Few argue the effectiveness of conventions, conferences, and trade shows as a lead generation tool. Both sides step out from the anonymity of a digital presence, and true engagements happen. Those physical encounters will happen again as we emerge from the pandemic and return to gatherings such as these—with a few changes.

There might be face masks. There could be attendance limitations. There definitely will be a change in how we meet and greet. Elbow bumps or even a wave may likely replace the handshake. Attendees and exhibitors are going to want their preference of social distancing to be respected.

And this is all the more reason to ensure that badges do a better job of communicating who we are.


A billboard that you wear

One of the best comparisons we’ve ever come across was how a name badge should be a lot like a highway billboard. Not size-wise, of course! But in terms of objective. A best practice in this industry dictates that the text (in this case the headline) should be no more than seven words. Those words should be BIG so people driving by at highway speeds can read them and have them register in a matter of seconds.

Think about it. The last time you attended a business gathering where people wore name tags or badges, could you sweep the area around you and nearly instantly read names and associated companies?

Usually (but not always), it’s a 3” by 4” card where the title of the conference or gathering is the biggest thing you see, and maybe also where the person is an ATTENDEE or an EXHIBITOR.

Is that really what you need to know?


Better badges

It’s safe to assume that you and everyone else knows where you are, so maybe it’s not all that necessary to give a large piece of your badge real estate to rehash this. To help, why not also consider jumping up a bit in size. A 4” by 6” badge is still comfortable enough to wear attached to a lanyard (and maybe the lanyard is what you dedicate to branding and identifying the event itself).

This slightly bigger size also helps to accommodate what everyone actually wants from an effective event badge. You’ll be able to increase the size of the text so it’s readable from a distance. Generally, you’ll want readability from up to 30 feet away.

To accomplish this, move away from your reluctance to go big with text sizes. First, consider the font you’re using. The font families known as Interstate, Highway Gothic, and Clearview were developed to maximize legibility at a distance and at high speed. Names set at 72 points in the condensed black style of these fonts—especially when the first and last names are separated on two lines—are instantly readable.

Where does this person work? Move that to a third line and drop the font size down to 40 points. Select a different color, as well. At that size, you’ll still have sufficient space for a long name, and it’ll still be readable.

It’s important to know if someone is an attendee or an exhibitor. Information like that can be placed at the bottom of the badge. Tuck it on the right-hand side, and you’ve got the rest of this area to include any text-related information. Otherwise, move the rest to the backside. Do you have a main agenda? Include it there so it’s accessible, and consider delivering further important information by using a Quick Code on the back, too.


I see you!

It might take a bit longer than expected, but we’re all going to return to attending conferences, trade shows, and conventions. If you’re in the planning stages, we can help you with badge holders designed to work with lanyards. We can even add de-bossed logos and brass eyelets. Best of all, we can make them in any size—including those traditionally larger than what you may have seen the last time you ventured out to an industry gathering.


We’d love to connect with you!

Contact the Vinyl Art Team at 1-800-569-1304or sales@vinylart.com