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The Meeting Planner’s Guide to Panic-Free Name Badge Preparation

Introduction

Meeting and event planners face a steady stream of tasks in the days and weeks leading up to an event. Within their orderly chaos, many duties require last-minute coordination for the show to go on smoothly. A critical one that’s often underestimated is name badge preparation.

Thus the planner’s challenge is to somehow assemble hundreds of name tags before the event, let alone offer professional-looking badges on-site for late registrants. This panic-free guide can help you with solutions for both scenarios, plus so much more––from finding the right type of badge for your event, to selecting the best on-site printer, to turning name tags into a revenue opportunity through sponsorships.

Often called the planner’s smallest big detail, the name badge is the key to breaking the ice: it starts conversations and solidifies lasting connections. These newly created contacts and reinforced relationships are what make meetings a success––all thanks to a name tag.

Finding the Right Type of Name Badge for Your Event

You probably have several considerations when deciding on the appropriate badge, but the type, size and duration of event are typically at the top of the list. Is it a one-day board meeting or a multi-day conference? Will the badge be temporary, reused, or kept as a memento? Peruse the following badge styles and learn how each is suited for different event scenarios.

Event Badges

From personalized name tags for meetings and conferences to back stage passes for sold-out shows, Event Badges give a premium look and feel to any event they appear at. Crisp, penetrating color and durable laminated plastic make artwork, logos and photos come alive. These badges can include attendee names, barcodes and QR codes – even custom agendas and maps on the flip side. And for the ultimate in premium looks, select from up to seven finishes to take your badge from basic to brilliant: original gloss, satin, clear, soft touch, metallic, foil accent, holographic overlay. The Premier Event Badge has a credit-card thickness making it excellent for multi-day events, while the lighter weight Standard Event Badge is ideal for 1 to 2-day events. Both are available in different finishes – one being Holographic Overlay, which is a must for event security.

The best name tag  for making a big splash, especially with larger sizes. They're bold, contemporary, and laminated to last. Thanks to full-color printing and optional bar codes and QR codes, they're also hard to duplicate which is good for security.

  • Choose from eight sizes or go custom
  • Choose from up to seven finishes
  • Include personalization & backside printing
  • Order badges with full-color imprints and print names on clear labels at registration
Event Badges

Event Badges

In seven finishes to elevate attendee experience.


Vinyl Holders & Paper Inserts

A tried-and-true option, Vinyl Holders and Paper Inserts give you the perfect blend of quality looks, adaptability and durability to handle even multi-day meetings. No wonder this combo remains the meeting planner’s go-to name tag! We offer many horizontal and vertical-sized holders and coordinating inserts that are compatible with all kinds of attachment options.

The best name tag  for nearly any meeting, our Vinyl Holders come three different ways to meet your needs and your budget.


Holder-less Name Tags

These are the perfect choice for short or informal meetings that will not be too taxing on name tags. It’s always a good idea to keep a stock of these on hand for the impromptu meetings and last-minute attendees that are bound to come up.

The best name tag  for casual, 1-day events.

  • Great for attendees and organizations that prefer "green" meetings
  • The only name tags that can be acceptably handwritten
  • Perfect for tight budgets
Icebreaker Name Tag Kit

Icebreaker Name Tag Kit

Includes 104 conversation-sparking tags & 2 mini Sharpie® pens.

TempBadge® Holder-less Name Tags

TEMPBadge® Holder-less Name Tags

No need for a holder: just peel, fold and attach a cord.


Reusable Name Tags

Reusable name tags give you the look of permanent corporate IDs without the commitment. Simply print out inserts for staff or board members and slip them into reusable badges. Swap out inserts to use the holders again and again.

The best name tag  for designating staff, volunteers and board members at almost any type of event. These sturdy badges hold up nicely over time.

  • Some styles let you replace inserts with different names and titles
  • Good for high staff turnover or frequent meetings
Large Euro Badge

Euro Badge

Features a double magnetic clip and slightly convex design for readability.

Encore Badge

Encore Badge

Includes a clear, scratch-resistant lens cover.


Name Tag Pouches

Room keys, cash, cell phone, raffle tickets, agenda: just some of the small items attendees need to have on them along with their name tags, which is why a name tag pouch can be a perfect solution. And, with so much space for logos, event sponsors love pouches as much as attendees do!

The best name tag  for attracting sponsors whose logos can be displayed. Pouches also allow attendees to keep their hands free during active meetings.

  • An imprinted pouch with lots of pockets is bound to impress!
  • Zipper option keeps belongings secure
Triple Play Max Pouch

Triple Play Max Pouch

Built to the max with all the best features in one pouch!


ID Cards

The perfect solution for recurring meetings for fraternal groups or clubs, ID Cards can be printed on-site using your Evolis or Fargo Printer and CR80 Cards. A standard credit card size, it stows easily in a wallet or purse so attendees won’t forget them for meetings. Don’t have a printer? We can custom produce these cards for you!

The best name tag  printing IDs with photos right on- site. With one of our ID card printers, you can also add a barcode or QR code.

  • Durable plastic hard cards hold up to long meetings
  • Also great for daily use at the workplace
  • Ideal when security is a top-priority

Designing the Perfect Name Badge in 6 Easy Steps

After you’ve chosen the name badge you want to use, here comes the fun part: combining the artwork and “words” you will print on the badge. Before you panic, please know you don’t need to be a professional designer to create a name badge. You can follow the simple design best practices below to create badges that are strong, clear and memorable.

Keep in mind that if you don’t have the time or just prefer to skip this part, you can take advantage of our Custom Services: we can set up your type and artwork, print your badges, alphabetize and organize them, then ship them to you or directly to your event.

1. Remember the 10-foot rule

For networking, the most powerful piece of information attendees must know about each other is their first names. Make sure the first name can be read from up to 10 feet away by selecting a clear, large type size. 26-40 pt. type should do the trick.

2. Use type to establish a hierarchy

Lay out all the other information with a clear hierarchy of most important down:


a. Most important info (first name or nickname):

26-40 point

b. Secondary info (full name):

20-24 point

c. Tertiary info (company name, title or location):

19-20 point

3. The clearer the font the better

Sure fonts are fun, but you need clear, legible type that helps people connect. And you can’t make eye contact if you’re too busy squinting to see another attendee’s information.

4. Use a logo or artwork that reflects your brand or event theme

Your badge should also complement rather than compete with the other parts of your event: banners, table signage, registration materials, promotional products, etc. Also, a good rule of thumb is to keep your logo on top or the bottom of your badge for valuable exposure.

We’re happy to send you a template with easy instructions to format type and artwork on your badge.

Also, if you’re planning for last-minute attendees and want to print clear labels on-site to attach to badges, don’t forget to allow some extra space in your badge design for this addition.

5. Make the back work as hard as the front

The back of the name tag is valuable real estate for information your guests will appreciate having close at hand during the event. Here are just a few of the possibilities:

  • Maps or conference center layouts
  • Schedules or agendas
  • Sponsor messages
  • Wi-Fi details
  • Event hashtag
  • Retail advertising/discount coupons
  • Next meeting’s date and promotional message
  • Inspiring quote of the day, company motto

6. Don't forget to call us

We’re here to help if you need assistance with formatting your badge – just give us a call. Or, if you would prefer one of our professional artists facilitate the design, you can always upload your art to our website. (You’ll also find more details on accepted file types on that page.) Once the artist receives and modifies your artwork to fit within the parameters of your design, we’ll get your final approval.

You always have the option of using our Namebadges to Go® service to print, organize, assemble and ship your badges to you or directly to your event. For many planners, it’s a valuable service that saves time and money!

The Definitive Guide to Name Tag Paper Inserts

At a Glance: 3 Ways We Make Printing Your Own Inserts Easier.

  • Download a free template and printing instructions for every insert size we carry.
  • Work with templates that simplify full-bleed printing.
  • Use brighter, superior insert paper stock that’s easier to separate and 40% thicker so it slips into holders without wrinkles.

Inserts put the "name" in name tags—literally. It’s their job to identify attendees and provide other important information such as titles and organizations. To help you create effective inserts for your next event, we’ve answered the questions we’re asked most from event planners as they prepare their inserts.

You’ll need a holder for your insert, and our Name Tag Holder Guide will offer you all kinds of options. Plus, check out our Name Tag Attachment Guide, too.

Are all name tag inserts alike?

After 30 years in the meeting planning business and dozens of competitive analysis tests, we can answer emphatically: No! There are three critical questions to ask when evaluating the quality of name tag inserts:

  1. Do they strike the perfect balance in weight? Are they light enough to feed through the printer jam-free yet heavy enough to hold their shape while inserting in holders?
  2. Are they perforated to ensure that the sheet stays together through printing but separates easily with just one or two bends during name tag assembly?
  3. Does the paper stock have a clean, bright finish that takes printer toner without smudging?

While many inserts meet one or two of these criteria, few get all three. And we’re proud to say all our inserts do. Check out our insert selection to see all the options we offer.

Where can I find printing templates for my inserts?

Find the free Microsoft® Word Template that matches your name tag inserts by using our Free Template Library. That's where you'll also find a link to download instructions for setting up Mail Merge in Microsoft® Word.

How can I use inserts to help me categorize attendees?

We offer a full selection of Color Bar and Title/Color Bar inserts to categorize attendees for easy identification.

Is there an easy way to print customized agendas on the back of my inserts?

We have two suggestions:

  1. Rather than trying to print front and back, set up your mail merge to print two inserts side-by-side. The name insert is printed on the left column and the agenda on the right. After printing you simply fold both sides together and slip them into the holder. It takes more paper, but sure saves printing hassles.
  2. Our Datamax On-Site Printer offers the option of printing 4-1/4" x 6" Slotted Fanfold Paper Stock featuring dual-sided printing; then you fold the stock in half and attach a lanyard with no need for a vinyl holder.

What is the fastest way to separate inserts after printing?

Most planners find it’s easiest to grab a stack of three to five insert sheets at a time. Bend the entire stack back and forth along each perforation line, then place the stack on a table and pull along the perforations. Using these small batches of sheets is more efficient than separating each sheet individually.

What size holder should I order for my insert?

Just order a holder that's the same size as your insert. We've already built in the room you need for hassle-free assembly. And our selection of holders is just as vast as the one for our inserts. Our Name Tag Holder Guide helps you choose the best holder for your needs.

Can I find eco-friendly inserts?

Yes! We took our most popular 4" x 3" size and turned it into an eco-friendly recycled version from 100% post-consumer content.

I’m new to designing name tag inserts but want them to look great. What’s the easiest way to do it?

Since we doubt you have time to cram design school into your workflow, we’ve done the designing for you with 50 stock full-color design templates for Microsoft Word®. Just search for a style you like, download, add your logo and follow our Mail Merge instructions. You’ll be ready, and getting compliments for your fine design work in no time!

Can I use Adobe InDesign® to create my name tags?

YES! We’ve got Mail Merge instructions for InDesign so you can bring the world’s most powerful design software to bear on your next project!

How do I organize my variable content to avoid errors in printing?

Make sure that your data source file is structured so you can include the appropriate fields in your target document. For example, the top row of a spreadsheet should contain the field names that you’ll need to set up the merge in your template, such as “First Name”, “Company”, “Title” and “Company”. You can learn more with our Mail Merge instructions.

Resource Guide

Creating Name Badge Inserts in a Microsoft® Word Document Using Mail Merge

Includes:
  • Instructions for setting up Mail Merge
  • Free Name Tag Templates for Microsoft Word
  • Mail-Merge FAQ’s

Let us Help You Create the Best Event Badge Ever

When you want to design a name tag that truly stands out in a crowd, one that embodies a premium look and feel, our Event Badge is just the ticket. This laminated plastic name tag has the same thickness as a credit card, so it’s ideal for multi-day and high-profile gatherings. If you choose this route, rest assured badge preparation is just as seamless as ordering name tag inserts and holders. And it’s even simpler when you consult a pc/nametag meeting specialist.

Besides meetings and conferences, this badge is perfect for so many events. Use it as a VIP and backstage pass for concerts, a credential for sporting events, a staff badge for training activities, or all-access pass for food festivals––the list goes on and on. Through our state-of-the-art print capabilities, we recreate in vivid detail your logos, artwork and photos both on the front and back of the badge. Plus, when you give us your attendee list, we can personalize each name tag, include barcodes or QR codes, even print event maps and agendas on the back side.

And, for the finishing touch? We offer seven finishes to heighten your attendee’s visual and tactile experience: original gloss, and new clear, satin, soft touch, metallic, foil accent and holographic overlay. With a choice of eight sizes, five attachments and the option of slotting the badge and pairing it with a customized lanyard, the choices are endless and can even confuse the most detail-oriented planner in the business!

That’s why we believe to get the most out of an Event Badge, it’s easiest to consult with our specialists who can explain your options, prepare a quote, and communicate your needs to our art staff and services area.

Request a quote


Whether you’re an experienced planner or new to the industry, our meeting specialists can make suggestions, brainstorm ideas, and even refine your plan for you so that all your registration materials are a cohesive package.

Juli Mikalofsky, a meeting specialist with pc/nametag for 6 ½ years, is an expert at offering product scenarios to customers.

“If you request a slotted badge for instance, I’ll check to see if you would like it double-slotted and then ask, ‘How about a double-bulldog clip lanyard that prevents name tag spin? Did you know we can also imprint your company logo on the lanyard?’”

You can always request samples of Event Badges, particularly to see and feel for yourself the exquisite full-color printing as well as examples of our new finishes.

“If your event is to celebrate a 50th anniversary for example, I’ll suggest an Event Badge with gold foil accents,” she adds.

After you’ve made some decisions about your badge, Juli generates a quote that’s immediately emailed to you. The event timeline certainly affects the urgency of Juli’s follow-up call, but in general, if the event is a month to two months out, Juli responds a week later to learn whether the quote is still satisfactory or whether you would like a revised one. After that, feel free to call or email back and talk to any specialist – anyone on the staff can push the order forward.

With your quote or order number, either upload your artwork to our website or send via email to a specialist.

We offer an easy upload by clicking on Upload your Art on our website. You can also find more details on accepted file types on that page. If you need a template, we can email you everything you need. Some customers prefer to email their artwork to a specialist. This method also works, however, keep in mind, some files are quite large for email programs, and may transfer easier through our FTP via website or through a Dropbox account.

Our professional artists will receive and modify your artwork to fit within the parameters of the products you have purchased. When the design is finished, they’ll ask for your final approval. Once you sign off on the artwork, your order moves on to our services area for production.

In just three days, our service technicians produce your Event Badge in the quantity you requested, plus assemble any add-ons such as lanyards. After that, pc/nametag ships your Event Badge order to you or directly to your event.

And when it's show time, your attendees will wear an original Event Badge, designed by you, but facilitated and produced by pc/nametag down to your last detail. Not only will it set the tone for the event, but also serve as a memento of your attendees’ experience.

Badge Ribbons are fun ice breakers and set your name badge apart!

They can be used to identify, color-code, recognize or just have a little fun. An Exclusive stack-a-ribbon® award creates instant recognition. With bright colors, a polished professional appearance, and over 700 titles in-stock, this industry standard offers the rare combination of class, understatement and effectiveness. The benefits are numerous and the cost is low. Some of our most popular options include:

In-Stock Ribbons

In-Stock Ribbons

Custom Ribbons

Custom Ribbons

Full-Color Ribbons

Full-Color Ribbons

Securing Sponsorships and Turning Name Badges into a Revenue Opportunity

Sponsorship spending is on the rise. Brands are engaging in sponsorship activity more than ever and choosing it over traditional advertising. With a projected rise of 4.5% in 2017 to $62.8 billion from $60.1 billion in 2016 according to the IEG Sponsorship report, it’s more critical than ever for event planners and their organizations to do their best to attract and maintain sponsors.

Sponsorships are often a better use of marketing dollars than advertising because they are more strategic and “big picture” in relationship to events. As a result, an enduring sponsorship partnership can provide a steady stream of revenue for both parties for many years to come.

Sponsors also benefit from a studied phenomenon referred to as “event spillover effect.” People are happy when they attend events and those happy feelings are transferred to the brands which are connected to the event. Typically, brands do not receive this spillover effect from traditional advertising because typical ads are seen as a direct attempt to sell the consumer something. Conversely, with a sponsorship, the brand is associating or connecting with an event, so the message is subtle and comes off as more credible to the consumer.

A great way to persuade a potential sponsor is to explain this positive effect of event sponsorship. You’ll notice how more receptive they are to accepting your offer as a wise marketing investment.

Now that you are equipped with a persuasive pitch to present to sponsors, two questions remain: how do you find the right sponsors for your event and keep them content over the long term?

Following are seven proven tips for securing mutually beneficial sponsorships that we hope you find helpful, whether you’re a seasoned pro or new to sponsorship activity.

1. Know your target audience.

When you know as much as possible about your attendees and share that data with a potential sponsor, the better chance you have of winning their sponsorship. Companies need to connect directly with their target audience whether to boost sales or leads, improve brand recognition, or enhance their image by being associated with a cause. Maybe all of the above.

Build an attendee profile that includes their characteristics and lifestyle traits, what marketing professionals call “AIO” dimensions (A = activities; I = interests; O = opinions). This data is useful in developing a compelling profile for potential sponsors. You can start information gathering during the event registration process: answers to simple questions go a long way in developing profiles.

2. Choose prospective sponsors that closely align with your target audience.

It makes sense to begin with a list of prospects who are already predisposed to buying sponsorships. Start by making a list of the companies who sponsor events in the cities where your event runs. Then make a list of the products or service your attendees might purchase. Also note that your company’s vendors might be excellent sponsors, too.

“It’s about finding who can relate to your attendees and your industry, so you pinpoint what is best for both of you and the sponsor,” says Megan Herfel, account manager at pc/nametag.

You can always reach out to your personal network, too. People you already know, including their friends and colleagues offer possibilities, and they in turn can refer you to other potential sponsors.

3. Commit to research and data collection.

From the prospecting stage when you develop your target audience to valuable post event results for your sponsors, data collection must be a priority if you want your sponsorships to be successful. It’s difficult to convince a potential sponsor with simple guessing and no data to back it up.

Instead, knowing your target audience (as mentioned above) through simple questioning during registration, hosting focus groups for in-depth or personal information, and providing simple follow-up event surveys will win over and maintain sponsorships.

4. Create offerings that interest potential sponsors.

Make initial contact with a prospect by sending an email that introduces your event through compelling photos, graphics and copy. Then, follow up with offerings, such as providing logo and messaging placement on name badges, lanyards or event signage, all excellent forms of promotion that often endure long after the event.

There are other types of endorsements, but some common ones include: complimentary or VIP passes, speaking opportunities or special audience access, on-stage announcements, website and email marketing, and social media mentions.

Always make sure to customize the sponsorship package based on the sponsor’s needs. Not only do you customize the pitch, but you also must customize the agreement based on your sponsor’s particular requirements. Instead of selling a one-size-fits-all program, be sure to get to know them, understand what they need and develop a relationship with the sponsor. And once you both agree to the terms of the sponsorship, make sure to put everything in writing to prevent any future disagreements.

5. Develop a collaborative relationship with your sponsor.

When you’ve acquired a sponsor, make sure to create a partnership with them. For example, include the company’s sales or marketing liaison in the design of a name badge for the event.

“Collaborate with them by saying, ‘Here is what we were thinking, and here is where you could help us out in the design of this badge,’” says Megan. “Create a blueprint for them so they can see how they have a strong presence on the badge or lanyard versus the sponsor just throwing lots of dollars into a project they’re not really involved in.”

6. Implement technology as much as possible.

78% of event professionals say they use technology in some form to keep their sponsors happy. Many are finding that sponsors are becoming more demanding and it’s difficult to achieve ROI. Beyond logo placement, exhibit tables and even social media mentions, sponsors are looking for “out-of-the-box” ideas that technology can provide.

Here are just a handful of many innovative technologies that will attract sponsors and keep them on attendees’ minds before, during and after events.

Registration Data

Again, the simple questions you ask your attendees during registration can be very persuasive and convince a sponsor to support your event.

Virtual Event Bags

Sponsors can create digital offers for attendees – a mix of offers that include discount codes, competitions, free gifts, etc. These are great digital tools for tracking, visits, views and engagement.

Event Apps

Some event apps can give sponsors a virtual presence by providing a static or rotating banner space in the app and include pictures, text, links, videos, product listings, etc. The app you choose should provide meaningful stats, such as how many people clicked through to the sponsor’s website, watched their video or downloaded product info.

Live Streaming of Event

Share live video of presentations or performances at your event for those who could not attend in person.

Lead Retrieval

Lead retrieval tools allow for the collection of data from an attendee by scanning the barcode or QR code on their badge. This data can provide a personalized follow-up from a sponsor.

7. Build trust and keep happy sponsors coming back.

After the event, ensure your sponsors will continue to work with you by providing them with feedback while learning from their constructive criticism.

“Sharing attendee feedback and ROI data after the event is huge, especially if your sponsor made a large investment, and you’re looking at future events and bringing them back,” says Megan. “If you don’t give them the numbers, what’s their incentive to work with you again?”

Your sponsorship report, which varies based on your arrangement, covers key points to show ROI, such as event attendance, data about attendee behavior, actions and demographics, number of leads generated, number of samples distributed, feedback received, and many more.

Once you secure a sponsorship for an upcoming event, pc/nametag’s meeting specialists are happy to help you create imprint space on badges, lanyards or other registration supplies and promotional products with our sophisticated printing techniques.

Lanyards: Boost brand visibility or sell imprint space as part of your package.

Sophisticated imprinting makes logos look their best and sets the tone for your event. Full-color dye sublimation achieves the most eye-catching looks. If you need your lanyards fast, go for more basic 1 to 3-color screen printing in just 3 days. Our Lanyard Resource Guide answers the most frequently asked questions!

Preparing for Last-Minute Attendees with First-Class Name Tags

As a busy meeting planner, you may choose to have your name tags printed for you and shipped directly to your event. Or, you may decide to print them yourself beforehand. But what about last-minute attendees?

Even with today’s fast custom print services or portable on-site printers with integrated event software, there are still events where felt tipped pens and adhesive labels are the quick fix, and late attendees receive name tags with last minute written all over them.

We have some tricks for creating professional-looking name tags on-site, on-demand within seconds using our portable printers, so registration lines keep moving and attendees keep smiling.

Run imprinted name tag stock through a direct thermal printer at your registration table.

We can preprint inserts with your full-color logo or artwork. With extra stock on hand, all you need to do is run it through a black & white direct thermal printer such as our Datamax, to print the late attendee’s name and other data. Every attendee receives the same first-class badge!

Use a budget-friendly full-color printer to print out your own high-quality name tags on the spot.

With an economical color printer you don’t need the long lead time for custom stock that a direct thermal printer requires. The Epson Color Name Tag Printer Kit, for instance, offers everything you need to print beautiful 4” x 3” name tags instantly and efficiently. With the included guide and templates, you can make last-minute changes yourself to your logo, message or attendees’ info.

The kit includes the same high-quality 4” x 3” satin-coated name card stock that pc/nametag uses for Custom Services. It’s pre-cut and ready to load for “one up” printing instead of arriving in perforated 8-1/2” x 11” sheets typically designed for office printers. You can also have your stock preprinted using Custom Services and then place the logo-only name tags in this compact printer for on-demand printing of your entire attendee list, late arrivals or badge corrections.

Print names on clear adhesive labels and affix to pre-printed Event Badges.

With the popularity of laminated plastic Event badges, we’ve found a great way to print last-minute names with our Brother Wireless Label Printer or Dymo Label Printer by using clear adhesive name tag stock. When you order preprinted Event Badges for your pre-registrants, be sure to include extra logo-only Event Badges. Then when late attendees arrive, you simply print their names on the clear adhesive label stock and affix to the Event Badges. Every name tag looks the same – not one will stick out like a sore thumb!

Print professional-looking name tags on-demand with a WiFi-enabled app.

The Brother® Wireless Name Tag Printer has built-in WiFi and comes in a kit that includes a free pc/nametag® exclusive iOS app. You can easily upload your guest list to your phone using the app, click on each attendee name and print out a badge on blank or 1-color imprinted fanfold stock. With a late registrant, just click on a blank template and type in the attendee’s name as well as credentials. This mobile-friendly solution is just another way to keep registration lines moving.

Scan-&-Print Badge Printing may be the best option for your entire attendee list, including late arrivals.

You may want an on-site package that includes event software compatible with a selection of our printers. With Meeting Power, pc/nametag's event technology attendees simply scan the confirmation barcode or QR code on their paper or phone confirmations, and their badges automatically print on-site. The software allows you to create preprinted badges for late arrivals, too.

Tips for last-minute printing on-site:

  • If you’re planning a large event with the anticipation of many late registrants, speed is probably your main criteria. That’s when direct thermal printers are your speediest and most efficient on-site solution. They print one badge per second and require few if any accessories.
  • Depending on the type of printer you have, remember to pack the necessary components for use on-site. Some of our printers come in kits with everything you need included with the printer. Always have plenty of ink cartridges and name tag stock, plus templates ready to go and loaded on your laptop or mobile device.
  • Also make sure your venue has wireless service and include your USB cord in case of connectivity issues.

How to Select a Name Tag Printer

Investing in a printer isn’t something you do every day. That’s why we want to help you make the right decision when the need arises. To help you get started, we’ve answered some common questions about printers.

Printer Basics

What does a name tag printer do that a desktop printer can’t?

If you’re pre-printing all of your name tags – logos and names – before your event, you can certainly do this on your own desktop printer using our free insert templates. Some of our customers are do-it-yourselfers and prefer to go this route. Desktop printers require you to print out name tags on a full sheet of paper, typically containing around six name tags per sheet.

But with a name tag printer, you can print complete name tags “one up” or one at a time. So the name badge printer is ideal if you want to print each name tag on-site as each attendee checks in. You also have the ability to address last-minute registrants or changes with a name tag printer, instead of resorting to handwriting names with a marker on adhesive labels.

What is the difference between a label printer and name tag (stock) printer?

We offer name tag printers that fall into two categories: adhesive label printers and name tag stock printers. Depending on your needs, you’ll want to choose one or the other. For instance, if your event is smaller or less formal, you may opt for adhesive labels that our budget-friendly Brother® Wireless Label Printer can produce. Keep in mind that most label printers are black and white only.

If it’s a larger, full-day or multi-day event, a thermal black & white printer like our Datamax or color printers like our Epson® Name Tag Printers can print badge stock which is then inserted into a vinyl holder. Inserts combined with holders are considered the more typical or traditional name badges.

What is “direct thermal” printing?

Direct thermal printers, like our Datamax and Brother® Wireless printers, depend on a thermal print head that selectively produces black print on heat-activated paper. And, since they don’t use a ribbon, ink or toner there are fewer supplies to worry about. No need for ink cartridges also makes them lighter and more compact. Many are very budget friendly, too. Can’t beat the Datamax and Brother Wireless printers for speed: each prints out one name tag per second.

What if you have a need for full-color artwork but have a black & white printer?

If you want the ability to feature full-color artwork occasionally but prefer an economical black & white printer, consider our Custom Services. We can preprint your full-color logo and artwork on your name tags, and set up the template so that you can print the names on your black & white printer.

Should you choose a black & white printer or a color printer?

Which printer you choose depends on a number of factors, including what you’re typically going to be printing on your name tags. If you have a color logo or artwork, you’ll want to consider full-color name tag printers like our Epson printers which use inkjet technology to ensure crisp, easy-to-read graphics. If you have very detailed artwork, or need to print photos or bar codes, you’ll want to choose a hi-resolution printer like our Primera, which prints up to 4800 dpi, or dots per second.

However, if you don’t have a need for color, a black & white model printer is ideal: it prints faster and is a budget-friendly investment.

Printer Speed

How fast do you need name tags? Are you printing before the event or on-demand?

If you’re printing on-demand, the size of your event and how many check-in stations you will need helps determine how fast your printer should be to keep registration lines moving.

How fast do our printers print?

Both our black & white Brother Wireless Printers churn out one name tag per second. And our Epson® Color Name Tag Printer (UEPM) prints five full-color name tags per minute.

Portability and Setup

How will you be traveling to your event and how many printers will you be transporting to serve all of your attendees?

Some of our printers are extremely lightweight and compact such as our Brother Wireless Name Tag Printer, weighing as little as 1 -1/4 lbs. It stows easily in a cargo case, and then sets up without a hitch at your registration table. Our Datamax and Datamax Pro, weighing in at just 5 lbs. each, are easily portable, too. Plus, our Epson Color Name Tag Printer (UEPM) weighs just over 6 lbs. – small but mighty! We also offer cargo cases in three sizes specifically designed for transporting printers and supplies.

How easy is it to set up a printer at your event?

Regarding set up, each printer connects to your attendee list a little differently. No matter which one you choose, setup is relatively fast and easy. For instance, our DataMax hooks up to your laptop using a USB cord. Our Datamax Pro features a visual screen that lists preloaded templates that you can choose from to easily print your name tags without a laptop. Just plug in a USB keyboard (sold separately).

Our two Brother Wireless Printers are used with an exclusive iOS app, so you can print name tags on-site directly from your mobile device or tablet. Our Epson Color Printer (UEPS) can accommodate Ethernet hookup, so you can print to one printer from multiple check-in stations.

How much printer equipment will you need or want at your event?

Some printers require a connection to a laptop, whereas others can be used with just a keyboard, a USB or even a mobile app. Our Datamax Pro includes stored preloaded templates and offers a USB keyboard (sold separately), eliminating the need for a computer.

Will you have wireless connection at your venue?

If so, our Brother Wireless Label Printer connects to WiFi anywhere you need to get online; what’s even more convenient, our Brother Wireless Name Tag Printer has built-in WiFi hotspot. Both include free downloadable apps for printing on the go without a computer.

Printer Versatility

How else can you use your printer, before, during and after the event?

Our adhesive label printers, for instance, can print labels for meeting materials, not just name tags. Or if you have last-minute attendees, you can print off their names on clear labels and stick on our pre-printed Event Badges right at the registration table. That way, their name tags look exactly like those of pre-registered guests.

We also offer Document Printer Kits – mobile offices for the meeting planner on the go. The Brother PocketJet Printer Kit churns out full-page documents like invoices, agendas, menus, etc., via Bluetooth or USB connection. And, the Primera Trio® All-in-One Color Printer Kit uses 8-1/2” x 11” paper for not only creating full-color name tags, but also printing, copying and scanning documents.

Will you need different-sized name tags to accommodate different types of events?

Many of our printers offer name tags in many sizes. The Datamax and Datamax Pro Printers accommodate fanfold stock in different size options as well as wristband stock. And, with our Epson Color Printer, you’re not limited to a 3” high name tag; its built-in auto cutter lets you create name tags of different heights from a 4” wide roll stock.

Learn more about each printer we offer by downloading:

Printer Comparison Chart

Need help preparing for your next event?

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