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Variable Data Set-up

How to design an event badge.

Remember the 10-foot rule.

You don’t need to be a designer to set up variable data printing of your badges. In fact, combining artwork with words is really the fun part. Beginning with the 10-foot Rule, follow these best practices below to create badges that are strong, clear and memorable. Since first names or nicknames are best for networking, make sure you can see them from up to 10 feet away with a large, clear type — anything between a 26 to 40 point size.

A. Most Important Info: First name or Nickname

26-40 point

B. Secondary Info: Full Name or Last Name

20-24 point

C. Tertiary Info: Company name, title or location

19-20 point

Don't forget the back of the badge!

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 agenda

•  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

We’re here to help.

Call us if you need assistance with your badge setup: 888.354.7868. We’re happy to lend a hand. Visit our Tag Talk Blog for more info or ideas. A good post to check out is How to Create the Best Event Badge Ever.

Have question on submitting art? See our Art Guidelines for more info.

Set up your variable data.

Send us your names in an Excel Document formatted with information to print in separate columns. Download our sample spreadsheet and watch our short instructional video if you have questions on how to format. Please make sure your list is correct to ensure an error-free badge printing experience. Any misspellings, capitalization errors, additional spaces, etc. on your list will show up on your tags. Specify how badges are to be sorted (alphabetically by last name, by company name, etc.).

Basic Conference Badge ExampleBasic Conference Badge Example

Here's a basic conference attendee list.

After reading about the 10-foot Rule (above), it’s really easy to set up your attendee list info in order of importance. For your name tags to be formatted like the example at left, title your spreadsheet columns First Name, Last Name, Title, and Organization. Then fill in the variable data. You’ll understand the process even better once you download our sample spreadsheet and watch our instructional video, both above.

Basic Conference Attendee Data TemplateBasic Conference Attendee Data Template

Lots or Categories Badge ExampleLots or Categories Badge Example

How to add "lots" or categories.

If you would like to add a category that describes each participant’s role at the event, add another column titled Lot and include that role in the blank, such as Attendee, Speaker, Exhibitor, etc.

Attendees with Lots or Categories Data TemplateAttendees with Lots or Categories Data Template

QR Badge ExampleQR Badge Example

Would you like a QR code or barcode?

We can create a unique QR Code or Barcode for each attendee so that you can easily track who’s arrived and prevent a security breach. The spreadsheet below shows added columns that contain phone numbers and emails, two pieces of info that remain private unless read by a scanner or an app. So attendees have an easy way to exchange contact data simply by scanning tags with their smartphones.

QR or Barcode Data TemplateQR or Barcode Data Template

Upload your variable data.

Before uploading your variable data, make sure you have the following:

A quote number.

Please call or email [email protected] if you do not already have a quote number to start your order. Or start your quote here.

Spreadsheet + variable assets zipped.

Please download our template spreadsheet and add your variable data. If you have any other assets to include such as images please zip everything into one folder. Artwork can be included.

Upload your file using our secure file share.

Remember to add your quote number to the description field, and you’re all set!

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Have questions?

Contact Us: 888-354-7868

Mon-Fri, 8am - 5pm CT