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The Ins and Outs of Name Tags


As simple and trivial as they might seem, name tags are crucial to the success of your event – in fact, in many corporate circles, a messed up name tag can be considered a personal offence. So before you dive in head first, here are a couple of tips to bear in mind when printing and planning your name tags:

  1. Get your guest list sorted as soon as humanly possible and make sure you don’t leave a single name out when printing the name tags. There’s no better way to alienate a guest from than by neglecting to provide him/her with an official name tag.
  2. If you’re planning a formal event, consider magnetic name tags as opposed to pins – the insight being that most ladies aren’t charmed with the idea of piercing their beautiful gowns with pins.
  3. Feel free to leave off titles like Mr or Mrs, however in the case of a doctor or military officer it’s always respectful to add their title to the name tag.
  4. Should you wish to add titles or company names (e.g. Chairman, Peter’s Pizza), be sure to find out what your guests’ exact titles are – weeks in advance already! Getting titles wrong can reflect poorly on you and ultimately upset your guests, so don’t leave this until the last minute.
  5. If you’re going with lanyards (i.e. name tags on neck bands), bear in mind that the tag will swing and twist around. Hence it’s best to have two copies of each name tag printed so that you can insert it back to back.
  6. Choose a font that’s easy to read – in other words, avoid curly or elaborate typefaces and light colours that force guests to climb into each other’s personal space.
  7. In terms of size, opt for anything between 24 and 36 points so that even short-sighted guests can get to know one another. If you’re placing both name and title on the cards, make the name bigger (approx. 36 pt.) and the title smaller (approx. 26 pt.)
  8. The standard name tag size for a cocktail party is approximately 5 x 7,5cm whereas conference badges should be no smaller than 10 x 7,5cm.
  9. Send the artwork to your printer at least a week or two in advance so that they can do a test print – the last thing you need is the stress of misprinted name tags on the day. Final tags should be printed no less than two days before the event.
  10. Order extra blank tags so that your assistant can make handwritten tags, should unexpected guests arrive. While the tags won’t look exactly the same, the fact that you can provide them with a tag will make them feel right at home.
  11. Set up the tag table close to the entrance so that your guests don’t have to go hunting for a tag. Aside from the tags, make sure the person responsible has a printed copy of the guest list so that he/she can tick off the names as they arrive.
  12. If you’re expecting media or press (whose names and titles you’re unsure of), print a stack of generic badges so that they can easily be identified – better yet, use a different colour paper for their tags.
  13. Whether you’re using name tag holders or simply popping a pin on the back, DON’T leave it until the day of the event. Even though it seems like a small and trivial task, it can be quite cumbersome and time consuming.

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