Don’t just attend the sessions at your next conference — use your badge to make the most of your time.
Most conference badges are really just a pocket + a lanyard and even the simplest badges usually have room to stash stuff behind your name tag. Fancier badges often have a large pocket for a schedule.
Follow the easy steps below to rock your badge.
1. Fold It
Fold your schedule and put it in the back pocket facing toward you for easy viewing. That way you can always see what is coming up.
2. Wear It!
Risk looking uncool and wear your badge! Make sure your name is showing.
Be brave and wear your badge outside the hotel. Other attendees will be able to spot you and some local businesses will give discounts when you show your badge.
I was happy to see lots of folks wearing their badges outside of the hotel at the NAGW conference in Kansas City. It made it very easy to spot kindred spirits 😀
3. Pocket It
Stash your room key, business cards and banquet tickets in the pocket.
You acquire a lot of stuff at a conference — keep the important things hanging hands-free around your neck.
4. Write It
Grab a swag pen and attach it to your badge. Write follow up notes on the business cards you collect. I also write the connecting piece or information or the follow up I promised. Then when I return from a conference I have a stack of to dos.
5. Follow Up
Take photos or scan the cards using an app on your smart phone and add them to your contacts. Add any follow up items to your to do list (I add mine to Evernote).
6. Recycle It
Many conferences allow you to turn in your badge for use next year. Turn it in or, if you plan to attend again next year, bring it back and use it again.
I was a bit nostalgic this year and kept my badge, even though there was an opportunity to recycle it.
That’s it, five…err…six smart ways to maximize your conference badge. Happy networking!