When you are registering for a conference, trade show, or networking event, what type of information do you provide for the badge you will wear? Do you give just the basics of your name and company? Do you include your job role?
|Pre-Conference Name Tag Checklist:|
|Badge Basics ✔|
|Social Profiles ✔|
|Relevant Work Experience ✔|
|Getting the Most Mileage from Name Tags ✔|
Choosing what to share can be a crucial element in directing your career. Each event you attend is an opportunity to represent not only the business you work for, but your personal brand. Use the real estate on your conference name tag intentionally, putting your best foot forward by including links to relevant social profiles and job experience.
The information you put on your professional name badge can help you can expand your networking circle and continue the dialogue that begins during conference downtime when everyone is scrolling through their phones.
When you are inputting your personal data for your name tag, start by making sure that the basic information is free of errors. A typo or misspelling can immediately change the tone of first impression conversations. You want to be able to introduce yourself with confidence, rather than an explanation about accidentally forgetting to capitalize your last name because you rushed through registration.
Check these personal data basics first:
- Review spelling and capitalization
- Make sure that job title and company information are up-to-date
- Include a professional, recent photo
- See if fonts are clear and easy to read. You may need to change size or fonts so that all information fits within the space allotted.
For many jobs, including your social media handle can be a way of demonstrating your ability to develop brands, gain followers and have a voice in your industry. Use your best judgment to choose which platforms are appropriate for your personal brand.
Instagram can be an ideal place for sharing accomplishments related to the beauty or fashion industries. For many comics and influencers, it might be a priority to include your YouTube channel.
However, not every social media profile showcases your abilities well. For example, if you are attending a conference on laser safety technology, your Facebook profile is not likely the place where you display your knowledge of lasers.
The one exception that has relevance in most fields is a Twitter profile. If you don’t have one currently, you can create one to use during conferences.
Twitter is a great place to contact conference speakers and set up events. Start tweeting prior to the event to show your interest in specific conference topics. With a twitter handle, you can be tagged for important discussions, announcements and post-conference events
Make sure to follow the conference hashtags and participate in questions presented to audiences during sessions. Asking the right questions can often get you noticed. Tweetchats that happen during the conference weekend can also be a place to chime in about hot topics in your industry.
A Twitter handle allows conference goers to communicate immediately with direct messages. This allows recruiters to contact you and gives you access to speakers without having to wait in line or clog their inbox. You may also catch the eye of colleagues who were unable to attend the conference but are participating from their desktop.
You never know where the catalyst for your next project will begin. It could be a direct message from the keynote giving you feedback on your website. It could be a potential job opportunity that arises after you answer questions from a tweet chat and display a new perspective and creative solution to a common problem in your field.
Relevant Work Experience
In some cases it’s important to display your company name, but in other cases you may want to focus on professional accomplishments and areas of expertise.
For example, a website that has case studies on your products might be a good addition for marketers. If you are a teacher, a website with your CV could be helpful. Including a special certification or degree could be the eye-catching detail that takes a brief moment of networking small talk and opens the dialogue for a job interview.
You can also skip the step of emailing your resume by including a link to your LinkedIn profile.
Sharing your LinkedIn profile allows you to introduce your own expertise and past experience. Recruiters can view your company’s LinkedIn page, which is especially helpful when you don’t work for a largely established company. A well-rounded profile will show your professional reputation and authority on a range of subject matters.
The simple link gives others a connection to your experience, references, the company you work for and your current network of professionals. You can even customize your Linkedin URL to make it more readable and easy to remember.
Getting the Most Mileage from Name Tags
Keep your conference badge on after attending sessions when heading to evening events. You may find opportunities to chat with other conference goers when exploring the city you are visiting, getting coffee near your hotel or grabbing dinner at a nearby restaurant.
Bring business cards with the same information and a similar design. Just like branding a business, you want to brand yourself and create familiarity by putting the same message on multiple formats.
The custom fields on name tags allow you to include information that helps you connect with recruiters and future business partners. By taking advantage of creating professional relationships with conference goers, you are investing in your future growth and perhaps even changing the direction of your career toward an exciting and uncharted path.