Networking success: How to wear conference badges correctly

Conference badges are a symbol of status for some people. Some collect them as a way to document their career progression over the years. But some people vastly overlook the potential of the conference badge as a networking opportunity. 

Perhaps you feel self-conscious while wearing one, or perhaps networking doesn’t come easily to you. Whatever your hang-ups about the conference badge, here are some tips to help you wear them with confidence so they can be as effective as possible.

What is the point of a conference badge?

Many conferences implement a badge system to help people to easily identify one another. First and foremost, it’s a security feature, as it allows security staff to easily see who is supposed to be there and who has gained entry without registering (or paying).

Your conference badge may also include identification information. This can help with networking, as those who are looking to speak to an individual or someone from a specific company will be able to see who everyone is at a glance.

The conference badge can also be used to determine who has access to which areas. For example, it can ensure that only speakers can go backstage, or that only delegates who have paid for VIP access can gain entry to specific bars.

Who should wear a conference badge?

Everyone at a conference should be wearing a badge, including the delegates, speakers, organisers and VIPs. When everyone wears a badge, it makes life easier for the security team. It also helps to instil a sense of unity within the conference attendees, as they all feel connected by this simple badge.

Clip, pin or lanyard?

There are many ways to wear a conference badge. Some will have a crocodile clip that can attach to the breast pocket of a jacket. For men in suits, this solution is easy enough, but this method falls down when you consider that many women will not be wearing suits. And as soon as the men decide to remove their jackets, the badge is hidden from view.

A solution for this issue might be to have the conference badge on a pin. This will allow attendees to attach them to their clothes, but bear in mind that not everyone will be happy to do this. For example, someone wearing a designer silk blouse might be reluctant to stick a pin through the delicate fabric.

The final recommendation is to offer branded lanyards. A lanyard is a loop of fabric that typically holds a badge or ID card. This is ideal for conferences, as the lanyard can be worn at all times without damaging clothes. A branded lanyard will also give attendees a small memento of their visit.

How to improve networking with a conference badge

If you are keen to make the most of your networking opportunities, you need to make sure you are wearing your lanyard and conference badge prominently throughout the conference. 

Don’t just wear it when you arrive, put it on when you are travelling to and from the venue so that you can be easily identified by anyone else heading to the conference. This can allow you to easily spark up conversations.

You should also make sure that your name and company is highly visible on the badge. If your badge holder has a pocket, it’s a good idea to store some business cards in the back. This will allow you to quickly hand them out to any interested parties. 

And finally, try not to wear anything that might conceal your badge such as a scarf or jacket. This will ensure other attendees can always see your name and company.

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