2020 Desk Makeover: Tips for Refreshing Your Work Space

Take on 2020 with new energy by giving your desk a makeover.

The hustle and bustle of vacation time often leaves employees feeling tired and disoriented. Getting back in gear requires a bit more than overcoming the Monday blues. However, returning to the office after holiday fun doesn’t have to be a drag. When you are trying to get momentum to really tackle the new year, start by adapting the space you work in. Put intentionality into refreshing the environment where you get things done.

Here are some cleansing tasks to revive your surroundings. As you organize the atmosphere around you, you can re-align yourself and find the motivation to take on the challenges that January brings.

Eliminate Visual Obstacles: It might sound abstract to try to identify what constitutes a desk obstacle, but this is part of the process. Begin by throwing out trash: napkins, old paperwork, and sticky notes you no longer need. Then find clutter, those items that are distracting and taking up valuable desk real estate. Keeping office supplies in a box in a drawer underneath your desk is often a much more efficient use of space.

Retire 2019’s Tchotchkes: Last year’s mementos may still have a place in your heart, but that doesn’t mean these should still be a part of your workspace. It’s also easy to max out on the number of pop figures that “decorate” your space. The new year is a good time to phase out desk accessories that have gathered dust. Do a little purging and throw some away. Take treasured items home to bring out another season, when they are ready for their revival.

Compulsory Calendar Purchase: Schedule your life effectively with a new calendar. Whether you’re into wall calendars, bullet journals, or weekly calendar tear off pads, make sure you have a current calendar to welcome the new year. Get inspired every new month as you see images of your favorite things, from puppies and miniature pink pigs, to nature scenes, beach escapes and motivational quotes.

Give Your Coffee a New Home: You know that lipstick stained mug that you got two birthdays ago? It’s time to take that home (or throw it out). Take your morning ritual of fresh hot coffee or tea to new heights by bringing in a different daily use mug. Feeling the texture of a different cup handle in your hand, you will start feel like a new 2020 you.

Mark of Ownership: Own the area in which you get things done by making sure your desk is marked with your name or initial. Get a personalized desk plate, painted sign or decorative letter with your first initial. Putting your one-of-a-kind signature out there shows that this is where you belong, what you are responsible for, and who you are. Adding your name to your space helps communicate to your coworkers that you take ownership for your role in the organization.

Invite in Good Vibes:  Feng shiu your belongings so you can navigate your space with ease. Part of the way to bring life in is by re-arranging how your desk is set up. Designating an area for your purse, phone and keys will give you room to breathe. Get a Zen garden or salt lamp to welcome soothing vibes all day long.

Cohabitate with Nature: Make a living thing a desk accessory by bringing a little plant to work with you. Find a vase or pot that has subtle colors and blends peacefully with your desk theme. From bamboo, ivy, spider plants and cacti, there are many types of greenery that can bring harmony to your desk.  If you haven’t already gotten on board with the succulent trend, now is certainly a good time to start.

Swip-Swap Your Pictures: Do you have old photos on your desk? Once the swip-swap is done, make your space not look so dated and representative of memories that have gone stale. While that picture of your dog is cute, your 8-year old canine is no longer a pup. That vacation to New York was 2 years ago. You’ve had another kid since that family picture was taken. Do you remember the names of those old golfing buddies? Take the time to print updated photos that represent where you are now in your life. For the classic photo that you still love, you can refresh the look by swapping out that old frame for a new one.

Introduce Order to Your Desktop: Over time the number of desktop icons on your screen can mount into a cluttered chaos of Apps, file names and unorganized folder frenzy. As part of your cleansing ritual, put your digital world in order too. Delete old documents, create folders for your main projects, and finish off this task by adding a new desktop background that matches the theme of your re-energized space.

Unleash Coworker Karma: Create harmony in your office by bringing joy into the lives of your coworkers. Celebrate the pod of people around you by sharing a positive message. You can contribute to your work culture by giving small holiday gifts to your deskmates. Consider bringing in donuts or baked goods. Get succulents for your neighbors. Make custom name tags with nicknames, motivational phrases, or company values for everyone on your team. Even a brand new ballpoint pen can be a simple way to boost the morale of your team.

Corporate & Coworker Holiday Gifts – Do’s and Don’ts

Selecting a gift for everyone on your shopping list is no easy task. As you tackle your weekend errands you will find thousands of last minute shoppers out to find the perfect holiday gift. You may encounter these lines of shoppers with a mixture of excitement and nervousness. You may feel eager to join in the Christmas spirit, December revelry and holiday enthusiasm. But as the 25th creeps closer, the frantic pressure to have everything ready in time will build.

For many professionals, holiday shopping lists include people from work. In addition to close friends and family, there are a few more recipients on the list. This means finding gifts for clients, coworkers and bosses is now on your fun-filled and nearly endless list of holiday to-do’s.

Choosing corporate gifts can be a less of a hassle when you are sure your gifts are appropriate, your items are customized for recipients, you have a few ideas to start, and when all of your shopping can be completed without ever leaving your home.

Holiday Gift Exchanges

Participating in holiday gift exchanges is an investment in the relationships that you put 40 hours a week into. As long as you follow company guidelines for gift giving, and use discretion with how much you spend and what you purchase, you are contributing to a better workplace environment for yourself and coworkers.

Your list can include team members, office administrators, clients, coworkers, bosses and even the person that sits in the desk next to you. Consider buying gifts for people who work on the same project, such as those assigned to the same team or department. While gifts are not necessary for everyone in the office, put some thought into who you are shopping for and why.

Here are some of the benefits of buying appropriate corporate gifts:

  • Shows your respect for colleagues
  • Shows appreciation for work well done
  • Builds interpersonal office dynamics
  • Celebrates recent promotions or outstanding performance
  • Contributes to the company culture
  • Recognizes an individual’s role in the organization

When to Give Corporate Gifts

Buying an extra nice gift for a brand new boss or coworker can potentially be a bit awkward. Make sure to put more time and focus into longer and more established work relationships.

The type of item you get will convey a specific message. For instance, a beautiful marble desk plate with your boss’s name and job title may demonstrate your appreciation for time that they have mentored you. A branded coffee tumbler with a client’s name can show your gratitude for the business they provide. Gifts can be used to say thank you, celebrate achievements, recognize hard work, and show your appreciation for what your colleagues bring to the table. A simple note, holiday card or tasty dessert can be another way to politely participate in holiday cheer.

Choosing a similar gift for all members on your team can be a safe way to avoid leaving anyone with feelings of exclusion. For example, bling badges for your entire customer service team can be an easy way to show everyone how they are a valued member of the organization.

 Corporate Holiday Gift Do’s

  • Include a personal note that expresses appreciation for commitment to their work.
  • Keep the tone of the gift and card professional.
  • Consider something trendy that will enhance their desk area, from a small succulent to a rosewood name set.
  • Bring humor into your gift if it is appropriate. For example, if you have an established rapport with your cube mate, you might want a funny mug or joke calendar.
  • Consider higher caliber gifts for C level employees or larger client accounts. For example, you can customize an Executive Kit to include a blue tooth speaker and personalized desk accessories.
  • Celebrate known employee habits or hobbies, such as giving gifts to travelers. An engraved luggage tag or travelling pillow can bring ease to their many commutes.
  • Double check spelling on any personalized items and cards.

Corporate Holiday Gift Don’ts

  • Never buy clothing for coworkers. Accounting for both taste and size is too risky.
  • Avoid gifts such as music and books unless you are certain that your coworker has an interest in a certain topic.
  • Certain gifts are never appropriate. Avoid choosing items that are overly personal, suggestive, offensive, or will make anyone uncomfortable.
  • Even if alcohol is not explicitly prohibited in your office, it is still better to avoid drinks in a workplace environment.
  • Making a huge production of giving presents to certain coworkers and not others is in poor taste. Consider who will be around when you give gifts and how the display will be interpreted by present company.
  • Buy items that call attention to a coworker’s age.
  • Pay attention to office gifting policies, which address spending limits, expectations or rules. Some company structures do not allow for lower level employees to give gifts to bosses or anyone in a position that is above theirs in the company hierarchy.

Last Minute Gifts

If you are still stressed about what to purchase, keep in mind that you want to order before Christmas. Ordering online from an established company can help ensure that your gift will show up in time. Name Tag Wizard ships gifts next business day, so that you don’t have to wait around for your presents to arrive.

Remember, if you still are panicking about which item to get, consider practical, useful and professional gifts. Incorporate the color scheme of your workplace and choose something that will motivate or inspire others. Let this Christmas be your chance to contribute to your company culture and lift the spirits of those around you.

Let Your Badge Network for You – Conference Tips

photo badge

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 ✔
Twitter ✔
Relevant Work Experience ✔
LinkedIn ✔
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.

Badge Basics

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.

Social Profiles

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

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.

Conference badge with profiles

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.

LinkedIn

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.

Work Friendly Last Minute Halloween Costumes

As October 31st draws near, many companies are decorating for fall and Halloween. For some businesses, fall festivities include a Halloween celebration and an in-office costume contestFiguring out just how to participate can be a tricky topic. It will take creativity and class to set the right tone with your costume.

Prep for Halloween with these office guidelines, useful celebration do’s and don’ts, and ideas for throwing together a last minute stunner.

Guidelines for Your Halloween Countdown

Do a little detective work before planning your ghoulish festivities. Find out what last year’s celebrations were like. Was it a subtle dessert with candy corn and rice crispy treats? Was it an all-out party with spider web décor and a cash prize for the best outfit? Ask seasoned employees what percentage of the office staff participated. You want to know if you’re going to stick out like a sore thumb if you do or don’t dress up. It helps to know how your company culture approaches holidays.

Take a look in your inbox and explore the office calendar. Do you see any emails or events set up related to Halloween? See if the company has communicated this year’s plan for employees. You may want to check with your direct supervisor to find out if your department has any specific guidelines set out.

The other item to dig for in your calendar is any upcoming presentations or major meetings that might be occurring on Halloween. You’ll want to consider how your appearance can vastly change how you convey yourself to coworkers, managers and clients. Attending a quarterly review in a poodle skirt and wig could make things a bit awkward. So remember to keep professionalism in mind even when it comes to the fun stuff.

Work Costume Do’s

  • Choose a costume that is comfortable and safe to work in
  • Label sweets and treats you bring in to share with helpful ingredient info about items such as gluten or peanuts
  • Find costumes and props that are easy to take on and off, such as fun ties, silly hats, Halloween name tags, and dramatic capes
  • Practice any face painting ahead of time to avoid allergic reactions
  • Think humor and not shock value when you pick a character to dress up as
  • Provide clear indicators of who you are dressing up as, like the name of your character, a Hogwarts school emblem, the Flo hairstyle, or Rosie the Riveter bandana
  • Enjoy the time to bond with coworkers and brighten up a work day

Work Costume Don’ts

  • Put on an outfit that is overly gory or scary
  • Wear items that are too revealing, suggestive, tight or ill-fitting that the clothes are inappropriate or too distracting
  • Bring in fake weapons or dress as violent characters
  • Wear costumes that are offensive toward race or religion
  • Respond to your coworker’s costumes with disrespectful remarks or harassment
  • Choose footwear, bulky costumes or large masks that may impede your ability to maneuver through the office, answer phones, sit at a desk or complete other work tasks

Simple Last Minute Ideas

If you are struggling to find a costume, remember you are in good company. Most people put off choosing an outfit until the last minute. Don’t have to have a Pinterest panic attack! Instead, consider some of these tried, true and somewhat new last-minute costume ideas.

  • The classic flapper with pearls, a mid-length dress and a headband
  • The secret superhero with a T-shirt peeking out from under your business suit
  • A cape or cut up sheet for vampires and ghosts
  • A cut-out hat with a color coordinated outfit to look like a banana, pineapple or grapes
  • A clever name tag with a character from of your favorite TV shows like “Friends”, “The Walking Dead”, or “Stranger Things”
  • A fedora, sunglasses, and suit to give a nod to those Blues Brothers
  • Easy add-ons like cat ears, antlers or even a unicorn headband
  • A little black dress and pearls for Breakfast at Tiffany’s vibes
  • An ensemble  group with your department as crayons or the Wizard of Oz cast
  • A red dress and playing card crown to be the Queen of Hearts
  • Pink jackets with everyone’s name for Grease’s Pink Ladies crew
  • A flannel shirt and jeans to make a cowboy, cowgirl or scarecrow look
  • A button-down shirt and hat with flowers for the beloved Mary Poppins

Pro tip: characters in professional clothing always make great choices.  Think of your favorite character from “The Office”.

When you choose your outfit, don’t feel pressured to have the most original idea at your workplace. Try to enjoy the playful spirit and bring just a bit of imagination into it. And if you are ever in doubt about whether your costume is appropriate, err on the conservative side of things. Finally, don’t forget to focus on your productivity in the midst of the festivities!

 

 

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Tips for Halloween Safety

Quick Halloween safety tips:
Know your city’s laws for trick-or-treat days, times and age limits.
For night time trick-or-treating wear reflective or glow-in-the-dark gear.
Make sure staff and applicable visitors to haunted houses & similar attractions wear name badges or ID cards.
Understand and adhere to costume restrictions at Halloween attractions.

Today’s Halloween activities often reach beyond exploring the neighborhood cul-de-sac two streets over. Many families now spend October 31st visiting other venues, such as local haunted houses, theme park events, carnivals, church festivals, zoos, and corn mazes.

For everyone figuring out how they will spend this year’s holiday, here are some tips to make your evening go as smoothly and safely as possible. Take some of that effort reserved for planning costumes and put it into paying attention to rules designed to keep little ones from harm.

Curfews & Laws

Certain cities and states have curfews, age limits, and other laws related to trick-or-treating. Whenever you take your children out trick-or-treating for the first time or you move to a new city, find out the expectations for that location.

There may be laws regarding the day and time of day you can trick-or-treat. Many neighborhoods, complexes and housing communities recommend time slots for residents. While some cities suggest alternative trick-or-treating days – depending on when the holiday falls—others can be much more stringent in enforcing a city ordinance. A few places, like Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, prohibit trick-or-treating on Sunday in favor of celebrating the day before.

Other city and state laws put an age cap on trick-or-treating. Cities such as Chesapeake, Virginia, Meridian, Mississippi, Bishopville, South Carolina, and Boonsboro, Maryland set the age limit to 12-years-old.

North Carolina and Virginia have laws prohibiting anyone over age 16 from wearing masks or hoods that conceal identity. These laws provide exceptions for traditional holiday costumes. However, for Halloween that exception would only apply to October 31st and not the weekend parties or other events that surround the actual holiday.

With precise laws like this, it helps to pay attention to the specifics.

Neighborhood Traffic Hazards

An estimated 41.1 million trick-or-treaters set out on a candy hunting adventure each year, according to the Census.gov’s 2017 data. This group consists of children ages 5 to 14-years-old. With everyone travelling door-to-door, the number of pedestrians out at night is as at an all-time high.

The National Safety Council reports that children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than any other day of the year.

To help prevent traffic-related injuries and accidents, choose costumes in bright colors that stand out. You can also add reflective tape to costumes and trick or treating bags. Adults may want to wear headlamps and carry flashlights, especially in areas with dim street lighting.

Skipping Door-to-Door Fun for Local Attractions

Attractions can be a great alternative for your Halloween festivities, as businesses must meet safety standards before opening to guests. You avoid pedestrian traffic risks, candy and goodies are regulated, and the rules for activities are posted and enforced.

Fire hazards in neighborhoods are also higher, as backyard décor doesn’t have to undergo the same level of testing as a theme park haunted house. Your local amusement park, zoo, or other organization hosting a Halloween event must obtain permits, and meet fire and building codes before opening doors.

Venues are required to have precautions in place, such as heat detectors, back-up lighting, sprinkler systems, fire-proof set materials, fire extinguishers, clear emergency exits and more. Places with mazes, mirrors and confusing paths should have directional signage to clarify exits in case of emergency.

Girl with name badge Avoiding Scary Situations

Read “scare guidelines” to make sure the intensity is appropriate to the age level that you will accompany. Not every child is prepared for all that goes with Halloween amusements. Children and adults may be sensitive to strobe lights, fog, and loud noises used to create a spooky environment.

Parents should stay close to children when navigating through large crowds. Getting overwhelmed, lost or injured can take a turn from playful fun and to terrifying, when children are not sure who to turn to.

It is helpful if parents can quickly identify employees in case of emergencies. Many attractions require employees to wear themed costumes, STAFF shirts, hanging name badges, or name tags. Event badges may include large print text and recognizable symbols to designate those who are medical or security personnel. Some venues require staff to wear photo IDs to help build trust between guests and employees.

 For younger children, make sure they have a parent and buddy with them at all time. Ensure that adults know which children are under their supervision. With large groups and entertainment all around, it can be easy to get distracted and rely on other childcare helpers without first communicating who is responsible for who.

Following Costume Guidelines When Attending Events

Before packing up the family van to set off for your event, review any costume rules. Major attractions can be strict about only letting in guests that follow these rules. Many theme parks provide the following types of guidelines:

  • No costumes that touch the ground. Avoid costumes that restrain movement. This helps prevent trip and fall incidents and accidents with interactive games.
  • No masks that completely cover the face. Make sure masks do not impair vision. Sometimes masks are not allowed for teens over a certain age.
  • For costumes that include wigs and more elaborate add-ons, make sure all materials are non-flammable.
  • Make sure children can easily contact parents. Have older kids carry a cell phone with them. For younger kids, attach a name tag to costumes with your name and phone number.
  • Make sure props are not harmful. Often objects that appear to be weapons are prohibited, however younger children may be allowed to bring play swords and knives that are short, soft and flexible.
  • Use non-toxic make-up and face paint. Test paint before to make sure allergic reactions do not occur.
  • Make sure costumes are not violent or offensive. Many venues reserve the right to limit entry for costumes that are not considered appropriate.

Once your children’s costumes are finalized and costume guidelines met, all you have to do is pick out which spooky celebration to attend. You may also want to make sure your child’s favorite costume still fits. It’s a sad day when the Spiderman jumpsuit is officially too small.

 

Resources:

https://www.nfpa.org/News-and-Research/Publications-and-media/NFPA-Journal/2014/May-June-2014/Features/The-Haunted-Castle-Revisited/Spooky-and-Safe

https://www.dummitfradin.com/halloween-masks-and-the-law/

https://codes.findlaw.com/al/title-13a-criminal-code/al-code-sect-13a-14-4.html

https://www.census.gov/newsroom/facts-for-features/2018/halloween.html

https://www.cdc.gov/family/halloween/index.htm

https://www.nsc.org/home-safety/tools-resources/seasonal-safety/autumn/halloween

 

Summer Camp Name Tag Uses

Make sure safety is a part of summer camp fun by outfitting each staff member and attendee with the proper name tag. Summer camp fun means good times in the outdoors, exploring nature, taking on the challenge of brutal heat and staying hydrated, refreshing playtime in lakes and pools, fireside singing, spaghetti Sundays, and burger Fridays. With a simple name you can keep summer camp fun going all season long.

Custom badges and ID tags improve summer camp processes by helping with medical needs, organization, and communication. Each campground comes with its own set of set of potential hazards. With so many activities available and exciting campground space to explore, taking safety precautions is critical.

Fun & Games

Lanyard badges work well for large camps where counselors take turns overseeing different activity stations. Clarify which staff members are on duty in the mess hall, aquatic area, archery fields, stables and tack shack, outdoor recreation station, or campfire ring. Assign staff roles like wood-working, crafts, jewelry, beading and cleaning. For positions that are consistent all summer long, photo IDs are another good option. These assist with security and build trust with attendees and parents dropping off their children.

Having badges for different locations and activities is helpful for organization and creating a camp culture. Celebrate the theme, mission, or focus for this summer’s activities using images you upload when you customize name tags. From color coated leatherette badges to  engraved plastic name tags with basic logos and artful critters, each type of ID you choose can be unique. Consider organizing by age group, cabins, skill level or teams.

Keeping a policy of identifying all staff members and campers can be especially helpful when there are younger campers present. You can go the extra mile by including name tags for maintenance workers and parents visiting their children.

Health & Safety

Name tags are a great way to identify staff in the aquatic center. As water sports typically require supervision, it is helpful to identify staff roles. Quickly alert campers which counselors are lifeguards, canoeing and kayaking guides, and boathouse directors. Clarifying that someone is on duty and overseeing games and swimming can be a major part of looking out campers.

Camps often include a Health Center with nurses or physician’s assistants available for basic treatment, illnesses and sick calls. You can choose name tags designed specifically for members of the medical staff. You can also add a medical symbol to name tags for staff members that are First Aid certified. Following even minor events like cuts, little falls, rashes, bug bites or bad sunburns, it’s helpful to know who to turn to.

Symbols or messages conveying health information can be useful add-ons for camper name tags. This works well for campers who have food, plant or animal allergies. Use the visual reminder to note anyone that needs inhalers or Epipens for long hikes or mountain biking trips.

Tags and badges are truly a camp essential! They are a great way to get everyone excited about the camp motto, reduce the chance of minor camp accidents becoming major emergencies, and quickly identify supervisors.

Last, but not least, it’s those little name tags that help campers get through the awkward making friends stage which can start on day 1 of summer camp. Anything that makes that moment easier can help an anxious or first time camper. And just maybe, years later, they will think of the festive name badge that helped them make a life-long friend.

 

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10 Halloween Costume Ideas Under $15

Not a fan of spending a lot on a costume you will only wear once? Holidays can get expensive fast. So, how you do you prepare for all the spooky festivities without getting a whole new outfit? You make one!

For some people it’s easy to scare up some creative ideas and make a DIY Halloween costume. For others, coming up with an original or interesting costume seems impossible. For either party, the goal is to avoid the embarrassing moment when someone asks, “SO, WHO ARE YOU?”

www.dreadcentral.com

NameTagWizard.com has the solution: Add a themed name tag to your costume so there is no question about who you are dressed up as.

Designing a name tag for a character you have already picked out is simple. You can pick out background color, font, size and text. Order a custom name tag as the finishing touch to your homemade costume. One you complete your home-made look with a custom name tag, you will eliminate any costume confusion.

If you have not settled on an unforgettable and affordable costume for Halloween 2018 yet, explore these fun and easy, just-add-a-name-tag ideas:

1. Jake From State Farm

Get a costume that is the perfect blend of laziness and humor with a Jake from State Farm name tag and outfit. Your part in putting together the costume is simple. All you have to supply as far as clothing is a red shirt (preferably a polo, though you can use a button down if necessary) and khakis. The name tag (or a Hello My Name Is Sticker) will clue people in on the joke.Jake from State Farm

Optional Props:

  • Headset
  • Landline phone

2. Dustin Henderson

Calling all Netflix fans! It’s time to dress up as Dustin Henderson from Stranger Things. Do you have a trucker hat, curly hair and a spare backpack? That’s really all you need once you have the Hawkins Middle School ID.

Dustin Henderson

Throw on any vintage looking tee (solid, brightly colored shirts in green, yellow or red work well). Maybe add a thrift store jacket (a windbreaker, jean jacket or hoodie), and you will be set.  Want to get really into character? Get a fake lizard from a toy store and let the tail hang out of the backpack zipper.

3. Joyce Byers

Are you a Winona Ryder fan and lover of the 80s? Keep up the Stranger Things trend with a Joyce Byers look. If you have bangs and mid-length brown hair, you are already on your way to being the full-fledged alphabet crazed, beloved basket case mom from the show. You don’t need all of these items to be convincing (especially if you have the Joyce name tag), but if you really want to get into character, go for it. Dig through your closet to find as many of these items as you can.

www.express.co.uk

Here is your Joyce Byers check list:

  • Green cargo jacket
  • Striped shirt (a maroon and white shirt will really set the scene but any striped shirt can give that 80s vibe)
  • A dark blue work vest or button down shirt can be worn for her work look
  • Dark jeans (roll up the ends to give a more dated look)
  • ConverseJoyce Byers

Optional Props:

  • Rotary phone
  • Plastic axe
  • Christmas lights

The Christmas lights are a critical part of this look. Make it look like the lights got haphazardly twisted around you. The more chaotic the look, the better.  Finalize your look by making sure your hair is good and messy.

4. Dr. Acula

If you are a fan of the single article of clothing and simple name tag strategy, then the Dr. Acula look might be perfect for you. All it takes is a lab coat and commitment to the character. If you don’t have a lab coat, you can also wear a pair of super comfy scrubs. This costume is perfect for adding a little bit of dramatic flair and trying a Transylvanian accent.

Dr. AculaOptional Props:

  • Fangs
  • Stethoscope
  • Red paint

5. Shaun of the Dead

Do you have a business dress code at work? If so, this costume should work well for you. It’s in the same vein of the undead. Zombie fans everywhere get excited about the cult classic Shaun of the Dead.

Shaun of the DeadFor your easy to create costume, all you need is a white button down shirt, red tie and Foree Electric Shaun name tag. Depending on what point in the movie you want to represent (and your level of attachment to your white shirt) you can add ketchup or red paint to your outfit.

Optional props:

  • Wooden cricket paddle
  • Zombies

6. Real Housewives of YOUR CITY

www.amazon.com

Are you a reality TV addict and fan of all that is glamourous?  Do you love big hair, floor length gowns and all that drama?  This outfit is for a confident woman. It’s time to raise awareness for The Real Housewives of your city. Grab your friends and customize Real Housewives name tags that show pride for the city you live in. One you have the name tag, all you need is to put on your trendiest outfit, full makeup and enough attitude to shake up a dinner party.

 

*Works best as a costume group!

7. FLO

Flo
www.businessinsider.com

While dressing as a Real Housewife of New York means looking like someone everyone loves to hate, there are other costumes that are much friendlier. There’s no party hit quite like an overly cheerful FLO, everyone’s favorite Progressive Salesman. You bring your own zest to the personality and then wear all white, an apron and this FLO name tag. Getting the hair down will also help sell this character. A thick, navy headband and dark lipstick will go a long way. All you’ll have to do is show up and put on that big smile. Do you love insurance?Flo Name Tag

Optional props:

  • Megaphone
  • Passion for Insurance

8. Superhero Alias

Do you own a suit, have a passion for comic books and feel like dressing like an orphan with superpowers? Whether you’re on the DC or Marvel side of the universe (or both – it is possible), you have alter ego superhero name tag options. Without getting into full gear – wearing a complete body suit, cape and mask is quite a commitment – you can still give a nod to the crime fighters and heroes that inspired you throughout childhood and into adulthood.

Peter Parker, Bruce Wayne, Tony StarkPeter Parker – This one really only demands glasses and a camera. Rather than going full suit and tie, a hoodie and button down is enough to represent the New York City reject orphan and photographer.

Bruce Wayne – Bring that billionaire swagger to the table. Channel your status as the owner of Wayne Enterprises and keep a butler nearby. Adding a batman shirt underneath your suit can help sell the look.

Tony Stark – Playing Stark also gives you a chance to play a wealthy businessman. Only this time, you’re heading up Stark Industries with a passion for all things tech.

Optional Props:

  • Web shooters for scaling buildings and defying gravity
  • Batmobile
  • Iron Man Suit

9. Supermom

SupermomYou may not need a bodysuit but it certainly takes super powers to handle the everyday. Build your own superhero costume or wear your everyday clothes and add a badge that says it all: You are Supermom.

Optional Props:

  • Superchildren

10. The Name Tag Says It All

Here’s one last costume for that one person that really doesn’t want to dress up, but still has a party to attend. Stop people from asking if your forgot your costume by wearing this name tag. It provides a simple explanation for showing up in a basic shirt and jeans. All you need to know is:

Costume nametag

Protecting Students’ Right to Privacy

As schools are implementing new policies using student photo IDs and digital IDs, there is rising concern that students, parents, and school administrators may not be aware of how these new IDs could make private information accessible to others. The changes in ID use and advances in technology may significantly infringe on students’ privacy rights.

Many schools, from kindergartens to colleges, require that students and personnel wear some form of ID at all times. There are various types of IDs available, including photo IDs on lanyards or clips, cards with radio frequency identification chips (RFIDs), and wearable devices that replace physical badges.

It may seem like schools are simply updating their ID policies and security systems. Using photo IDs provides another layer of protection to help prevent strangers from intruding on school campuses. Digital IDs track who is in attendance and allow students to make various purchases, such as lunches or school supplies. But although new IDs offer convenience, students, parents, and teachers may feel less secure knowing the increase in potential risks.

When a chip is a necessity to students – allowing students to enter dorms or buy food in the cafeteria – some might consider privacy to be jeopardized.

Setting Limits

Schools now are able to gather extensive data about attendees. With new IDs, institutions have access to more student information, such as photo databases, attendance records, and students’ physical locations.  But how much information should schools be allowed to collect about students? Are enough safeguards in place to prevent schools from sharing this information with outside parties?

Some limitations for using new technology are already in place due to Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) laws. FERPA laws are designed to keep student information, such as educational records and other student information, private. These laws prohibit third parties from accessing student information.

However, educational institutions are still able disclose certain student information. Schools can disclose information that it deems “not harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed,” according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

Photo IDs

Student photos can be considered directory information, according to FERPA Guidance from the US Department of Education. A significant concern among parents is that directory information can be released to outside organizations without parental consent. Sharing this personal information is not considered an invasion of privacy.

Parents and students can choose to notify schools in writing that they wish to opt out of directory information disclosures. The question then becomes whether or not parents and students are aware that personal information may be shared. Are they aware that they have the right to opt out?

Online photo directories can pose problems as well. When student photos are used for IDs, images may be stored in an online directory. While school websites post policies regarding student photo ID usage, there is no guarantee that the policies will be upheld.

Additionally, even though there may be ways to further restrict privacy settings for these photos, students may overlook or not even realize that photos are part of an accessible directory.

Digital IDs

Apple recently developed student IDs that are part of wearable technology. These digital ID chips are stored in i Phones and Apple Watches. According to Edsurge.com, digital IDs will be used this fall at Duke University, the University of Oklahoma, and the University of Alabama.

With new ID technology, more information sharing is possible. The tracking used in RFID devices and wearable technology reveals specific student locations. Certain types of chips even have the capacity to gather information during times when students are not in class or even on campus.

The technological capabilities of digital IDs have even more potential for invasion of privacy. This type of data collection could be used to evaluate and predict student patterns and behaviors.  Some feel this closer look into students’ private lives is invasive, unwarranted, and even illegal.

Should every on-campus activity and location pattern be accessible to student institutions or technology companies developing these IDs? Or anyone else? Is an institution-imposed location or monitoring time limit enough to prevent schools – or third party technology developers – from accessing personal information regarding the physical location of each student?

Administrators, parents, and students may be unaware of how personal information could potentially be obtained when implementing new ID policies and procedures. While student safety may be the overarching goal for new photo policies and IDs with digital tracking, students’ rights to privacy and safety could be significantly threatened. Without the proper safeguards in place, photo database use and chip technology can be hazards to protecting student privacy and safety.

 

Resources:

https://www.edsurge.com/news/2018-06-06-apple-s-new-digital-student-ids-raise-questions-about-security
http://www.naceweb.org/public-policy-and-legal/legal-issues/ferpa-primer-the-basics-and-beyond/
https://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/mndirectoryinfo.html

Designing Name Tags to Improve School Security

America’s public and private schools are protecting students of all ages by continually adding to campus safety measures. One strategy schools are adopting is that of designing name tags that clearly identify students, teachers and faculty members.

Choosing intentional layouts, barcodes, and pictures that are unique to a school helps identify who should be on campus – and who should not. Learn about the many ways you can unify school photo ID badges to improve security on yours or your child’s campus.

Protecting Students of All Ages

The need to address and improve school safety demands the attention of students, parents and the greater community. School violence doesn’t single out a single age group, it touches the lives of students of all ages. States and school districts are focusing their efforts to improve safety for everyone from pre-k and elementary to high school and college. This endemic problem in schools continues to manifest itself in threats, fights, physical attacks and gun violence.

Many schools are taking steps to combat these threats and improve security measures. Decreasing school violence is a multi-faceted effort that includes everything from making sure students have proper supervision to keeping unauthorized visitors from trespassing on campus.

How to Unify School Name Badges

Adding details to the name tags for your school will assist in preventing outsiders from mimicking your design and attempting to get school access with fraudulent badges. These details provide helpful information about the person wearing the badge. Identify everyone on campus by providing their name and a picture on each badge. Designating a specific badge for visitors helps keep unauthorized persons out.

Give badges a unified look with color accents, lanyards and your school logo. Add a vibrant background color that can be seen from a distance. Using your school logo, mascot and colors also promote school spirit. Customize the name tag shape, color, font and size of the text as you choose a design. Each of these critical details distinguishes the look of an individual school’s name tags.

Some schools are adopting the use of security features like barcodes to better track students. Choosing school safety strategies involves weighing factors such as the school budget, potential efficacy of changes and the ability to enact new initiatives.

Improving Identification Policies

Many local level officials are seeking affordable, low-tech solutions. Those concerned about the cost involved in putting new efforts into action may find that changing identification policies could be a place to start.

Updating name tags has a campus-wide reach. Schools may require students, teachers and faculty members to wear designated name tags at all times. Strict adherence to these policies can keep safety at the forefront things.

Save 20% on Photo IDs with Code NTWSTUDENT at Name Tag Wizard, School Bus Badges Resting on Red Notebook

Name tags help everyone to know the purpose of each person on campus, such as attending classes, working in the student office or visiting. These can also be used to track attendance and assist with learning names and recognizing who belongs to which department at the beginning of the school year. This added precaution helps address concerns about unwanted visitors on campus. As it is also a visual cue, it encourages peace of mind for school attendees as well as parents. 

Choosing Name Tags for Your School

Here is a summary of the ways you can distinguish name tags for your school:

  • Same Color and Style of Lanyard
  • All Horizontal or Vertical
  • Include Barcodes
  • Add School Logo
  • Include Picture
  • Use a Double-Sided Design
  • Require Slipcovers
  • Design with Color Accents (Stripes or Color Background)

Taking steps to keep fear out of the classroom is important. By improving identification policies and procedures on campus, schools can work toward creating a secure atmosphere and unifying the student body.

Evaluating Other Potential Safety Strategies

Schools are utilizing a variety of strategies to help protect students. Some schools require see-through backpacks and uniforms. Some schools are instituting drug checks background checks. Schools are installing metal detectors, security cameras, panic buttons, and even gunshot-detection sensors.

Communities are increasing their efforts to protect their youth. However, determining the best way to fight violence in schools is difficult. While controversial topics such as whether or not to arm teachers or change current legislation dominate the media, schools are tasked with determining what actions they can take immediately.

By starting with small measures that can be instituted right away, schools may be better able to take action now, establish a safe environment and encourage students to focus on learning.

 

Oval Name Tags, a Matter of Royal Importance

Getty Images Daniel Leal-Olivas from HarpersBazaar.com

Name Tags were a controversial topic for the public observing Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s attendance of the Royal Ascot. The Royal Ascot, an annual horserace with prominent attendees, takes place in Berkshire, England near Windsor Castle. The public eagerly watched this event as it was one of the earliest outings for the royal couple since their recent nuptials.

The Royal Ascot commenced on June 19th and continued until June 23rd. Anticipation for how the new duchess would behave and what she might wear superseded the excitement of which horse was mostly likely to win. While Accidental Agent, Poet’s World, Merchant Navy and Without Parole all had stunning performances, many onlookers focused on the duchess.

And just a bit of that focus centered on a name tag, the one tiny detail that was absent from Meghan’s off-white Givenchy dress.

What’s in a Name (Tag)?

Oval name tags are a familiar add-on touted by Royal Ascot attendees. While Meghan held her name tag in her hand, she did not pin it to her dress. The absence was notable as many members of the royal family typically arrive at this event with name tags pinned to even the most fashionable garments.

Royal expert Duncan Larcombe told BAZAAR.com that everyone at the Royal Ascot is given badges for security. Oval name tags are a helpful tool for designating who has access to a certain area, such as the royal box. The tags include someone’s title with inscriptions like “HRH the Duchess of Sussex.”

Daily life for the general public may not involve wearing fascinators and reclining in royal boxes. But name tags are still a staple at conferences, political events, parties and in the workplace. These indicators provide helpful information for ordinary events, such as a title, office department, and country of origin or military ranking.

Are Name Tags a Requirement for Royal Protocol?

Following protocol is a royal responsibility. It demonstrates propriety and the proper dignity that accompanies being a part of the British Royal Family. However, according to the BAZAAR.com interview of royal historian Marlene Koenig, wearing a name tag at the Royal Ascot is not required by royal protocol.

“Wearing [name tag] pins has nothing to do with protocol,” Koenig told BAZAAR.com. “Protocol is for official, diplomatic, state events, [including] where you sit, when you enter, etc.”

While protocol demands strict adherence to certain rules, wearing name tags is presented as an option for some significant occasions. Name tags worn for special events, like the Royal Ascot, can feature color combinations such as purple and white for royalty, or red, blue and white for Britain. A full-color name tag may represent a certain country as well as a company, organization or school.

Prince Harry & Kate Wear Their Pins

Wearing a name tag is not a requirement. The Queen herself abstained from donning one. Other royal family members fulfilled public expectation by wearing their tags, including Kate Middleton. The Duchess of Cambridge appeared in a white lace dress that, unlike the dress of her newly acquired sister-in-law, featured a name tag pinned over her heart.  Prince Harry was also observed sporting his upon his suit lapel.

Perhaps whether or not one wears a name tag is merely a matter of personal preference. Perhaps Meghan Markle was thinking of protecting her clothing. Maybe a magnetic name tag would have allowed Meghan to preserve her dress and participate in the same manner as the Prince and Duchess of Cambridge.

For your next big event, you may have an option of whether or not to wear a name tag. You may be wearing a fine business suit at a trade show, rather than taupe dress to meet Irish President Michael Higgins, as in one of Meghan’s more recent outings. As you make your choice about wearing a name tag, consider what members of the royal family have done in the past. Kate Middleton chose to wear a name tag and Meghan Markle refrained.

Are you a Kate or a Meghan?