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Event badges - To print or not to print?

With the rise in the need for events to show sustainability, whether to print badges is a hot topic. For years now the call has been growing to use just digital badges at events. You can fly round the world with a ticket on your mobile – why can’t you use it to enter an event?

The emergence of events post-COVID saw organisers testing the digital badge option as a necessity – but was it the treat that everyone thought it would be? Let’s play devil’s advocate for a moment…

The reward of digital only badges

There is no doubt that removing the requirement for printed badges can offer a huge saving for organisers. Requiring less onsite registration capability means less build, staff, and equipment, as well as removing the cost of ordering lanyards and badge holders.

Access to the event should be quicker for the attendee, as they can avoid the registration areas if they already have their badge on their device.

And it’s a huge leap towards sustainability goals – no printing, no wallets, no lanyard – win win.

But what bonuses does a printed badge bring us?

For an exhibition event, the exhibitor’s requirements need to be taken into consideration and in their opinion ‘Instant Visibility’ is the key. Being able to assess the person in front of you is a vital requirement for busy stands and exhibitors who want to get the most return from their participation.

This runs hand in hand with the multiple networking opportunities at an event, anyone that attends events knows the importance of that quick eye flick to the badge to gauge a conversation.

Data collection onsite for entry to theatres, conference rooms (and indeed quick access to the event itself) needs to be smooth and wearing a badge makes this flow. Getting out your device for your digital badge at multiple areas and having it accessible and ready for scanning can get frustrating for some attendees at busy events.

So – do you print or not?

There are ways you can make your printed badging more environmentally friendly. From engaging in carbon offsets to using badge stock from sustainable sources, and having recycling points throughout your event, you can still look to fly the sustainable flag.

Each event is different and for you to decide what the right route for you is, you will need to weigh up the impacts of both printed and digital badges. The question you need to ask yourself is what onsite experience you want your attendees to have? Weigh this up against your sustainability goals and data efficiency and you should get your answer.

Want to know more? Get in touch and see how we can help you with your event.

Picture of Nicky Hale

Nicky Hale

Nicky is the Director at Iceni Event Solutions. An expert on all things events, exhibitions, conferences, and seminars, she pulls on her extensive experience to ensure her clients receive the best in class service and solutions.

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