• Nonprofit Learning Lab

Nametags: The Importance of Knowing Names at Events, Meetings, Orientations and Retreats

Updated: Dec 1, 2019

If your nonprofit is hosting a meeting, orientation, event, retreat or workshop, you are likely engaging community members and I am guessing that the people in attendance would like to know one another’s name. I can tell you, it's awkward to sit through a meeting or day-long training and not know the name of the person next to you.


One way to help people learn names is by having every single person in the room go around and introduce themselves. But, if you have more than 10 people in a room, no one is going to remember all that information. Plus, people often times say more than their names and then your meeting could run late. Aside from having everyone go around and say their name, the only way for people to actually learn one another’s name is if you provide nametags or a fun icebreaker - more on that in our other blog!

We host about 100+ events, meetings and trainings a year and I can tell you that my favorite type of nametag is a sticky branded nametag. We get a staff person who has the best handwriting to write out the guests' names. Why? Well, we want to be able to read it from across the room and we want others to be able to read it. If you leave the handwriting skills to each individual attendee, then you aren't in control of that aspect of your meeting and who knows if anyone will actually be able to read the nametag.


We want to make sure our attendees feel connected during our events, so nametags are a must to create a personalized experience for everyone. It's far more comfortable to discuss or participate in team-building exercise when you feel like you actually know the person next to you. At our events, we have found that sticky nametags work best for one-on-one interactions and for people seated around each other while cardstock, table-tent nametags are best for event leaders moving around the room and people seated far away from each other.


As a final note, make sure to pronounce your attendees' names correctly! It never hurts to ask for clarification if you don't know. Ensuring that every one of your team members and attendees feels comfortable and welcome is incredibly important to run any sort of event. Nametags are just step one in creating a welcoming environment and making your event run smoothly.


p.s. no...we don't think sticky nametags are a good way to go for a 2000+ person event that is three days long. But for an event that is a few hours long - YES!


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