A great conference badge design can make a huge impact on your event. The right design:
- Makes a great first impression on attendees
- Helps attendees identify each other
- Serves as a knock-out branding opportunity for your event and organization
Now, if you’re used to Photoshop and mail merge (or, worse, manual input!), conference badges might feel like the worst part of your event prep. But the conference badge design process doesn’t have to be overly complicated.
From automatically merging your attendee info to conference badge holders and ribbons to printer options, we’ll help you create an outstanding conference badge design for your next event.
What Should Every Conference Badge Include?
Here are the key elements every conference badge should include:
- Conference logo. As an essential branding element, you should clearly display the conference logo on the badge. It helps attendees identify the event and reinforces your organization’s branding.
- Attendee name. Including the attendee’s name on the badge is crucial for networking and introductions. Make sure the font size is large enough for easy reading.
- Attendee role. Adding the attendee’s role and company name is another way to encourage networking and break the ice between attendees.
- Session Information. Including session information on the badge can help attendees keep track of their schedule and find the right session room. Bonus: put sessions on the front of your speakers’ badges so they can advertise where they’re speaking next.
- QR Code. You can use QR codes to link to info about attendees, sessions, or the event as a whole. Exhibitors and sponsors can also use the QR codes to add leads to their sales pipeline by scanning attendee information right at their booths.
- Snazzy design. A great design can make your badge stand out and add to the overall event aesthetic. Even better: it can turn a badge into a keepsake, which is the type of brand marketing you just can’t pay for.
- Conference badge ribbon. Conference badge ribbons are a popular way to add additional information to badges. They can be used to highlight the attendee’s role, sponsor status, or other special designations.
Conference badge design is really about two things: be eye-catching and be useful.
Once you’ve got those, you’re good to go.
Recommended Resource: 📺 Do you want to learn how to make the most of your resources and create a seamless experience for your attendees? Watch 8 short videos to learn how you can easily design and deliver in-person events that engage attendees and offer sponsors more value.
How Do I Choose a Badge Designer?
You don’t want to be stuck in the weeds of an overly-complicated badge designer. The risks are too high! Manually adding names? Designing from scratch? Not today.
When you’re figuring out how to manage your conference badge design, consider these:
- Does the conference badge designer sync with registration data? Your badge designer should sync with your event registration data. That way, you can pull attendee, speaker, and sponsor information to automatically generate badges. This can save you literal hours and reduce the risk of errors.
- Does the designer have pre-built templates? Some conference badge designers offer pre-built templates that you can customize with your company’s branding and event information. Aka. a huge relief if you’re short a graphic designer.
- Is it easy to customize the conference badge’s design? If you have a specific design in mind, look for a badge designer with built-in, non-designer-proof customization. This looks like drag-and-drop functionality, a user-friendly interface, and the ability to upload custom graphics.
- Can you create bulk badges? If you have a large event with hundreds or thousands of attendees, look for a badge designer that allows bulk badge creation. There is no reason for you to have to do this one by painful one!
Want to jump into an easy-to-use badge designer?
Eventmobi is built for event planners who need hundreds of badges, without a graphic designer in sight.
You can sync attendee data, choose from prebuilt templates, customize badges, and create badges in bulk. Plus, it’s built right into an event experience manager with everything you need to run in person, virtual, and hybrid events.
Chat with our team to see if we can make your badge design process easier, or watch the video below to learn more 👀
6 Steps for Great Conference Badge Design
So you’ve chosen your conference badge designer.
Now, the moment of truth: designing the world’s most beautiful badge. (Okay, okay. At least a really solid one.)
Here are the six steps you can take to design, create, and distribute your conference badges.
Step 1: Source inspiration
Before you start designing, you need inspiration! Here are some suggestions to get you started on how to design a conference badge:
- Pinterest. Pinterest is a great resource for design inspiration. You can search for conference badges or event branding to see what other organizations and events have done.
- Past designs. If you’ve hosted events in the past, take a look at your previous conference badge designs to see what worked well and what didn’t. (Bonus points: Check out your event surveys and search for “badge” to see if you have any qualitative info!)
- Competitors. Look at what your competitors are doing for their conference name badge design! It’ll help you differentiate your event while meeting attendee expectations.
- Events outside your space. Don’t be afraid to look outside your industry for inspiration: whether it’s colors, design elements, or printing choices. Like, what about that Comics Festival with the super chic finish on their badges?
- Organize a brainstorming session. Get the team together! Invite your key stakeholders and executors in a room to bring all your research together, gather ideas, and set your final direction. This ensures your conference badge design aligns with your organization’s branding and event goals.
Step 2: Use a badge template
Like we said above, a pre-designed badge template is an awesome tool. But if you need more tailored designs, custom badge templates may be the way to go.
Here’s a look at both:
- Pre-designed templates. This can be a great option if you’re short on time or design expertise. Simply upload your logo, choose your colors, and select the information you want to display on the badge.
- Custom templates. Have a designer? A specific vision? You might need a custom template. That way, you’ll have more control over the design choices and layout for your badge.
Step 3: Design the badge
Once you have a template in place, it’s time to start designing your conference badge.
- Is it readable from a distance? Name badges for conferences should be easy to read from afar, so attendees can quickly identify each other and network effectively.
- Are the font sizes large enough? Make sure that the attendee’s name is the largest text on the badge, followed by their role and any other key information.
- Is there a clear information hierarchy? A clear hierarchy of information helps attendees quickly identify important details. For example, you could use different font sizes or colors to distinguish between the attendee’s name and role.
- Is there a QR code? Including a QR code on your badge can make it easy for attendees to connect with each other and access event information. Just be sure to test the QR code before printing to ensure it works properly.
- Is the conference badge design keepsake material? A well-designed badge can serve as a keepsake for attendees and promote your event long after it’s over. Consider incorporating design elements like your event logo or a unique color scheme to make your badge stand out.
- Have you added the right sponsors? If you have event sponsors, including their logo on the badge can help increase sponsor visibility and recognition, while also adding visual interest to the badge design.
Step 4: Sync your registration data with your conference badge design tool
You should never have to use mail merge again!
At least, not for a conference badge.
As we mentioned earlier, Eventmobi and similar platforms come ready to sync your attendee, exhibitor, and sponsor information with your badge design tool.
Which means you get to reap the rewards, like:
- Having merge fields already included in the badge. Eventmobi’s badge designer includes merge fields for attendee name, role, and other key information, making it easy to customize badges at scale.
- Pulling in attendee, staff, exhibitor, sponsor, and speaker info automatically. By syncing your registration data with your badge design tool, you can automatically pull in attendee, staff, and speaker information to help create customized badges.
- Downloading as a PDF to print yourself or to send to a printer. Once you’re happy with your badge design, you can download the badge as a PDF and print it yourself or send it to a conference badge printer.
Otherwise: your best bet is mail merge. Which, yes, is still better than doing it manually. (We’ve all done it at some point!)
But why have mail merge when you can have it all?
Step 5: Conference badge printing
Once you’ve designed your conference badges, it’s time to start thinking about conference badge printing.
Here’s what to think about, depending on your needs and budget:
- Print ahead and distribute live. If you’re hosting a smaller event or have a dedicated team to handle badge distribution, you may want to print your badges ahead of time and hand them out to event attendees as they arrive. This approach can help streamline the check-in process by giving attendees their badges quickly and efficiently.
- Print on site. For larger events or those with a more complex check-in process, you may want to consider printing badges on site. This minimizes wait times and ensures that attendees receive accurate badges (since any last-minute changes can be made on the spot).
- Print ahead and mail. If you have attendees coming from far away or you want everyone to receive their badges well in advance, consider printing badges ahead of time and mailing them to attendees. You can make sure that everyone has their badge before the event starts, and it also serves as a nice touchpoint to build excitement and anticipation for your event.
When it comes to printing your badges, keep the following in mind:
- Use high-quality materials. Your badges represent your brand and your event, so it’s important to use high-quality materials so they look professional and polished.
- Test your printer and materials ahead of time. Before the event, test your printer and materials to confirm that everything is working properly and that your badges look the way you want them to. If you’re using a third-party printer, make sure you see samples. And don’t forget to test your QR codes one last time!
- Have a plan for badge distribution. Whether you’re printing ahead of time or on site, create a clear plan for how badges will be distributed and who will be responsible for managing the process.
Step 6: Don’t forget a lanyard!
A conference badge is only half of the equation. Your attendees will need a way to wear those badges with style! Here are some common options:
- Lanyard. The classic option is a lanyard that goes around the neck. You can customize the lanyard with your conference branding or add sponsor logos for extra exposure.
- Ribbon. Conference badge ribbons are a unique alternative to lanyards. They attach to the bottom of the badge and can include additional information like the attendee’s role or company.
- Safety pin. If you’re looking for a low-cost option, safety pins can work in a pinch. They attach to the back of the badge and can be easily fastened to clothing.
If your badges are more delicate, pair them with high-quality conference badge holders. And don’t forget that the lanyard or ribbon is another opportunity to showcase your branding or sponsor logos. Make sure to take advantage of this real estate!
BONUS: Use your conference badge design tool to create nameplates for speakers and panelists
If you’re looking for an easy way to create nameplates for your panelists and speakers, your conference badge design tool can do the trick!
EventMobi’s VP of Product Marketing, Thorben Grosser, shares a clever hack to help create nameplates with the Badge Designer. By selecting your badge size as A4 and adding a templated design from a free design tool like Canva, you can easily create nameplates without the inconvenience of copying names into a document page by page.
Check out the video above for a step-by-step guide to creating nameplates using your event badge software.
Make Your Next Badge with EventMobi
If you’re looking for a hassle-free way to create stunning conference badges for your next event, EventMobi is a great option!
You don’t need to be an experienced visual designer or have a big budget to create professional-looking badges. Our easy-to-use platform offers pre-built templates and allows for custom designs, while also automatically syncing with your registration data to save you time and effort.
Wanna upgrade your conference experience? 🖨️ Get in touch to explore EventMobi’s badge design and printing solution today!