Which Name Tag Fastener is Right for You?

You’ve chosen what name tag you want, designed your logo and made a list of the names you need printed on them. There’s still one crucial part of the name tag equation left: choosing a fastener. It’s not a decision that should be taken lightly, as different occasions and environments call for certain fasteners. Work attire and uniforms should be taken into consideration as well.

The fastener you choose will directly impact the appearance of the name tag, so choose carefully!

Magnet Fastener
Pros: Of all our fasteners, magnetic is the most popular. A strong magnetic current secures the name tag in place, but without snagging or pinning holes in the material.
Cons: If the name tag is hit or caught on something, it could be displaced and you might lose one side of the magnetic fastener.

Pin Fastener
Pros: Tried, tested and true, the pin fastener is simple and effective. Just pin it to your pocket or shirt, and your name tag will stay put. It won’t be dislodged unless the pin is accidentally unhooked, which is unlikely.
Cons: It might poke holes in your shirt or pocket. This isn’t a problem if your uniform or attire is made of heavy duty material, but if you’re wearing something more delicate, the pin might snag it.

Swivel Bulldog Clip
Pros: This fastener easily clips onto pockets and lanyards, securing your name tag without having to pin it through a shirt or fixate the magnets to stay put.
Cons: If you’re not wearing a lanyard, a jacket or pants with pockets then you’re out of luck. You want to avoid placing the name tag in an awkward place.

Bull Dog Clip with Pin
Pros: This fastener combines the best of both worlds. This can be clipped onto a sturdy pocket, lanyard, or onto your shirt. This particular clip ensures that your name tag will be wearable in every occasion, and with every outfit or ensemble.
Cons: There aren’t many cons with this fastener. But as with the regular pin fastener, the pin clip option of this fastener can make holes in your shirt or jacket.

Double Clutch Fastener
Pros: Two pins are better than one. Double clutch pins stabilize the name tag, preventing it from getting bent or hanging on the shirt too much. With even support on both sides, the name tag won’t flop or droop.
Cons: Like the regular pin clip fastener, double clutch fasteners can snag or create holes in the material it’s pinned on.

Giving and Receiving Gifts Year Round

Anthropologist Terry Y. LeVine said it best:
“The practice of giving and receiving gifts is so universal it is part of what it means to be human. In virtually every culture, gifts and the events at which they are exchanged are a crucial part of the essential process of creating and maintaining social relationships.”

December is the biggest gift giving month of the year. Yet there are endless reasons to give gifts throughout the year: personal gifts for birthdays, weddings, graduations and holidays, as well as business gifts to say thank you for a job well done, congratulations on a promotion or, “I’m sorry for not performing as expected.”

The purpose of giving gifts is to bring joy to both the giver and receiver, promote goodwill and make for a closer relationship. However, if gift giving goes amiss, there is a risk of making the receiver uncomfortable and creating an unpleasant situation for both sides. To avoid any ill effects from your gift giving practices, keep in mind these simple tips.

WHEN YOU GIVE

  1. Be sure of the true purpose of the gift. Beyond saying the gift is for a particular occasion, think through how well this gift will express your feelings for this person. To figure this out, ask yourself: how much do I really are about this person? How much time, energy, and money am I willing to spend to select just the right gift for him or her? Let the answers guide you throughout this process.
  2. Do your homework about the receiver. Be observant about his or her favorite items, things he or she might need or things that would be a meaningful expression of your relationship. Try to remember comments about favorite colors, foods or beverages. As needed, ask someone else who knows the person, explaining that the purpose of your inquiry is to help learn something that will help you select a special gift. I think most people are willing to help with ideas.
  3. Be sensitive to personal and cultural differences. With such a diverse population in our society, it is important to learn something about a person’s ethnic, religious and cultural practices along with their personal likes and dislikes before you present a gift. Take time to learn what’s appropriate and what’s not in different communities to gain insights on what a person would or would not appreciate as a gift. For example, giving a bottle of wine to someone who does not drink alcohol could make the receiver less than overjoyed with your gift.
  4. Know when corporate logos are appropriate. Sometimes a gift with a company logo cheapens its appearance. The best gifts are those without any logos or promotion on it, especially when given as special thank you gift. Logo gifts are fine as small remembrances for meetings held, not generally as the sincerest form of a thank you gift.
  5. Use simple and elegant wrapping. Japanese-influenced, understated wrapping is best in my mind. Avoid using brightly colored, bold, heavily patterned paper and a lot of brightly colored, fancy bows and ribbons on the package. Instead, use solid stately colors and quality paper with simple ribbon.
  6. Present your gift with style. The best way is having it gift beautifully wrapped and given in person. In business situations, when sending the gift by messenger or mail, include your business card with the gift, along with a handwritten note on personal note card or stationary.

WHEN YOU RECEIVE

  1. Show your appreciation when receiving a gift in person. Always put a smile on your face as a gift is being presented and say thank you along with a brief expression of appreciation.
  2. Let the giver know as soon as possible when a gift has arrived. Make every effort to let the sender know you received a gift sent by mail or messenger (email, fax or telephone call is fine). Then follow it up by sending the proper thank you note as soon as possible.
  3. Be sensitive to opening a gift in front of others. Americans typically open gifts as soon as it is received, even in front of an audience and other groups of people. Know that in many cultures it is not customary or appropriate to open gifts in front of guests. They are kept to be opened alone.
  4. Know the bottom line. Always hand write a thank you note for every gift you receive, no matter what…period. Sending a thank you note is the right thing to do.

Happy Practicing!

Syndi Seid is a regular contributing writer, professional speaker/trainer and founder of a San Francisco-based business that offers free monthly etiquette articles.

Customer Spotlight: Theresa Mathis, City of Wilson, NC

Theresa Mathis: City of Wilson, NC

I am an event planner for the City of Wilson, Human Relations Office. We are a community affairs organization that collaborates with many organizations across the county to engage, celebrate and educate our citizens.

What do you have planned for the future?

For myself, retirement at a lake house! But, within the job, we strive each year to expand our community events to provide more awareness and education for our citizens. Our goal is to have active citizens that are participating in the community.

How does the city organization working environment compare to that of a private business?

In working for the a City, the pressure is off to raise the profit margin. While we do have to make sure our budgetary spending is appropriate, helps the needy and is in no way wasteful. The focus is on the work not the dollar signs. We are given the opportunity to reach out to those citizens that really need help.

How have you been able to use our name tag products?

As an event planner, the name tag ribbons have been priceless! I first was introduced to your products through student activities on college campuses in the mid-90’s. I have used your name tag products and ribbons for events ever since! Every job I’ve moved to, your catalog/web info has been clutched in my hands. I am a big fan of the name tag ribbons.

I think the ribbons are so important for many reasons. One, they give a level of distinction to participants. Whether it is a judge, keynote speaker, volunteer or committee member, receiving that special name tag with a beautiful ribbon makes everyone feel important. It raises the bar of performance. Anyone can slap a sticky label on their lapel with a name written in magic marker. But, preparing a proper name tag and adding a ribbon demonstrates to the person that you care and are prepared and thus makes them interact the same way. As for the patrons of the event, the ribbons help those “in the know” stand out. They automatically know who can help them, who to congratulate or who to thank. The name tags become a keepsake for everyone. When folks want to keep a piece of your event, that is a milestone of a well planned event.

A fun side story, when I worked for a couple of years at a dot com web company, we were a very tight knit group. We all worked in one large war room style office, a very chatty group and over time, we all developed nick names. One summer the boss wanted to have a retreat to refocus the group. He asked that I set up the weekend as if it were a professional conference and hundreds were attending. We had a great weekend and all went well. The key element that everyone still remembers, were the custom name tag ribbons. The plastic badge had our official name, but the ribbons had our nick names. Mine said “office princess”. When I catch up with my old buddies from the office, they always talk about those ribbons and many still have them 10 years later. TRUE STORY!

What advice would you give other organizations?

Don’t hesitate to use these products. You will not regret it! Name Tag, Inc. has provided consistent, high quality products that I’ve grown to depend upon. The customization office is flexible and creative. They will help you tackle any project. When planning events, details such as name tags show that all is well.

Branding on a Budget!

name tags-conference tagsIf you’ve been to any conferences or business meetings then you’ve probably seen or worn these stick-on name tags before.

Are these the best choice, you ask?

First of all, wearing one of these tags is better than wearing no name tag at all. They are inexpensive, and it can be fun to let your creative side shine through by writing or drawing on them yourself. On the other hand, they do wrinkle and tear easily. Secondly, they’re much harder to brand than more traditional name tags. It can be hard to read your hand-written name and company on a wrinkled name tag. However, these can also be run through a printer. This would eliminate the need for handwriting your name and company. You always want to make a positive and memorable impression. This is the first rule of any decent branding strategy for meeting potential clients and business partners.

So if the most inexpensive option is not what we are looking for, what is?

If you want your the effects of your branding to be more permanent and long lasting, your name tags ought to be too. This doesn’t mean you have to spend top dollar on a set of name tags with each employee’s name printed or engraved permanently onto each badge (But we do those too!). Plenty of lower-cost options exist which give your organization the ability to reuse branded, professional badges for multiple events or employees.

reusable mighty badges-dye sublimated logo-name tag-window badgeMighty Badges are a fantastic product to use in any setting – especially if you handle smaller events and rotate volunteers in and out, or need new logos for each event.
They are elegant, and highly reusable. They are also the top reusable seller among Non-Profits. They’re affordable, and clean looking. Print names and even your logo onto the transparent insert sheets for a crisp, well thought out look that is sure to make a memorable impression.

reusable mighty badges--name tag

For conferences or other large scale events, badge holders are one of the more recognizable and popular products because they’re sturdy, easy to use and rather inexpensive. Additionally, you can attach ribbons to your badge holders to further separate yourself and your staff from the rest of the conference attendees.

These are three products which allow you to further your branding strategy without breaking the bank.

(Click on the photos to get yours today!)

12 Points on Name Tag Etiquette

By, Syndi Seid

1.  Why Name Tags
When preparing name tags, think through the purpose for the name tags. Always show the names in spoken order that is your given name, followed by your surname/last name and affiliation. Think twice about the need to provide any information beyond these basics.

2. Writing a Name Tag
Use only big, bold block letters in all caps or with upper and lower case letters. Avoid script or cursive handwriting and do not add personalized touches that could be confusing. No matter how well lit a room may be, it is always more difficult to decipher cursive handwriting, particularly by those from other countries or ethnic origins.

3.  Using Honorifics
Except for specialized events honorifics and titles are not typically used on name tags. These include Mr., Mrs., Ms., Dr., PhD., M.D., General Manager or President. Because name tags are intended to quickly show a person’s simple identity, they should only indicate first and last surname, and affiliation.

4. “Hello, my name is…”
I confess I don’t like this particular style of name tag. Admittedly, they do serve a purpose for highly informal occasions. But, they do seem very elementary and out of place in a professional setting. It’s best to use clean, professional looking sheets, either with or without colored borders.

5. Squint Factor
Nothing is more disappointing than to attend a conference or professional meeting, only to arrive at check-in and discover the name tags are terribly under presented; names are printed too small, company affiliation so small you can’t make it out and every other detail shy of your birth date is loaded onto the badge.

6.  Printing Name Tags
When generating pre-printed tags on a computer, take care when choosing an appropriate font and font size. For tags I produce personally, I find 40-point Arial type is a good starting point for first and last names and affiliation. Sometimes it take a little extra time to employ a little trial and error to find the correct font size and balance. I assure you it will be well worth the effort for the optimum results.

7.  Use of an Affiliation and Logo
Even though it’s important to give attention to the sponsoring organization, always remember the most important information on the name tag is the person’s name, not the organization. By this I mean the bulk of the space should be devoted to presenting the person’s full name, thus the scale of the logo or sponsoring affiliation should be much smaller in comparison to the attendee’s name. It should never dominate the tag.

8. Printing the first name larger than the last name…
While there are no hard and fast rules governing whether to enlarge the person’s first name, I submit it’s best to print both the first and last name in the same size font. With so many men and women sharing the same first name, it can be confusing seeing lots of Susans or Stevens walking around. This underscores the value of regarding one’s full name as one’s personal branding vehicle.

9.  Creating your reusable name badge for use at various events…
While arriving with your very own custom designed name tag assures your name and affiliation will be presented to your absolute liking, yet may not be in your best interest to do so. Consider this: event planners usually create name tags specific to a particular occasion as a way of identifying, at a glance, those who legitimately belong at the event and those who don’t. By wearing your own name tag, you may inadvertently convey the impression of being a party crasher!

10. Company ID Badges
Many companies require the staff to wear name badges for instant identification purposes. In this case, it’s customary to wear such badges on the left shoulder.

11. Placing Name Tags Straight and in Plain View
Never allow your name tag to be worn crooked, sideways or even upside down. It sends a negative message to others, usually implying a lack of respect for the occasion or lack of care or interest in your personal appearance.

Never wear a badge upside down. Though it may sound silly to say, believe it or not I know someone who deliberately wears his name badge upside down. He claims it’s the best way to meet women. Why? Because, he says women will go out of their way to approach him just to help him correct what they perceive as his oversight. My friend claims men are far less likely to mention it or bother helping. Needless to say, I don’t recommend this practice to anyone. In my book this tactic sends the signal: here’s a person who cares little about the image he conveys. Who would want to convey the impression that something as simple as properly wearing a name badge was purposefully missed; what else might be missing? In other words, while it is possible that one person may take this for humor; another person may take it as incompetence. Why risk creating this kind of confusion?

12.  Last, but not least: where to wear a name tag or badge.
Networking: whether at professional functions or at social events, always wear it on your upper right shoulder. Here’s why. Place the tag or badge as high up on your right shoulder as possible to give other people the best and easiest view of both the tag and your face. As you extend your right hand for a handshake, your eye and arm are already being drawn to the right side of the person you are greeting. Because the upper most part of your chest is the flattest area on your shoulder, this helps your tag to lie flat and be more secure.

These points are is especially relevant to women, as most women feel awkward drawing attention to an area of our chests we would prefer not to do. By placing it in an easy to read and visible place keeps the focus where it should be.

Happy Practicing!

Syndi Seid is a world’s leading etiquette trainer, celebrity speaker and founder of San Francisco-based Advanced Etiquette.