In the UK, events add up to big business! According to Eventbrite, the UK events industry is worth £42.3 billion. More than 1.3 million business events are held every year, which sustains more than 570,000 full-time equivalent jobs. With that said, you’ve likely either organised or attended an event this year, no matter what line of business you’re in.
However, with so many events, it can be hard to differentiate your business. Take, for example, The Business Show, one of the UK’s largest business exhibitions. Each year, the event attracts more than 25,000 businesses and 350 exhibitors, all vying for the attention of attendees.
Oftentimes, trade shows and exhibitions will also charge businesses a hefty fee in order to have a presence at the show. So, not only is crucial that you find a way to make your business stand out but also to maximise your exposure and opportunities at the event. There are several strategies that can help you make the most of your events, one of which may be quite surprising: custom badges!
Badges enhance an event because they get noticed – people wear them on shirts, hats, backpacks and laptop bags, both at the conference and after it ends. In other words, badges have a great shelf life in terms of visibility. Many people today even collect and proudly showcase badge collections. Badges are worn by a wide variety of people, from executives and politicians to young professionals and teenagers. They’re also effective: Every time your badge is worn, it’s helping to spread the word of your business.
Here are just a few of the creative ways that you can use custom badges to enhance your next business event.
Badges are a Perfect Giveaway
Here’s a fact: People love freebies! Picture yourself as an event attendee. At a business event, do you look forward to perusing the expo floor and visiting the booths in search of interesting swag? Perhaps you yourself have collected cool pens, magnets, sweets and badges? Adding a custom badge giveaway to your event toolkit is a great way to drive traffic to your booth.
When it comes to choosing your badges, be sure to look for the most cost-effective option. Button badges are an ideal choice since they’re not only incredibly cost-effective, but they’re also very popular and are bound to build visibility for your brand.
Name Badges are Conversation Starters
What’s the first step at a business event? Saying hello! Nothing does it better than a customised name badge. A striking name badge makes it easy for your booth visitors to form an instant connection with you and your team. It also does double duty during those many networking opportunities when you’re away from the booth.
Thankfully, gone are the days of the boring old adhesive “Hello My Name Is” tags that you write on with a marker. Today, world-class events in expertly-designed spaces demand booth gear that is equally creative and professional.
Badges today are made out of many interesting designs and materials, like wood and even LEGOs! One suggestion is to create a name badge that echoes the theme of the business event. For example, if there’s a sustainable or “green” element to the event, look for eco-friendly name badges made from recycled products; this would also be a great way to initiate conversation.
If you’re organising or attending a technology-related event, consider a “smart” name badge that incorporates radio frequency identification, or RFID technology. At its annual conference, the Advertising Association of America created RFID smart badges that gave attendees a personalised greeting when they entered the venue. At the conference, the badges could also be used to access event resources, social media and even to find information on local restaurants and weather.
Sell your Badges or Raffle Them Off
What better way to enhance your next business event than by earning a little extra money at it? Whether you organise the event or rent a booth, you can design custom badges that event-goers will want to purchase and take home. One tip here is to consider designing your for-sale badges with special embellishments and finishes, like gold or sterling silver, jewels and semi-precious stones or brilliant glitter-finished badges.
Even a premium-quality badge will likely have a lower price point than other types of branded merchandise like customised clothing or bags. This makes them a perfect alternative to sell at your next event, as it gives budget-minded people more options to purchase something in their price range.
Look For Every Badge Opportunity!
Another great thing about badges is how versatile they are. After all, not all business events take the shape of a traditional exhibition or trade fair. You can create and sell custom badges at retail locations or seek out unique point of sale opportunities, especially around the holidays.
For example, the popular Manchester Christmas Market brings crowds of zealous shoppers together amidst the sweet smell of holiday treats and mulled wine. Numerous businesses set up shop in the market’s traditional wooden huts to sell their products. One such company, Manc & Proud, a design brand for “Mancunians”, sells a line of branded items, including sweatshirts, baby-gowns and, of course, badges, like this Manchester Bee enamel pin badge.
And the Award Badge Goes To…
Is there a recognition or awards component at your event? Custom badges make a perfect prize for all sorts of awards ceremonies, not to mention a lovely, lifelong keepsake memory for the recipient. One suggestion is to design a special backing card or presentation box to add a special touch to the award badge. Not only does this help commemorate the award winner, but it also provides a little extra space to include the name of the event, the category of award and information about your business.
Badges are Small but Mighty
Lastly, while badges are great for business events, don’t forget that they can also deliver a powerful and public message. Worn alone or among a group of people, badges can be leveraged as a symbolic display of solidarity, especially at televised or high-visibility events.
Many celebrities at the 2018 Brit Awards and the 2018 Bafta TV Awards, for example, all wore the same Time’s Up badge, which symbolises support for the Me Too movement. Ed Sheeran, Paloma Faith and Claire Foy were among the many celebrities to wear the symbolic badge on the red carpet.
From giveaways to name badges to spreading a message, it’s easy to see that there is a number of ways that badges can enhance your next business event. So now, if someone asks you, what do conferences, exhibitions and trade fairs, holiday markets and even celebrity events all have in common? You know the answer: All of these events can be enhanced with custom badges!
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