Event management is a fast-paced, high-pressure industry, with non-negotiable deadlines and high expectations from clients and attendees alike. You need to make sure that every element of your event is ready on-time and on-budget — especially the event badges. We’ll walk you through the importance of event badges, how to ensure a quick turnaround time, and what to include for effective badges.
Why Event Credentials Are Important
For many event managers, the thought of designing and printing badges and then distributing them to staff, security and attendees sounds like more trouble than it’s worth. However, the opposite is true; events without badges are more vulnerable to logistics, security and satisfaction issues than those with an effective badge system.
Why? Well, badges provide easy visual cues that support a lot of different aspects of an event, such as:
- Security. Security is top of mind for most, if not all, event managers. Badges
make it easy for security personnel to quickly identify whether someone is where they aren’t supposed to be. Badges also help other attendees feel more comfortable, because badges can lead them to staff or event security in case they have any questions or concerns.
- Networking. A high-quality badge with a photo, name or job title is a simple
way to spark conversation among attendees. After a badge provides that initial icebreaker, attendees are more likely to speak to each other, increase their networking opportunities and feel more satisfied with their experience.
- VIPs and accessibility. If your event includes speakers, performers, the press
or other VIP attendees, color-coded badges and lanyards make the process of directing these groups to secure or authorized areas quick and efficient. VIP badges are also great for lending an air of exclusivity and quality to your event.
- Branding. Events are all about the experience, and branding is a big part of
creating an atmosphere that feels high-quality and worth the expense. Badges and their accessories can be color-coordinated and printed with your event’s logo to make a great visual impression. Plus, if you send out these items before the event, people will post photos on social media and generate free marketing for you.
- Transactions. Badges can be printed with RFID tech inside, which stores
encrypted data that allows for secure entry into an event and even purchasing of food, beverages and merchandise. When buying something requires nothing more than a tap of a badge, attendees are much more likely to complete impulse purchases — increasing their satisfaction and your bottom line.
What To Plan For When Ordering Event Badges
To make sure that your event is set up for success, it often makes more sense to have a third-party vendor print your badges for you, rather than taking the time to design and print them yourself. You’ll be able to trust a professional who’s an expert in their industry to produce high-quality badges designed to meet your needs.
Before signing any contracts, it’s important to discuss several things with your potential vendor that will help you to have a smooth and stress-free experience. Don’t forget to ask these questions:
- What is the design process? Are you looking for a vendor who will take
your design and print it, or someone who will design the badges for you? At what stages in development do they send proofs? Will you see a physical example before the rest are produced? Understanding the steps will help you to set expectations and timelines that work for your event.
- What’s your turnaround time? An event’s success lives and dies on
deadlines. Ask what turnaround times are typical for the vendor, and take the time to check online reviews for other customers’ experiences, as well. The last thing you want to deal with is late or delayed badges before a major event.
- Do you print in-house? Vendors who print in-house tend to have tighter and
more consistent turnaround times, while those who outsource to other ID card printing companies may have longer turnaround times or higher instances of delays.
What To Include For Effective Event Badges
When you’re committing to hundreds, if not thousands, of badges, you want to be sure that they’ll be useful and that people will actually wear them. Before putting in your order, consider these elements:
- Attendee information. Think about what would be useful for your attendees
based on the interactions you’re hoping for them to have. Should the badges include job titles, or fun facts about the person? Should they include the ticket level or whether a person is staff or a VIP?
- RFID Chips. RFID Badges can be used for entry, merchandise and social media.
Consider adding them to badges if it’s important to facilitate these kinds of transactions during your event.
- Accessories. How will people wear the badges? For most events, something
simple like a lanyard might make the most sense, but RFID wristbands are also a good choice for outdoor events or ones where hygiene and sanitation are top of mind.
- Photos. Adding attendees’ photos to their badges is a smart way to help
prevent fraud or stolen tickets, since it makes it easy for staff to visually confirm a badge-wearer’s identity.
- Color-coding. If your attendees will have different levels of access to areas
within the event, color-coded badges can help differentiate between them, staff, security and performers or speakers.
- Customized printing. Lanyards can be printed with branding, logos and
images to help promote your event both before and during the event.
Once you’ve organized your information, a trusted vendor can make it easy to create and implement a badge system that will elevate your event and make it one attendees will talk about for ages.