Hello My Name Is Boring
November 22, 2009 2:40 PM   Subscribe

I am highly motivated to avoid the blahness of YANFCB (Yet Another Fucking Conference Badge.) Help me come up with COOL conference badges. Or something.

We have three months before 200 people will turn up at a conference expecting to say "Hello, My Name Is..." We are sick to death of these badges and these badges and I'm not a big fan of even the best of these either. So please, lift me from lameness and tell me about the coolest or most creative or most unusual or most radical conference badges you've seen or experienced that actually functioned well.

We are not on an unlimited budget by any means but we're creative people so we may be able to adapt anything but LED badges or really shmancy options like that.

We will have details in advance for pre-printing. Guidelines are: Name, URL, @twittername but you know, feel free to go nuts.
posted by DarlingBri to Society & Culture (11 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Seems to me a cool badge has some clever relationship to the conference itself (or to the place the conference is held, etc). That's what I enjoy about things like the hackable Defcon, CCC, and HOPE badges. So, um… what kind of conference is this?
posted by hattifattener at 2:57 PM on November 22, 2009

Depending on how fun loving your conference goers were maybe you could incorporate some sort of large scale killer / werewolf / pokemon / puzzle game into the badge designs. If would need to be easy for the non-interested to basically ignore.
posted by ecurtz at 2:59 PM on November 22, 2009

Response by poster: This is for WordCamp Ireland [link], so it's all about WordPress, and it's pretty fun. (I hope it looks fun...) It's definately laid back - we're lining up a lot of 1st rate speakers from all over the place but we've built in loads of time for socialising, big lunches, dinners, pub nights, etc. So yeah, fun, with relaxed people. This is not CorporateCon by any means.
posted by DarlingBri at 3:04 PM on November 22, 2009

Just brainstorming here, I'm throwing in a few:
- everyone gets to have a "live comment form" (preprinted post-it pad?) to paste to her/his badge. At the end (of every day? of the conference?) who got most comments wins a small prize.

- A QR code to save the blog URL on mobile devices.

- A "visual captcha" eg. having a small trasparent red plastic window on a section of each badge and the relevant data printed in blue under red noise, so that everyone has to superimpose his own badge to the one she/he wants to read.
posted by _dario at 3:28 PM on November 22, 2009

If you do lanyards or similar badges, please print the information on both sides.

For a word press camp, how about including a set of small preprinted "post it" style notes. Label them as "trackbacks". People could exchange them and stick them on there own badge to keep track of.
posted by alikins at 3:32 PM on November 22, 2009 [1 favorite]

Some information about local restaurants near the venue might be handy.
posted by backwards guitar at 4:30 PM on November 22, 2009 [2 favorites]

You could commission an artist/illustrator, like these badges for Small Press Expo (bigger image of the badges here)
I think something hand-drawn rather than computer generated is always more interesting/unusual.
posted by cushie at 9:14 PM on November 22, 2009

I'm always surprised at how many people despise their badges because they think they're wasteful. Some companies make biobased plastic compostable name badges... so at least if you have to wear around another stupid badge fit for the trash, it doesn't have to wind up there. We had a youth group bring in their worm bin to accept the lunch leftovers & they gave 'welcome to wormville' tours. We had people drop their name badges into the compost when they left (and had the courtesy worms take care of the rest).
posted by iiniisfree at 12:23 AM on November 23, 2009

Best conference badge I ever had was a lanyard with the information printed on BOTH sides, my URL, specialities, interests etc. The badge itself was just a lanyard, but it was the information that was most useful.

Whatever you do, make sure it's readable.
posted by wingless_angel at 12:48 AM on November 23, 2009

I went to a meetup this spring that had badges by these people: http://tweetupbadges.com/, and they were great. The color combo chosen was a little hard to read, but the right combo would prove no problem, I assume. They also come with a code on the back that will pull up the Twitter profile for that user when snapped with the right iPhone app (the name of which I sadly can't remember right now)
posted by tigerbelly at 9:40 AM on November 23, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks for the suggestions. The Tweetup badges were most inline with the kids of ideas we are looking for. Having run across these, I think we'll probably do something along that lines, adapted for our conference and specific needs.
posted by DarlingBri at 1:00 PM on November 23, 2009

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