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How to Organize Name Badges at Events

By Community Manager posted 04-05-2023 12:15


How to Organize Name Badges at Events

If you’ve ever hosted an in-person event, you know the challenges of organizing event name badges. Event planners and facilitators everywhere have their own methods for printing and handing out name badges, and what works for one event might not work for another.

If you’re struggling to formulate a solid strategy for organizing and handing out your event name badges, we’re here to help (with some insight from our own Cvent Community members)!

Does Event Size Matter When Organizing Name Badges?

It’s clear that event size can, in fact, make a difference when formulating your name-badging strategy. For large events, check-in can be a painful experience for you and your attendees if your badging process isn’t speedy and seamless. 

For smaller events, it’s certainly a smaller challenge, but things like onsite registrations and issues finding badges can still hold up your check-in lines, affecting attendees’ first impression of your event.
Badges being handed out at an event

Printing Badges in Advance Vs. Onsite Name Badge Printing

While printing badges in advance can certainly work for some events – particularly small-scale events – the larger your event, the larger the hassle.  

Printing and stuffing badges in advance means finding ways to organize badges at your check-in area to minimize wait times and not look too messy. That can be particularly challenging when considering onsite registrations and finding badges. 

No matter the size of your event, onsite badge printing will always make the check-in and onsite registration process simpler and faster for you and your attendees. With the ease of onsite badge printing, especially with the help of self-serve kiosks, it’s the clear winner in terms of simplicity, attendee first impressions, and wait times. 

Strategies for Organizing Name Badges

There are many strategies for organizing and handing out badges for various event sizes (and budgets). Based on insights from our Cvent Community members, all of these strategies come with challenges and drawbacks. Here are what appear to be the most effective strategies for organizing name badges. 

  1. Onsite Badge Printing 

With onsite badge printing, there’s no need to print badges in advance. That means no more late-night badge stuffing, no more digging through alphabetized bins of badges, and no more awkward, “Sorry, I can’t find your badge – we’ll need to print a new one.” 

With Cvent OnArrival, you can seamlessly edit attendee contact details on the fly, print badges wirelessly and in real-time, and design on-brand badges unique to your events. 


  • Allows for seamless onsite registrations without creating a separate line for last-minute attendees 

  • Includes payment collection, so you don’t have to purchase additional software for onsite registrants 

  • No clunky printer setups 

  • Lower staffing budget with self-service kiosks for check-in and badge printing 

  • No more long wait times 

  • Makes your event more sustainable by eliminating badge shipping 

  1. Alphabetized Groups of Pre-Printed Badges 

The pros and cons of advanced printing vs. onsite printing aside, there are effective ways to hand out pre-printed badges onsite. A good place to start? Alphabetizing in groups. 

Assuming the badge printing service you use has already alphabetized your badges, you can split them into groups (A-E, F-J, etc.). Rather than spreading all badges out onto tables or storing all badges in one place for a single staffer to sort through, alphabetized groups can move things along more quickly and allow multiple staffers to help with check-in. 

Of course, this creates multiple lines, which can confuse attendees and cause delays if there’s an issue finding a badge. It also requires more people to staff your check-in tables, which might mean expanding your staffing budget. 

Pro Tip from a Cvent User: With this setup, consider having a larger staff at your registration and check-in tables to help make the waiting time feel shorter for attendees. While some staffers locate badges, others can greet your attendees and keep them occupied while they wait. 


  • Multiple lines mean shorter wait times 

  • Issues with finding a badge will only hold up one line rather than all attendees  


  • Larger staff required at check-in tables, which could mean a larger staffing budget 

  • Onsite printer still required for last-minute registrations 

  • Must employ a payment solution for onsite registrations 

  • Attendees who prefer self-service check-in must wait in line 

  1. Laying Out Badges Alphabetically 

If you’re planning a small meeting or event, laying out badges on a table for attendees to pick up is an option some planners still employ. This allows attendees to help themselves to their badges and limits the need for staff to assist in handing them out. Of course, this method quickly becomes impractical the larger your events become. 


  • Offers attendees a self-service method for retrieving their badges 

  • Less staff required at registration tables 


  • Not scalable – the larger your event, the harder it is for attendees to find their badges 

  • This method can look messy, and as more badges are collected, it can become harder to keep them in order 

  • Onsite printer still required for last-minute registrations 

  • Must employ a payment solution for onsite registrations 

Choosing the Best Badging Strategy for Your Events

Your name-badging strategy should be scalable to meet the needs of every event and any event you host. To choose the right strategy, you must look at your budget, the size of all your internal and external events, and the pros and cons of each option for your organization and your attendees. 

Pro Tip from a Cvent User: If you don’t need the full OnArrival 360 experience or it doesn’t fit your budget, OnArrival can be curated to meet your needs.

Take a closer look at how OnArrival check-in and badging can help. 

If you have ideas to contribute or want to continue the conversation, check out this Cvent Community discussion about printing and displaying badges or comment below to share your insights into badging best practices!