Slap Happy Name Tags

 

This is the best name tag placement. Others can read it easily when you shake hands.

This is the best name tag placement. Others can read it easily when you shake hands.

You’re probably scratching your head saying, “Really? A whole post on where to slap a name tag? Has she lost her mind?” But while getting ready for the upcoming SCBWI Summer conference this week, I thought about one of my pet peeves – hard-to-read name tags.  The stick-on kind and the hanging kind.

Admit it. You know what I’m talking about. Someone bounds up to say hi.  You know her face but can’t call up her name. You are embarrassed to search her chest for the tag that can help you. It’s there, but out of eye range, over her heart in the fold of her sweater partially covered by her scarf. Or it’s hanging from a lanyard somewhere just north of her belly-button. And when you do find it, you discover that it has flipped over, showing a nice display of all the business cards that your friend (What IS her name???) has collected from other friends. (How long can I wait for someone to come close and call this nameless friend by her true name so that I’m not a total fool for asking?)

Now I have a couple of choices: I can pretend to straighten the name tag, sneak a peek while I’m at it and compliment her on her unique collection of business cards. Or I can restick her adhesive rectangle and take a gander as I do. But wouldn’t it be much, much better if all authors and illustrators were dedicated to being more Name Tag Aware and fix them themselves?

So, if you want to be known, (and isn’t it worth it to be known when you find yourself unexpectedly in a circle of editors and agents?) here are a couple of tips:

For the lanyard type name badges: Tie the rope up a bit higher so that your tag is within eye range. Anchor it so that it doesn’t spin.

For the stick-on type name tags: place the tag on your RIGHT side. This way, others can read your name with an unobtrusive glance as you shake hands. (Most people slap it over their heart on the left. But then others have to do eyeball dances to read them when tags are — way. over. there.

If you’re reading this before you come to the conference – or even while you are there – just humor me and make it easy for me to read who you are!

 Here’s a bonus tip from author Joan Bransfield Graham.

 

“I have a drawer full of nametags from various events, and I recycle them as needed. I use the one pictured on the left if I'm not given a nametag and need one. The one on the right is from an SCBWI conference. I print small pictures of my book covers and add them with a loop of tape on the back; then I can take them off and put them wherever I want. Including that visual helps people connect a face with a book.”

“I have a drawer full of nametags from various events, and I recycle them as needed. I use the one pictured on the left if I’m not given a nametag and need one. The one on the right is from an SCBWI conference. I print small pictures of my book covers and add them with a loop of tape on the back; then I can take them off and put them wherever I want. Including that visual helps people connect a face with a book.”

 

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