Thursday, May 08, 2008

Nametags At Business Events

At a business event, the nametag is a tool.

Yes, I realize that many of you have come to believe that wearing nametag is not "cool" so you invent lots of reasons not to use them. High School ended a long time ago (decades ago for some of us!!!), so get over the "coolness factor" least on the subject of the nametag.

I recently went to a business event hosted by a major company. They did not have nametags because a few of the senior executives protested to the event planner that their event was not a "networking" event, thus there should be no nametags. They felt having nametags made people uncomfortable.

Let me see if I have this correct. They invited 250 clients to a party, but it was not about networking? Anytime you put a group of humans together, networking happens...this is normal, not a bad thing!

The way it played out was that the executives all knew their clients, and thus did not see the need for nametags. But alas, the 250 guests did not know each other, so they could not easily mingle. People sat with those they already knew and did not mix. The executives thought the party was a success, but the guests all privately grimaced that it was a waste of time because they did not meet anyone new. These rationalizing execs only saw the event through selfish eyes.

One person I talked with spent twenty minutes thinking I worked for the hosting company. Heck, I do not work at that firm, but with no identification she assumed I did, until the end of the conversation when we traded businesscards. Had I been wearing a nametag she would have known my name and where I was employed right from the start.

Another mistake that is made is not putting the company name on a nametag. This is as important as the person's name. It allows conversations to begin.

One again, a nametag is a tool for facilitating communication. Learn it. Live it. Do not allow people in your company to make anti-nametag rationalizations when you are planning a corporate event. As the meeting planner, it is your goal to make sure that your event is a success. This means you need to stand up to those who rally against nametags. They are just wrong. Tell them I said so.

Have A Great Day.



Anonymous said...

Name tags are a lifesaver to my dying memory cells! Be "uncool" and wear your badge proudly! Thanks for the reminder that we should all be great networkers!
Nancy Regent Shields
Austin Chamber

Liz said...

Great post on a topic I had never really thought about before.

James T. Parsons said...

From the original long-a** responder, one word!


Thought I would provide you a witness!!


David Morris said...

I love this post; can you put to bed the issue on which side one should wear their name tag in a future post?