I always get that fluttery feeling of excitement when I walk up to the exhibitor registration desk at a tradeshow; for me, even though I have been to hundreds, I believe that every tradeshow bursts with enormous possibilities.
A name badge is an instant impression, an introduction without words, and connects professionals to organizations. In the 12 years that I have been CEO of Imprint Plus, I’ve witnessed how professional name badges are an integral part of tradeshows, conventions and meetings. At a busy tradeshow, it is easy to lose track of who you spoke to, or what company they were affiliated with as the day progresses.
It all starts with the registration process, which usually includes the distribution of a standard convention badge – a plain white paper insert with a name and organization that goes into a plastic sleeve and is worn around the neck with a lanyard that places the badge close to the waist.
This standard convention name badge is very important as it often does double duty as an entrance ticket to the convention hall and sometimes even triple duty when color coded to identify whether one is an exhibitor, attendee or guest.
At times, the standard convention name badge can perform quadruple duty when it is turned into a professional name badge – one with a customized design containing a logo and font to brand the wearer with a metallic finish and magnetic fastener to be worn on the right shoulder to be at eye level. Companies like ours design the professional badge to represent both the brand and the employee with elegance and style, the logo is perfectly matched to the brand’s colors, the employees’ titles are representative of the chosen career and even the font style matters in identifying with the personality of the brand.
A good, professional name badge will go above and beyond the tradeshow’s standard badge and holder in giving the individual a smarter appearance. Attendees intuitively trust businesses that visibly brand their staff with the expectation that those who are representing the brand are an extension of the brand itself. Companies invest a great deal of monies and effort into their branding operations, and employees are the key to a successful branding initiative.
In a recent U.S. survey sponsored by Imprint Plus, when asked how important it was to recognize a person by name when doing business, an overwhelming total of 96 percent said yes. Over 70 percent of all respondents stated that it is important to identify a sales person by name, and 76 percent stated that they had more trust in a business and considered the company more professional when their employees wore name badges.
A sales representative is counting on that good first impression at a tradeshow. There are many different types of name badges or identifications to choose from beyond the standard issue tradeshow badge and holder, but knowing which one will do the company “justice” at the event can be a tough call. Some tradeshows will use lanyards, while others will use simple sticky paper.
We often look to Europe for elegance and panache. In Europe, the professional name badge is standard fare. Every visitor, exhibitor and attendee at EuroShop, the trendsetting trade fair where the “who’s who” of the retail industry gathers in Düsseldorf every two years, sports tasteful and smart permanent badges; paper convention badges are used for fair entrance purposes only.
Imprint Plus answered the call in North America for an easy, affordable and professional solution to identifying one’s self. While tradeshow badge and holders, lanyards and sticky badges all provide a means of identification, the professional name badge is the aesthetic many professionals want.
In the case of the American Resort Developer’s Association, Joel Nepomuceno noted that the VIP members preferred a quality badge that was customized to present the show as a brand. The professional, permanent badge presents an opportunity for managers and organizers to upscale the impression of their show. WeConnect President Mary Anderson wanted top notch styling for her constituents, who are mainly women business owners, so she customized a professionally designed name badge.
Ultimately, what’s in a name? Everything relating to a brand.