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Event Badges: 100 Ideas for 2018

By Angela Skeen

Event badges are the most powerful weapon to connect attendees. Here are 100 conference name badge ideas to connect your attendees better at your event.

In the grand scheme of event planning, the event badge can seem like a trivial and unglamorous detail. But, as they say, the devil is in the details and this seemingly small element is more than just a neck ornament.

Event badges are an essential part of the attendee experience. They are your ticket to the inside. A map. A program. A badge of honor. A behavior analyst. A keepsake. An icebreaker. A brand ambassador. The saving grace when you can’t remember if that familiar face approaching you is Barb, Brenda, or was it Betsy?

If done correctly, this powerful tool can go a long way for any event

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Here are 100 event name badge ideas to help you maximize their potential to do more and best use them to your every advantage.

Top 10 Event Badge Ideas

Top 10 Event Badge Ideas

These are our top 10 favorite event badge ideas and event badge designs that stood out when researching this post:

Laser Engraved Custom Die Cut Acrylic

The Digital Caricature Name Badge Experience

Recycled Artisan Lanyards

Reclaimed Wood

VIP Veteran Charms

VIP Charging Lanyard

Acrylic Floating Name Badges

The Laser Lit Badge

Paperless Tech Badge

Henna Name Art Experience

Ready for a deeper dive? This post will cover:

 


Essentials of Event Badge Design

Essentials of Event Badge Design

The look and feel of an event badge reflects the event itself. So how do you make sure you are putting your best foot forward? Not to worry. This event staple can be broken down to five universals.

Attract Attention

Command attention with a clever design. A cool, attractive, and unique badge gets looks and makes an impact on the attendee experience. Stepping up your event badge game can take your badge from trash to treasure. Make it a memorable memento that will live on long after your event has concluded.

Keep it Simple

Don’t mistake needing a clever design with unnecessary clutter. An event badge has limited space. Your design should be attractive, but most importantly should highlight the essential information in an easy-to-follow format. Avoid too many colors, pictures and words when designing your badge. As a general rule of thumb, less is more.

Support the Purpose

Aim to only showcase information that serves and supports the event purpose. It is not always a one-size-fits-all design situation. A multi-day corporate conference is going to value different information than a VIP bracelet for a concert goer. A conference event badge will want to emphasize the attendees first name, making it bold, large and easily legible from a distance. The concert badge, on the other hand, will add greater emphasis to the VIP status. Bottom line: clearly state your message and keep the design clear and concise with the purpose at the forefront.

Add Value

Careful consideration of the design elements can take your event badge to the next level and turn it into full-fledged marketing collateral. Your badge will be seen multiple times and is, therefore, a critical opportunity to showcase the company or event brand. Sponsors are especially keen to be seen on an event badge. A well-designed badge is even more appealing, as those are generally tokens attendees want to hold onto long after the event has ended.

Make it Personal

Look for ways to personalize the name tag beyond the obvious - their name. This could be a personal fun fact, A VIP acknowledgment, a headshot, or their social handles. This not only champions conference networking, but this comfort level will result in flaunting and possibly preserving this authentic symbol of how they identify themselves.

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How to Save Money on Event Name Badges

How to Save Money on Event Name Badges

Event name tag ideas don’t have to be fancy or expensive to get the job done. They can still convey quality on a budget. Consider these options when designing your event badges.

  • Badge Generators

    Some registration solutions include a badge-generator or event badges template as a free feature. This fast and easy self-serve approach does away with the need for custom graphic design fees. Yet, the badges can still be customized so you stay on-brand. They also can be printed easily on-site for last minute arrivals. Learning how to make event badges is an essential for event planners! 
  • DIY Design

    Another cost-saving name tag solution is do-it-yourself design. There are free and low-cost online badge makers available like Canva or Adobe Spark. These tools can help you create beautiful custom event badges within minutes with little to no design knowledge necessary.
  • Simple Materials

    There are some event badge options that require several individual pieces to make it whole. Each one vying for a piece of your event budget pie. Choose instead a badge design that does not require the extra bells and whistles, but still serves your purpose. For instance, use holder-less badges. Ditch the plastic holder and consider printing on a heavier paper. Ditch the lanyard and choose event badges that adhere using a pin, clip, magnet or sticker. Any of these choices can still make an impact while keeping an eye on your bottom line.
  • Buy in Bulk

    Look for opportunities to order in larger quantities. By ordering more supplies at one time you will save more money per event badge in the long-run. Try to plan ahead and order stock for the year ahead if you can.
  • Seek a Sponsor

    You may be able to seek a sponsor to help offset some or all of your event badge cost. In exchange, you may have to give up a little space on the badge for their logo. A small price to pay though when you consider the savings power.
  • Use Reusable Goods

    Look to choose materials that can be reused. Items like plastic sleeves and lanyards can be collected after an event and used again. Create collection areas so guests can easily dispose of them as they exit. Another idea is to create a reusable generic design on a badge. The personalized data can be adhered with a sticker. If there are badges leftover, you can save on design and printing costs and reuse the same shell for the next event.

 

Let’s put these tips to work with these specific event badge ideas that are bound to get the creative juices flowing.

 


Plastic Name Badges / Plastic Name Tags for Events

Plastic Name Badges / Plastic Name Tags for Events

The plastic name badge is an event planner staple. They are versatile and the customization opportunities are endless. They look professional, have a crisp and clear appearance, and are much more durable compared to their paper badge counterpart. Check out some of our favorite ways to customize your next event badge using this multi-talented material.

Horizontal Plastic Sleeves

Plastic vinyl holders are one of the most commonly used for the conference and event scene. They are easy to design with a paper insert and are reusable. They are available in just about any size you can imagine and can be worn using a pin, clip, magnet, or lanyard.

#ted #tedtalks #tedx #tedxchicago #nolimits #chicago #maxnotes

Une publication partagée par Max Wang (@mrmaxwang) le

Vertical Plastic Sleeves

This size and style resembles the ever-popular backstage pass look, but with the added convenience of printing on paper. Ideal for last minute printing needs.

Credit: The Guild Agency

Sleeveless

To get the authentic backstage pass look, the sleeveless badge style is the answer. This option is sleek and boasts a no assembly required approach.

Full-color Digital Vinyl Custom Plastic Badges

This synthetic man-made plastic can add any custom design with full-color digital print to create custom plastic badges and plastic badge printing. This durable material will last through extended events or can be reused at future events.

A Featured Agenda

This inspired example elevates this versatile material by printing the agenda right on the back. Your attendees will thank you!

Credit: Five Star Events


Laser Engraved - Custom Die Cut Acrylic

A creative twist on the plastic event badge is adding laser engraving to acrylic. When engraved this durable plastic creates a frosted etching which illuminates from certain angles. Any shape, color, and size are possible.

Credit: CnCROI.com

Mixed Materials

Your everyday plastic badge can also get a facelift by incorporating additional materials like wood, bamboo, or metal. The added texture brings a sophisticated style to the badge and takes it from ordinary to extraordinary.

Funky Die Cut

The plastic event badge easily lends itself to infinite shape prospects. Really add some wow factor with an expected shape. The sky’s the limit.

Write-on, Wipe-off

Take a laminated plastic name tag and make it reusable. This material can be written on and subsequently wiped off with the help of a little elbow grease and cleaner. This reusable option makes it both budget-friendly and eco-friendly.

Hard Plastic Case

This heavy-duty plastic style couples as a plastic name tag for your event and a functional souvenir.

 


The Best Conference Badges

The Best Conference Badges

Here are a few general rules of conference badge design etiquette to achieve the best conference badge:

 

  • Boast a Large, Bold, First Name

    In events such as conferences or trade shows where networking is the primary goal, the first name is one of the most important elements of the badge. It should, therefore, be large, bold, in a legible font and a color that can be read from a distance.
  • Strive for Clean Lines & Minimal Design

    Keeping it crisp and clean, puts the attention where it should be.
  • Small Color Palette

    Using too many colors in an event badge not only makes the badge more difficult to read but takes away from the key messaging. Try not to use more than three colors.
  • Double-Sided

    When using the lanyard format, design a double-sided badge with at least the first name on each side or choose a no-twist lanyard.

 

To really step it up, look for ways to let your badge do double duty. Add to the attendee experience with these engaging and creative conference badge examples:


Digital Caricature Experience

The big buzzword in the event industry right now is experiences. Conference name tags are not exempt from adding to the attendee experience. This option is a gem. As attendees register digital artists quickly sketch up a cartoon drawing of each participant. The drawing is then immediately printed on paper and inserted into a badge holder to be worn throughout the event. It is an instant conversation starter and a fun keepsake.

One from today's event in South Carolina #synnex#digitalcaricature

Une publication partagée par CarlosAmpudia (@caloart) le

Flashing Event Badges

Nothing grabs attention and says look at me, look at me, like a flashing light. Turns out event badges can benefit from this technique too. This lit badge is a memorable show-stopping feature, sure to add some fun to your event.

#photoboothexpo #photoboothexpo2017

Une publication partagée par Jason (@smashbooth) le

Credit: smashbooth.net

Conference Voucher Badge Combo

This is multitasking mastery. Incorporating vouchers within the event badge design keeps those handy drink and meal tickets in easy reach.

Info Program Badge

Make it easy for attendees by creating miniature multi-fold programs to be tucked into their badge sleeves. Prime contenders would be the agenda, an event map, sponsor partnerships, WiFi codes, and a conference hashtag.

Personalized Name Tag Flair

Try stick and stack badge ribbons to allow attendees to let their personalities shine. They can be custom printed with any message under the sun or already prepared in an assortment of fun, humorous packs.

#Auckland #conferencebadge #newzealand #volunteeringnewzealand

Une publication partagée par Rob Jackson Consulting (@robjconsulting) le

Icebreaker Ideas

The Conference name tag can also work as an event icebreaker. Stir up conversation with some engaging questions.

What I'm all about and what I want to know more about. #e4houston17

Une publication partagée par Nick Borelli❕ (@nick.borelli) le

 


Top Conference Lanyards

Top Conference Lanyards

Surprise, surprise, the lanyard can get pretty fancy too. Check out these creative and sensible top conference lanyard options:

Recycled Eco-friendly Lanyards

Top of mind for many event organizers and attendees alike is the environmental impact. Conference lanyards are one way to achieving green meeting goals. Event lanyards are available in a variety of recycled materials, including this eco-friendly choice made from recycled bamboo.


Artisan Lanyards

Bring some authenticity to your events with handmade lanyards made by skilled workers. Let them tell a story and add depth to your event. Often these handcrafted works of art are made from recycled material like these colorful handmade lanyards created out of recycled fishing line:

Credit: Fly Vines

Charging Cable Conference Lanyards

Nothing drains a cell battery more than social sharing. If you want the sharing to endure add in this tech-savvy lanyard option to keep the cell phones at 100%.

#tech #gadget #lanyard #chargingcable #badgeholder #cable

Une publication partagée par Wing Hang (3Y) Industries Ltd (@winghang3y) le

Credit: Wing Hang (3Y) Industries Ltd

Sponsored

A lanyard is prime real estate to give some love to your sponsors.

Colored Leather

To give a prestigious vibe to your event, choose prestigious materials. Leather lanyards are high-class and double as event swag.

Charmed

Custom charms can also be incorporated into conference lanyards in various forms to further event or company branding.

Credit: Obscurehideout.com

Themed

A conference lanyard can also be designed to go right along with any theme of the event as shown in this example where they turn the lanyard into a ruler.

Piece of Jewelry

Lanyards also moonlight as stylish pieces of jewelry. The addition of bright colors, unique designs, and fun textures bring personality to your Conference.

Credit: madeit.com.au/redessydesign

Breakaway

This is a very popular lanyard style and is often a conference requirement for safety. The lanyard includes a snap on the back that easily releases to prevent a choking hazard.

No Twist, No Flip

Opt for a no-twist or no-flip conference lanyard so the name is always right-side up. This one-sided design, can also positively impact your budget.

 


Unique Conference Name Badges

Unique Conference Name Badges

This next group of conference name badges goes beyond the expected. Check out how to use uncommon materials and techniques to create noteworthy and unique event badges, and reduce the amount of plastic we use. Here are the top event badge materials to consider that don’t use plastics.

Leather

Leather is a material that exudes elegance. It is not only durable and flexible, but its naturalistic texture is very on trend. Incorporating leather into an event badge is an unexpected twist adding a unique edge to any event.

Word of warning: Respect that vegans and some vegetarians may not be comfortable wearing animal products.

Credit: Pure Dixie


Reclaimed Wood

Nothing matches reclaimed woods for uniqueness and character. Name badges repurposed from cast-off lumber gives new life to both the material and to your event.

Credit: Multiverse Designs

Engraved Bamboo

Bamboo is another eco-friendly choice when considering name badge design. Perfect for the green event organizer looking to give a professional badge that is environmentally responsible.

Clear Acrylic

The customization of acrylic is limitless. The clear option is especially eye-catching. This glass look-a-like creates a classy, high-end presence, yet, can be met with an affordable cost.

Fluorescent Colored Acrylic

Neon is making a comeback. Fluorescent colored acrylic coincides with this rising trend and adds to the whimsy and fun of this popular event theme.

Metal

The use of metal adds a sharp and polished look to an event badge design. This surprising selection is bound to be one shiny show-stopper.

Work time. #work #metal #namebadge #lg #oled #tvs #cold #morning #aberdeen

Une publication partagée par Dean (@deanosaur77) le

Engraved Wood

Wood is infamous for being a resilient and natural material. Yet, amidst its known strength, it can be easily transformed into an array of shapes and colors. Wood will bring instant texture, warmth, and pizazz to any event badge.

Chalkboards

A chalkboard is a classic and uniquely reusable event badge element. They make a lively addition to any event.

Plantable Paper

Paper is no stranger to the event badge. Imagine it also doubling as a sustainable gift experience. This biodegradable custom name badge design is made from handmade plantable paper. Your message is printed directly on 100%-recycled paper infused with wildflower seeds. Wear it one day, the next day plant, water, and enjoy! The perfect feel-good option to complement your next green eco-event.

 


VIP Badges for Events

VIP Badges for Events

The VIP badge plays a leading role in the experience of your most valued guests. The ccuredential alone gives a sense of privilege to the wearer. Here are high-ranking VIP name badge samples that we deem worthy.

Wristband & Badge Combo

When you are a VIP, you want everybody to know it. Consider creating multiple VIP credentials the attendee can show-off at once.

Wedding VIP Status

VIP status can also be showcased for social events as seen in this example used at a wedding.

Credit: Wed fest & photo by @assassynation

VIP Wristband & Drink Ticket combo

Nothing makes a VIP feel more like a VIP than access to free stuff. Gift them with some added perks and put your badge design to work. For instance, this example incorporated free drink tickets into the wristband. Genius.

Custom Laser Engraved

A custom laser engraved VIP pass is classy, stylish, and unique. Make it a VIP victory by personalizing it with an attendee photo.

Don’t Be Such a Square

Experiment with shapes beyond the traditional to achieve an eye-catching VIP badge. Maybe try an Oval.

VIP Pin Flair

Pins can help declare VIP prominence and act as a collector item. Post-event a well designed pin can become walking marketing collateral, bringing longevity to your event.

Vibrant Design

A vibrant eye-catching design is another best practice tip to making your VIP badge a revered token versus immaterial trash.


Veteran VIP charms

A loyal attendee is the best attendee. Incorporate a creative way to thank this VIP conference veteran and give them the acknowledgment they deserve. In this rockstar example, miniature pins were affixed to the VIP badge for each year of attendance.

Make it the Invitation

A VIP badge can also double as the invitation to the event.

 


Cool VIP Lanyards

Cool VIP Lanyards

VIP attendees deserve over the top details. This includes the little old lanyard. It too holds significant power and can add to the elite VIP status. Check out these cool VIP lanyard examples to make any VIP feel privileged:

Styled Thick & Bold

A thick lanyard shows higher quality and a bold-colored lanyard draws attention. Two important ingredients for any VIP.


VIP concert charging lanyard

Entertainer Lady Gaga awarded her concert VIP’s the high-tech charging lanyard with their VIP pass.


LED Neon Light-up

This LED lit lanyard will ensure VIP’s are recognizable in the day and the night.

Flashing Lanyards

In case the light isn’t enough, let’s make it flash. Great for an evening event, festival, or concert.

Textured Black

This VIP lanyard boasts classic and bold font with a textured, high-quality material.

Add the Year

Adding the year to a VIP lanyard is great for those collectors who want to remember the event for years to come.

Make it a Beaded Bracelet

An unconventional twist is to make the VIP credential not just a bracelet, but a beaded piece of jewelry.

3D

A multi-dimensional font added to a VIP lanyard is a creative element fit for any VIP.

Foil- Stamped

Glitz and glam is all part of the VIP package. Makes sense for it to be part of the VIP lanyard.

Reflective

This reflective lanyard design is an element that can be both functional and snazzy.

Multi-Colored Collage

Design a full-color collage on a VIP lanyard to add some artistic flair.

Bottle Opener

Throwing a bring your own beverages (BYOB) event? What better addition for your VIP guests than having their lanyard do double duty as a bottle opener.

 


Custom Event Badges

Custom Event Badges

Event badges made to order. Custom conference badges designed for your event just the way you want it. But how do you want it? Check out this next set of ways to customize your event badges with deeply personalized examples. Search for custom event badges no minimum if you only have a small number of badges required.

Themed

Incorporate the theme into your event badge design for a cohesive event experience. This space-themed custom designed event badge is ready for take-off.

Add a Picture

Add more character to a name tag by featuring a picture of the attendee. This can also be an added security feature for your custom conference badges.

The Modern “Hello My Name is…”

There is something downright charming about using this throwback classic approach. The old faithful self-adhesive style is simple and budget-friendly. In addition, if an attendee or guest inadvertently wears their badge home, no problem! If a surprise guest appears, no problem! A quick search on Pinterest or Etsy and you will be amazed at the modern facelift this event staple has received.

Cartoon Avatar

Incorporating an expressive cartoon avatar to an event badge is a creative, fun, and personalized addition. This could be in the form of a bitmoji, their own personal emoji or, in the example below, a hand-drawn cartoon portrait.

Social Handles

Often when you are attending an event, people may know you more by your social handle than your first name. A networking advantage is to customize your name tag to include these usernames.

Color-Coded

A helpful tip when customizing name tags is to design color-coded badges so different attendee types can be easily identified.


Floating Name Badges

Sometimes the name is all you need for an event badge to serve its purpose. This custom design is a show-stopper.

 


Creative Conference Name Badges

Creative Conference Name Badges

A little imagination can elevate your conference name badges into a work of art that attendees will want to hold on to. More importantly, they will remain at the edge of their seat for what you are going to surprise them with next year. Here are some classic ways to add artistic flair to produce the most creative name badges.

Typography

The right font choice can quickly turn an event badge design into an artistic expression.

Quilted Craftiness

It doesn’t get more creative than the world of crafting. Handmade quilted name tags could be an excellent complement and keepsake for a creative, artistic or small group event.

Old-Fashioned Creative

In the spirit of handmade - a needlepoint name badge is a creative, classic masterpiece.

Line & Points

This line & point event badge design is unexpected and memorable.

Off-Center Hole

Who says the lanyard holes have to be centered?

3D Badges

Add some dimension to a conference badge with a 3D artistic approach.

Swing Tag

A swing styled construction allows for multiple pages to be stacked on top of each other. The design can not only be creative, but functional. Each layered page tasked to provide important information about the event.

Laser Lighting

Custom artwork can be laser-etched into this glowing acrylic badge.



Event Badge Technology

Event Badge Technology

Technology has proven to be an invaluable driving force when it comes to elevating the event badge objectives. Here are some of the event technology trends for name badges and event tag examples that went for high-tech gold.

Wearable Smart Badges

Smart badges turn attendee name tags into powerful engagement tools. This wearable technology offers high-tech solutions to archaic, manual processes. Sharing of digital data occurs with ease for event networking, lead retrieval, and tracking attendance patterns. Improving the event experience for all involved parties - eventprofs, attendees, vendors, and sponsors alike.

Automated Badge Printing

Oh, you didn’t register? No sweat. These handy wireless automated badge printers spit out multiple badges within seconds.

Could do this whole day #automated #badgeprinting

Une publication partagée par Carla Nagel (@meanwhile_at_the_association) le

Self-Service Badge Printing Kiosks

This event tech trend automates on-site registration and gives your guests total control at check-in. Using a portable event badge printer.

Incorporated QR Codes

QR codes are used to translate event information into links which take the user to a specific web location. QR codes are often incorporated into event badges for event marketing, providing attendees with event information, sharing contact information, or for event gamification fun.

Credit: cemmbirol


Paperless Tech

This paperless event badge is a high-tech alternative that interacts, connects, and can be reused.

Scrolling LED

Tech meets fun with the customized scrolling LED name tag.

Circuit Board Badges

Circuit board name badges are a high-tech buzz-worthy badge design. They are often turned into an engaging competitive hacking experience.

 


Alternatives to Name Badges

Alternatives to Name Badges

Name badges aren’t the only way to aid networking and identification at events. Here are 10 alternatives to name badges.

Wristbands

Substituting a wristband for a name badge is an effective way to visualize a difference in attendee type for conferences, VIP events, and for this wedding example shown:

Credit: Wed fest

Pins

The pin had been shunned as an event badge for ruining clothes. Well fret no more - the pin now comes with a magnet but the same familiar classic look and feel. With this fastening it could once again become an alternative to name badges.

Necklaces

Turn your next event badge into a full-on piece of personalized jewelry.

Custom Temporary Logo or Name Tattoos

Temporary tattoos can be custom designed to create any form of messaging and branding. Creating a fun event badge alternative.

Custom Temporary QR Code Tattoos

Custom QR codes can also be turned into tattoos to enhance a networking event for a fun exchange of contact information.


Henna Name Art Experience

Henna is a dye used to decorate the body. Turn it into a name badge alternative and a memorable onsite event experience all in one.

Credit: Nadine Davidson

Embroidered Personalized Conference “Uniform”

An alternative to the customary name badge could be a personalized uniformed shirt. A nice embroidered jacket or polo shirt with each attendees’ name on the chest or collar. Themed apparel may also be appropriate. For instance, an all-star event could gift sport themed t-shirts or jerseys with last names on the back and first name on a pocket in the front. Or, instead of identifying staff with badges, give them branded shirts.

 

IN CONCLUSION

Albeit small, the event badge is far from insignificant. This multifaceted event staple is a key component to make your event a success. Did you realise there were so many different types of event badges available and how creative you can be?

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about the author

Angela Skeen
Angela Skeen is a certified award-winning Event Professional, Event Blogger, and the Founder of Eventfully Angela LLC, an event management company specializing in corporate events. 
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