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9 Easy Steps to Create Name Tags For Your Next Event

Updated 01/12/2022
How to create custom name tags for events, parties, conferences, and more

Impress guests from the get-go with professional name tags and badges. Learn everything there is to know, including which type is right for you, how to design them for parties and events, ways to fill them using mail merge, and the best ways to display them on a registration table.

Check out the following video or read the article below for tips and tricks so everyone can become an all-star event planner.

1. Choose between name tag labels and inserts

Name tag stickers (printed and write-in) beside name tag insert

Name tag labels are typically adhesive labels or stickers that are used for a short period of time, typically only a few hours.

Name tag inserts, on the other hand, are predominantly made from cardstock or heavy-weight paper and go into plastic badge holders. They can be suspended on lanyards or have a built-in pin for clipping/pinning to clothing. These are more common for conferences and day-long or multi-day events.

Name tag label uses

  • Weddings
  • Reunions
  • Meet-ups and networking events
  • Baby showers
  • Volunteer events
  • School events, PTA meetings, and meet the teacher nights

Name tag insert uses

  • Conferences
  • Seminars

2. Select a name tag shape

Name tags are most often rectangular, though it's your event, so feel free to get creative. We offer tons of fun label shapes like hearts, hexagons, scallops, and more. For name tag inserts, you'll need to stick with the shape of the plastic holder.

Keep in mind the standard sizes for both products are between 3" x 2" and 3" x 4". Any smaller and the resulting text may be difficult to read; too much larger and the tags themselves become overwhelming.

You can also filter your options by square or rounded corners.

Adhesive name tag products

Cardstock name tag inserts

3. Pick a name tag material

We recommend our aggressive adhesive permanent labels for name tag stickers. While it may seem counter-intuitive since you want name tags to remove cleanly from clothing, anything with too little tack won't want to stay in place throughout your event.

Don't worry though, the extra-strength adhesive is still perfect for temporary use with clothing. It'll stay on most fabrics until the event completes and remove without damage or residual residue.

Our standard white matte material or any of our colored labels will also work, they just won't produce as strong of a hold.

To make the inserts, we offer 7.5 point, 118 lb. cardstock. They can be run through laser and inkjet printers, and printed on both sides. The perforations make them easy to separate by hand, but they aren't too delicate that they can pull apart and jam the printer.

4. Design your name tags and badges

When it comes to designing your name tags, there are a few guiding principles, but the rest is up to you!


Tags and badges can be used horizontally or vertically. Horizontal is preferable as it gives more space to write first and last names side-by-side, but vertical can look more streamlined and clean.

If you're using the plastic holders, make sure you design for the direction of the opening!


Incorporate the theme of your event into the name tags! Use the same colors, symbols, and/or graphics to tie everything together. If your conference doesn't have it very structured theme, pull inspiration from the city or venue.

You can also browse pre-designed name tag templates.

Font type and size

Name tags are meant to be read, so it's best to opt for something easily readable. Serif and sans serif fonts are ideal over script and handwritten ones for that reason.

Larger fonts are also preferred and sometimes paired with all caps and/or bold formatting. A good rule of thumb, attendee names should be a minimum of 20 point font and be the most prominent part of the badge.

Be sure your design works with names of all sizes! Some guests have naturally longer names that will need to fit properly on the tag.

Color choices

If you're printing the names on your badges, be sure to avoid low-contrast colors like yellow on white.

If participants will be hand-writing their names, you may want to incorporate an opaque section in your design. If the background is too strong, you won't be able to see the names clearly enough.

You may also want to use colors to differentiate attendees from staff, vendors, exhibitors, speakers etc. Color-coded name tags can work if your event is mixed-industry as well.

Free name tag templates

Take the stress out of name tagging and use one of the following designs. They were created to fit perfectly with our name tag and badge configurations so you don't have to worry about setting up a template.

Can't choose from the selection below? Browse all name tag label templates.

Best name tag sticker and insert designs

There's no shortage of inspiration out there for all kinds of events. Scroll through the gallery below for well-designed name tag stickers and badge inserts.

Tip: Click on the image below to view examples.

6. Decide what content to include

Breakdown of what information to include on conference/event name tags and badges

Your registration process probably collected a lot of information about your guests, so deciding what information to put on the name tag can be a tough call. Below are some name tag text options for you to consider.

  • First and last name
  • Conference/event name
  • Registration type (attendee, exhibitor, speaker)
  • Position/title, company name, or industry
  • Sponsor logos
  • Event dates or schedule
  • Ice breakers

7. Format your name tags and badges

It can be tedious to enter each attendee's name and information on your name tags, not to mention how much it increases your likelihood of printing typos!

To take that stress out of the equation, print the design and let everyone hand-write their name or try using mail merge to auto-fill the names, speeding up the process on your end.

Mail merge is a tool available in most data processing programs, and even some design ones. It pulls information from a list of data then inserts it into your document/design.

If you're designing your name tags in Microsoft Word, read our MS Word mail merge instructions. For best results, though, use the mail merge feature in Maestro Label Designer.

Maestro Label Designer is online design software created exclusively for customers. It includes templates for every label size and configuration we offer (from blank label templates to fun designs), so you don't have to worry about the hard stuff.

Plus, because it's our software, you'll find tons of tutorials, compatible tools (like mail merge), and award-winning customer service built right in. Learn more.

8. Prepare for last minute sign-ups

There's no getting around the day-of registrants and non-RSVPers, but there are a few steps you can take so they don't knock you off your feet. Choose any or all of the below methods so your event starts off well.

Print blanks

It's incredibly easy to run off a few extra sheets of blanks once you've finished with the names you have. This way, guests still have the branded name tag template even though they'll have handwritten names.

Bring a printer

Some inkjet printers can be small and lightweight. If the space and setup is conducive, do some on-the-spot printing! Maestro Label Designer makes it easy to print one label at a time for occasions just like this. Learn how.

Grab blanks

It's never a bad idea to bring some of your leftover sheets just in case, printed or not. Bring the entire clamshell to keep your labels protected and ensure everyone at least gets a name tag or badge.

9. Set up your registration table

When it comes time to set up for your event, keeping your name tags or badges organized can help things go faster and more smoothly.

The most popular option for adhesive name tag sheets is to have them in alphabetical order behind the check-in counter, managed by a team member. It can speed things up even more to keep them in alphabetical stacks, where A-K is pile one, L-R is pile two, etc.

For cardstock/refill name badges, it saves guests time if you separate the sheets and put the inserts into the protective sleeve prior. Once that's done, you can lay them out on the table in alphabetical order and allow attendees to find their own badge.

Use the tips above to become an all-star event planner. Be sure to check out more professional-quality event label products and find time-saving label templates for events, too. Or consider promotional marketing stickers as event giveaways.

Need name tag labels but want to skip the printing process? Check out our selection of pre-printed name tag labels to save time.

Questions about using our products or design software? Give us a call at 1-888-575-2235.

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