Planning an event involves a lot of moving parts on a tight deadline. When you’re already juggling sponsors, vendors, location requirements and attendee needs, the thought of also designing and printing badges can feel overwhelming. Opting to work with a third-party vendor can reduce stress for you — and make your event a positive and seamless experience for attendees.
Why You Should Have Event Badges
Event badges can enhance security, create smooth check-in processes and provide access to exclusive areas for VIP guests. Badges are also great for facilitating conversation between attendees, as well as acting as a souvenir once the event is over.
When laminated and presented with a custom-printed lanyard, event badges can be a visual signifier to the quality and professionalism of your event. Attendees will be much more likely to proudly display their badges instead of pocketing or tossing them.
Badges are a great way to brand your event, as well. Coordinating badges with your logo, signage and merchandise creates an impressive look and feel to your event. Plus, you can include corporate logos as an incentive for sponsorship.
Choosing a Third-Party Vendor for Your Event Badges
Pulling off an event is a major undertaking. With all of the moving parts, it can be frustrating and overwhelming to spend the time printing off attendee badges on your own — especially if you don’t have the right kind of printer to support that volume of printing. The quality of the badges, and of the event itself, can suffer.
By choosing a third-party vendor to print your badges for you, you can offload the time and effort to professionals who are experts at badge printing. Depending on the company, you can also purchase accessories and lanyards.
Before signing a contract, it’s best to determine what exactly you’re looking for in terms of your event badges. Do you need someone to design and print your badges, or do you have a design in mind and just need final production? Ask what the company can offer you and if it fits your needs.
Secondly, research who in the company does the actual production. If the vendor outsources to other companies, you run the risk of delays. Companies that do all of the work in-house are your best option. Ask for customer testimonials or past examples to make sure your design goals line up with the services offered.
Finally, make sure that the vendor can accept the right kind of files. Usually they will request native files, which are the original artwork. This type of file guarantees high-quality results instead of blurry or pixelated badges. The vendor may ask for files in a certain format, like InDesign. The image is usually best if it’s at least 300 dpi (dots per inch); anything smaller can result in a low-quality image.
If you’re not sure if you have the right type of file, don’t be afraid to ask your vendor for help. They can guide you through the process and send you proofs to make sure everything looks good before you print.
To avoid any unpleasant surprises, ask for a quote, and always double-check your contract for hidden fees or unexpected costs.
Don’t Delay on Event Badges
When ordering badges and accessories, make sure you’ll receive everything in time for the first day of your event. Vendors will advise you on their estimated turnaround time. For example, if your event is a month away, and the vendor requires two weeks from order to delivery, it’s a good idea to put your order in up to three weeks in advance. The extra time will help in case of an unexpected emergency, like shipping delays.
You can make the entire process go smoothly by keeping these things in mind:
- Keep in mind what you want your badge to do. Will they be for identification only? Provide access to authorized areas? Make a list and give it to your vendor so they know what you’re looking for.
- Proofread. Check over the proofs, and have others read them over as well. Typos are easy to remove in pre-production, but there’s not much you can do once the badges have been printed.
- Provide everything at once. Give your vendor the image files, design information and any custom or special fonts at one time so they can complete the work quickly and efficiently.
At the end of the day, the vendor is your partner in printing and will work with you to create the ideal badge for your event. Don’t be afraid to talk to them about any questions you may have. Transparency is a key sign that you’re working with a reputable company.
Help your attendees have the best possible experience at your event with professionally printed badges. Contact a trusted vendor today to learn more about how they can help you create an event to remember.