Every so often we dip our toes into a series called Danny Recommends:, posts that tip you off to the stuff that I…you know. The recommendations might be products for use in your ministry, resources that will help you develop leaders around you, or just fun stuff that you need. Want. Whatever. You can also see a full list of recommended books and such over at the Reading List. For other posts in the series, check out the link at the bottom.
My team hosts a fair amount of Weekenders, Workshops, and Confabs. Our goal in hosting those events is to roll out the red carpet, give a behind-the-scenes-look at how our ministry area works, and share practical wisdom for how to improve your systems, regardless of what stage or phase of ministry you’re currently in.
And yet, nearly every time we host an external training event, one burning question rises to the surface:
Where did you get these cool name tags?
Many moons ago we handled name tags for our volunteer teams and event participants the old fashioned way: the name tag was designed on Word, two copies were printed out on a color printer (if the ink levels were correct), the tags were cut to size, inserted double-side into a plastic sleeve, and clipped to a lanyard or glued to a magnet or pin. Our team spent roughly six presidential administrations per name tag, and woe be to the volunteer who lost theirs and “Hey if it’s not too much trouble could you make me another one and maybe a spare to keep in my glove compartm-AIEEEE PUT DOWN THE SCISSORS!”
But a few years ago we finally decided to invest in a Dual-Sided ID Card Printer, which is a fancy way of saying we are saving a ton of time in labor. Our preferred model is the Fargo DTC4500e, which involves the following excruciating process:
- Create a template.
- Upload your spreadsheet of names.
- Hit “print.”
Okay, so it’s probably slightly more complicated than that, but it’s safe to say that we can crank out 100 name tags in the time it previously took us to assemble five of them. And they just look so much better.
Cards come in a variety of colors (as well as a variety of inks) and you can opt for the lanyard / hanging style or magnet-backed. You can also use your own logo and customize the cards just about any way you can imagine. The software we use is Card Exchange, which we which we purchased for about $200 from ID Card Group. The printer linked above doesn’t come with the software and you’ll definitely need that. We usually purchase ink (we only use black or white), badge cards, and lanyards from ID Card Group as well.
There’s a significant up front cost, but every single person on our team would tell you it’s worth it. Well worth it.
Let’s wrap up this post with a trip down memory lane, shall we? (Yes. We shall.)
This is the very first name tag I was issued as a Summit member, circa 2002. No, I don’t know who those people are. Yes, that’s our old Sunday bulletins cut out, printed on, and repurposed as a plastic-ensconced and pin-backed name tag.
This is among our first shots at hang-around-your-neck lanyards. We used a wax-based ink, which meant if you left them in your car and the temperatures got above 80 degrees, your name tag kind of melted. True story.
The ID Card debut. How sleek. How clean. Also can double as an ice scraper for those non-80 degree days.
You can’t see it, but this is a magnet-backed tag just in case you have a phobia of getting your hang-around-the-neck lanyard caught in a paper shredder and sucking you in.
Thanks to Lindsey Wachter for the photos!
Disclaimer: FTC watchdogs will probably want to know that the companies listed / linked above did not ask for this endorsement, nor did they provide me with free swag in order to do so. I’m just a really satisfied customer who wants to let you know where you can get some great products. So there. Further, if you order a resource from a link on this page, I may receive a small affiliate commission from Amazon. If that bugs you, feel free to bypass my link and buy from a vendor of your choice. But still: buy it. I only promote items that have benefitted me and that I believe will benefit you.