to launch a ‘secret’ page on your website. This could contain the location and details of the party, or give a special benefit to those who have put in the effort, for example details of a special VIP area or exclusive offer.

 Reveal Christmas goodies through a scratch panel

Including a scratch panel on your printed plastic cards is a great way to give away a freebie at the event, for example a free cocktail at the bar, or other bonus like tokens for the casino. People love to feel they’ve ‘won’ a benefit, rather than just being handed a voucher at the door.

Exclusive event? Have individual guest names on your printed plastic cards

Having each card personalised with guest names or details gives an impression of an exclusive invite to your event. This is much more affordable than you might think. We can personalise each individual card from as little as £20 extra for 500 cards.

Printed plastic cards are also much more likely to be retained after the event than a paper invite, acting as a reminder of your brand and a great day or night out.

Search our range of custom printed plastic cards here.

Time to upgrade to colour plastic cloakroom tags?

Trevor Sorbie cloakroom tag
Make the right brand statement with colour plastic cloakroom tags

We’ve all been there – you hand your nice expensive coat over to the hairdresser or restaurant, and you’re handed back a tatty raffle ticket. Doesn’t exactly fill you with confidence does it?

If you’re still using paper raffle tickets as part of your guest welcome, consider what it’s saying about your brand. Especially when you could be handing over a plastic cloakroom tags with your logo and brand colours on – and even a promotional message. Advertise your current offer or your sister establishment. Or remind them to check your website for the latest deals. Use them as more than just a means of claiming a coat back.

All kinds of establishments are upgrading to our colour plastic cloakroom tags, from theatres to hotels, and they’re being increasingly used by companies for events and conferences. They’re now one of our best sellers as more companies realise the importance of giving the right impression of their brand.

We can print 400 double sided plastic cloakroom tags (200 numbered pairs) to your own specification for just £213.46.