name badge (noun) 1. an identifying tag worn by meeting participants; sometimes called a name tag.
According to nTag LLC, New York, attendees spend 90 percent of their time with people they already know. The nTag name badge system addresses that problem by supplying attendees with an electronic badge that introduces itself to other name badges. The badges provide a key piece of information on an LCD display. The wearer chooses what he or she wants the badge to say.
An informal poll of 40 people on the Meeting Industry Mall listserv found that, by far, planners prefer lanyards over other badge types:
- Lanyards: 64.5 percent
- Pins: 19.5 percent
- Clips: 14 percent
- Magnets: 2 percent
Who is that?
With the MyQ system from SmartBadge Inc., Laguna Hills, Calif., every attendee's badge includes a unique number that is visible from a distance. Attendees can type in the number on a mini-personal digital assistant (handed out with the badge), and the other person's name pops up.
Right is right
Etiquette suggests wearing a name badge near your right shoulder. The eye naturally travels to the right shoulder when shaking hands.
How low should you go?
Lanyards should be adjusted so that the name badge is easily visible without the viewer having to lower his or her eyes.
Elvis has left the building
Technology now allows meeting planners to track who is attending sessions and for how long. A system designed by Tabula Rasa, Solana Beach, Calif., embeds small chips into badges as a way to identify each attendee. Sensing units at entrances record who has arrived and who has left.
Interesting name badges being auctioned off on eBay in late March: various Disney Castmember name badges, $10 each, and an old convention name badge from Philip Morris made of bronze with an oxidized finish, $8.
If you're using lanyards, says Alicia Parrish, conference manager, CFB Productions Inc., Riverton, Conn., use a clear badge holder and print names on both sides. When the inevitable flip occurs, the name will still be visible.
SOURCES: APEX Terminology project; CMI Corbin Ball “Name Badge of the Future Is Here”; nTag, LLC, New York, www.ntag.com; www.protocolessentials.com; www.pacificrimprotocol.com; www.photonics.com; ebay.com; Meeting Industry Mall listserv member responses.
Image courtesy of PC/Nametag
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