To attendees, a good event often seems like magic: the venue transforms overnight and fills with people and sponsors. Speakers and panels pop up in the right places at the right times, and everything runs like a perfectly oiled machine.
But there’s a secret to all of that effortless magic: Event organizers.
For every hour that an event runs, event organizers and their teams spend countless hours setting up, promoting, getting sponsors, and preparing to make sure that the magic happens. A successful event is the culmination of countless hours of work, forethought, and headache.
Get everything right, and no one will ever realize just how much work went into your event. Make a few key mistakes, and your event will go off the rails. Fast.
Unfortunately, amongst all of the things you have to keep track of as an event organizer, it can be easy to make mistakes—especially when it comes to the details of your event. Things like conference lanyards, signage, and welcome bags can be easy to overlook, but they’re a critical part of your conference planning.
So, to help you out, let’s take a look at each of these types of products and what you can do to make sure that you have the right items you need to make the magic happen.
Conference lanyards have been an event’s staple for years. Love them or hate them, there are good reasons why most events use conference lanyards. They’re simple, effective, and can be adapted to a variety of needs and purposes.
The key to making the most of your conference lanyards, though, is to think through what you want your lanyards to do.
Here are just a few of the uses for custom lanyards:
- Identification (name, company, photo ID, etc)
- Definition (attendees, sponsors, personnel, speakers, etc)
- Admission/readmission (scannable barcodes, dates of attendance, etc)
- Marketing (logos, promotions, sponsor names/logos, etc)
- Status (different colored logos for different tiers of attendees or sponsors, etc)
- Consumables (food, swag, limited time admission to specific events, etc)
- Discounts (cheaper admission to certain events, promotions at after-party venues, etc)
If you think through what you want your conference lanyards to accomplish in advance, you can often make your lanyard the simple solution to a lot of organizational problems.
So, what challenges are you facing at your event? Is there an easy way to solve those problems using the one thing every attendee will be wearing throughout the event?
Your conference lanyards should be a key part of your conference planning decisions. Take the time now to think through the possibilities—and if you’re not sure how feasible an idea is, don’t hesitate to reach out and ask! You just might be surprised at what a lanyard can do.
Another key part of running a successful event is figuring out what sort of printed signage you will need. Attending a conference can be an overwhelming experience, but with the right signage, you can make things a lot simpler and easier for your attendees.
There are a variety of needs you’ll want to consider as you think about your printed signage. Here are a few to get you started:
- Marketing (event logos/signage, sponsor signage, promotional signage, etc)
- Information (bathrooms, food, help desks, etc)
- Orientation (timelines, outlines of events to be held in specific locations, etc)
- Navigation (names for specific areas, booth numbers, etc)
Since your attendees will rely on this sort of signage to get through and around your event, it’s a great opportunity for sponsors to get noticed. If you decide to allow businesses to sponsor your printed signage, however, you’ll need to make sure that you’ve thought through how you’re going to manage that in advance.
What formats will you use for your signage? How and when will you have them printed? Do you have a designer who knows how to create designs for physical printing? Printed signage can come with a lot of challenges, so it’s important to make sure that you are thinking through all of this in advance.
Finally, most events offer some sort of welcome bag. Depending on your event, this may contain all kinds of goodies for your attendees.
For example, here are just a few things you might want to include in your swag bags:
- Event swag (notebooks, pens, shirts, socks, etc)
- Swag from sponsors
- Orientation materials (event outlines, guides to the local area, etc)
Putting together a good welcome bag takes time and forethought. Not only do you need to think through what you want to include in your bags, but you also need to physically put together swag bags for each attendee. If you don’t build the time for all of this into your schedule, it can lead to massive problems at your event.
Figuring out what to put in your swag bags can be a bit tricky. If you hand out junk, it’ll just end up the garbage. If funds are tight, you can let sponsors provide swag for your welcome bag, but then you need to carefully coordinate with sponsors to ensure that you get everything you need at the right times.
Like conference lanyards and printed signage, welcome bags aren’t something you can throw together last minute. They’re a key part of your event, so you need to plan them out in advance.
Event organizers have a lot to juggle and take care of. But, amidst all of the various demands you face, it’s important to think through how you want to handle the basic physical products you’ll need at your event: conference lanyards, printed signage, and welcome bags.
With the right plan, each of these elements will come together to create a magical experience for your attendees and sponsors. And at the end of the day, isn’t that what it’s all about?
Incidentally, if you’d like some help putting together your conference lanyards, printed signage or welcome bags, reach out to us here! We’ve worked with a ton of event organizers and we’d love to help you make your event a success.