I don’t even know how many conferences I’ve been to in the last decade, but it’s probably 30-40. In that time, maybe 2-3 conferences have really nailed the conference badge for attendees. Here’s what the ideal conference badge should look like, in my opinion:
I’ll walk you through the important features of this badge:
- Each attendee’s first name needs to be large and easily readable. When you’re walking up to someone and they look half-familiar, you want to be able to glance down at their badge and see a first name that will jog your memory or allow you to greet them. The last name and company name don’t matter as much, so they should be smaller to make more room for the first name.
- Make the badge big. Four inches by six inches maybe.
- At every conference, about half the people are walking around with their badge facing backwards so that no one can see their name. That’s why conferences should put the attendee’s name on the front and the back of the badge.
- If your conferences costs hundreds (or thousands) of dollars, throw a little hologram sticker up in the top right to keep people from creating fake badges. If fake badges aren’t a problem, don’t bother.
There you have it. Conferences, please don’t write the name in a tiny 12-point font or put the name only on one side of the badge. See also Mike Davidson’s take on the right way to do a conference badge.