Name Badges :(

Hi all,

I wanted to know how you all sort your name badges for your events? Do you use an external company to produce your badges? Do a mail merge and print them in-house? It’s always a real headache for me the day before an event - we only have about 250 attendees but I struggle to get name badges to go smoothly! Does anywhere else have name badge headaches?!

I think it’s because I bought plastic pouches from a company which are a bit of an odd size - I can’t find any avery labels which will find inside the pocket so it makes it hard to do a quick mail merge. My own fault really. Anyway, I’d be glad to hear of anyone else’s name badge woes or tips for producing them efficiently if you have any!


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I too hate doing name badges.

Typically printing about 150 for an event three times a year and I ALWAYS manage to mess something up.

Realise that doesn’t help you at all!



sometimes it’s just nice to share the pain!

I once worked on an event where someone else in the office was asked to produce the name badges which I thanked them profusely for because I was time short and really appreciated their help. Unfortunately I didn’t check the badges against the master list (rookie mistake) until I was at the event and there were several missing - so my learning is always double check your list and count how many you should have. #sharingthepain

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I’ve actually found that having sticky labels and asking people to make their own name badge once they’ve been ticked off the attendance list works really well! That way there’s no risk of mis-spelling if someone sends a colleague in their place they don’t have to go without a badge, and people can personalise them which can be quite a nice ice-breaker. Depends on the nature of the event though I suppose! But I’ve been to fairly formal business networking events where people have been asked to write their own name label and it’s gone down well :slight_smile:


Hi Claire. I use Nicholas Hunter Badges, who are based in Oxfordshire but can produce and deliver badges for events anywhere.

They produce the badge inserts and can either send you the inserts to stuff into your own holders or pre-stuff the badges for you too. They can provide, clips, lanyards, badge trays and pretty much anything else badge-related that you can think of!

I use them for all of my events as producing badges can be stressful and become more time-consuming than we realise! They’re also really reasonable. If you get in touch, let them know I’ve recommended them :slight_smile:

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ooooh, that’s really interesting Ruby. I might check them out. What are they like price wise? What I’m stuck with is about 500 unusual sized pockets which don’t fit a standardised size of insert annoyingly so I can’t just do a mail merge… maybe they can help me!

ohh dear!! year I’ve had that before. It’s one of those tasks which you’d love to pass over but really, it needs the attention to detail that only the event manager has!

It depends on budget/time etc

I’ve used pre-printed badges where we’ve set an excel sheet to the printers and had spares printed. Spare can be fed through the printer or hand wrote - also messy

I’ve used perforated sheets for printing in-house. Mail merge and printed in advance with spare for print on the day - messy

I’ve used pre-printed badge which is sent integrated into the delegate letter. Spares are printed on the day using the same format - again messy

I’ve used the single badge printers, but this can be costly

This year I’m inclined to use electronic check-in, but we’ll still need name badges:S

I was visiting a venue yesterday where there was a LUSH corp conference. They used a ‘slate’ type of badge with each customized by the individual with their name and what they were looking for, i.e., advice, collaboration, etc. - nice idea although my handwriting is illegible!

I love the ‘what they were looking for’ idea!

Yes, I thought it was kind of cool and quirky! I also like the way the speakers were able to highlight etc

Another idea I like but it’s costly! Incorporating the badge into the conference pack

I used to buy supplies through BIG badges as our badges were branded and reuseable
We used to mail merge the data onto the labels template. But I would start them 2-3 days before and then the day before, print any new names.

I hope that makes sense and helps :slight_smile:

This might be too high-end of a solution but I heard this company speak earlier in the year:

A self service badging system that integrates with most ticketing systems so that attendees scan their ticket and it prints their badge. I think the USPs were that it massively cut down admin time, queue time, staff costs and gave you more flexibility such as last minute changes to tickets/badges. It also meant you didn’t waste paper on people who never showed up!

Can’t remember the cost but worth a look.

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We have used for small runs for eco wooden reusable badges - they make badges with your logo on and a slot to insert names. Really great if you’re looking to be more sustainable and move away from plastic!


Brilliant- so many wins with this Caitlin!

Sorry - address was wrong here:

Hi Claire,

Pre-printing and sorting is never fun, I feel your pain! I would suggest looking into an on-demand badge printing solution, which there are many options available for your size event. We have supported events as small as 100 attendees with a similar solution, and the process is as simple as walking up and scanning an email confirmation code or by giving their name. This process gives you a freshly printed badge in about 15-20 seconds, and also gives your the capability to do name changes and last minute adds onsite (no more hand-written badges!). Besides being faster, having badges printed onsite looks great & adds a nice touch. Printing on-demand also cuts down on waste (have to be environmentally friendly!), by avoiding multiple pre-prints for when check-in is at multiple locations. And if price is a big factor (always is), you may be surprised at how cost-effective it can be!

I am slightly obsessed with making my name badges as sustainable as possible. Recently got someone to bring me these over from the States and then I print the name cards inhouse a few hours before the event, on recycled card or paper. Eventbrite’s mail merge function works pretty well for me! Last minute badges are handwritten on the day which admittedly does look messy.

I also use electronic check in so delegates can check themselves in when they arrive - saves me and my team admin time plus cuts down on unnecessary paper check in forms.

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Just in case you didn’t know, Eventbrite integrates with a number of name badge software systems to automate printing. The API automatically imports attendee details and prepares them for printing on standard perforated name badge sheets. Alternatively, you can have everything done for you, with badges printed, assembled and sent direct to participants (see BadgeNinja).

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