The number one reason people attend industry events is to network. Yet event planners often neglect the most important networking tool they provide: the conference badge. To keep you from making this same mistake, we offer some of the most heinous “badge crimes” we have encountered and tips on how you can avoid them:
Rendering the text in small and/or illegible font. The point of the event badge is for its contents to be read quickly and easily by other attendees and staff members. Therefore, it is absolutely imperative that you use large, legible font that contrasts starkly against the background of the badge. The attendee name, in particular, should be rendered in 30+ point font, and we recommend a no-frills font style like Times New Roman, Arial, or Helvetica.
Making the badge too small. Smaller badges might save you money in the short term, but you’ll sacrifice legibility, and therefore, customer satisfaction, which can lead to poorer attendance in the long term. Plus, the smaller you make the badge, the fewer sponsor logos you can include—more potential revenue lost!
Including too many graphics. Beware of cluttering the badge with graphics, because this can be not only distracting, but also make the badge literally harder to read. The busier the badge, the more attention is diverted from the most important element: the attendee’s name.
Squeezing in a lengthy agenda. While it may seem handy for attendees to have the agenda at their fingertips, it’s not so handy if the words are microscopic. The moment you have to start squinting is the moment you need to nix the agenda.
Leaving the back of the badge blank. As we have already mentioned, the conference badge is the most important networking tool you can provide attendees, so even if you are going for the minimalist approach and including very little on the badge itself, at least make it identical on both sides—especially if it will be hanging from a lanyard, because it will spin!