Rant: Bring Enough Badge Stock!

Zebra GX430t printerI’ve seen it happen too many times. Concerns about wastage and “costs” leads planners to not bring enough badge stock to their conference. This happens particularly frequently when “six-up” (six badges to a page) stock is used and there are a lot of badge name reprints or single badges (usually for exhibitors.) By not bringing enough stock, planners risk creating a very embarrassing situation where the stock runs out and the badges have to be printed on normal printed paper and then cut out by scissors to fit inside the holder! Needless to say, for something with a budget as big as the average meeting, this appears to the offended attendee as nothing less than unprofessional, cheap and amateurish.

Here are some reasons why you need to avoid this issue and bring enough stock.

  • While concerns about the environment are well placed, here are some considerations. The environmental “footprint” of the wasted badge stock is probably very minor at best. Keep in mind that “workarounds” like printing on paper and cutting with scissors also leads to waste.  Besides, any unused stock can be saved for next year.
  • I’m sure you’ve already asked the venue to place recycle bins throughout the facility. You can put any scraps from the badge stock in those.
  • If you are using six-up stock, then concerns about the price of the stock is totally misplaced.  In fact, PC Nametag typically offers packs of 500 badges for under $15.00.  In fact, I recently placed an order for free (shipping excluded.) In the context of the entire show, is it worth being embarrassed for the cost of one catered meal?
  • If wastage is a real problem for your meeting, considering using “one at a time badge printing” if your online registration service offers. In particular, the Zebra GX430t printer is a great solution for printing badges on demand. The wastage when using this solution is trivial, though it will result in additional expense.

So don’t be penny-wise, pound foolish. Just bring enough stock!