Are You Guilty of These 5 Event Badge Design Crimes?

Conferences, tradeshows and industry events are a great opportunity to network with others in your field of interest. So, why is it that so many events are still providing their attendees with poorly designed badges that don’t enhance the networking experience? In today’s post, we’ll look at the 5 design crimes you may mistakenly be committing when it comes to designing your event badges.

Templates That Are Too Small

You may think that by ordering a smaller badge size, you’ll save money. However, what you may save in cash, your attendees, sponsors and vendors will lose out on in valuable space. The smallest size we offer is 3 X 5 – to put this into perspective, that’s about the size of a standard index card. This is OK if you are hosting a smaller event where only a few pieces of information will be present on the event pass.

Typically for larger events that have sponsors, varying levels of access and where security or attendee tracking are an issue, you’ll want a larger event pass – preferably one 4 X 5 or larger. This will ensure that you have enough room to print the name of your event, conspicuously indicate the level of access and any barcodes or QR codes on the badge, along with any other information.

event badge design crimes

Funky Fonts

It doesn’t matter whether your event is a conference for Bronies or industrial design, one thing that should be absolutely clear on your event badges is the font used for all of the important information.

That means using a clean font that everyone can read, in a size that doesn’t get lost in the design of your badges. Fonts that work well for this purpose are Times New Roman, Arial, Helvetica and Myriad Pro. The more important the information, the larger the font should be in relation to where it is placed.

Wait, What’s Your Name?

One of the many reasons people attend conferences, tradeshows and industry events is to meet other people. Event badges serve the very important purpose of helping people make those connections by displaying an attendee’s or vendor’s name prominently on the front of their badge.

Nothing hinders this effort more than a name that is printed on the front of a badge in a font that is too small to read. Or, worse yet, an attendee’s first and last name squished together on one line with the possibility that those with a longer last name may even have part of their name omitted from their badge.

This can be easily avoided by printing attendees’ first and last names on separate lines. In addition, making a person’s name the focal point of the event badge ensures that it is large enough for most people to read.

Information Hierarchy

Information hierarchy refers to where and how you place the various bits of information within the design of your event badges. How you organize this information can make or break the effectiveness of your design and ultimately your badges.

For instance, you’ll want the most critical pieces of information such as attendee name and access level in big, bold letters. Company names, along with the name of the conference can be smaller. Barcodes or QR codes should also be featured in a prominent spot, preferably close to an edge for easy scanning. Making sure that your event passes are double sided with the same information on each side is also a good idea.

Not Selling Your Lanyards to a Sponsor

This last one isn’t so much of a design crime as it is a lost opportunity. The people attending your event already know why they’re there - if they don’t, you probably should have a chat with your marketing department. After all, your event name and details are all over your badges, brochures, maps and other marketing materials.

Custom lanyards are a great way to highlight one of your vendors, and by getting them to sponsor the lanyards, you can set off some of the cost for those larger badges.

Have a badge design in mind for your next trade show, conference or industry event? Our graphic designers and badge printing experts can help you get it right the first time – give us a call at 847-424-1900 or drop us a line via email.