19 April 2017

ID badges for participants of conferences and congresses – Part 2

Last week, you read about three types of ID badges dedicated to participants of events. One by one, they were the following: Plastic-coated paper ID badgesplastic cards, and ID badges printed on thermal transfer ribbons. There are two types left to discuss: ID badges based on passes and self-adhesive labels. If you are one of those that prefer analytical summaries, we have prepared a summary table with all the available options – you will find it at the end of this article.

Paper ID badges based on passes

The method designed by the CONREGO Team will reduce your budget to the cost of purchasing three basic products, i.e.: a ream of paper, a standard ink-jet, and PVC sleeves in the size capable of storing a sheet of paper in A6 size.

In order to print out ID badges, we suggest using a pass in A4 size, made using the CONREGO system. The A6 size is 105x148mm. It is more than sufficient to embed the following elements on the obverse of an ID badge: logotypes of the organiser and/or the event, name, surname, the name of participant’s organisation, category of participation, and a bar code or a QR code that identifies the participant in the registration system. You can also print the reverse side of a badge, using the mentioned method. Consequently, one should consider printing a situational map and programme of the event (a general one, or a personalised agenda for a particular participant). It is very easy to prepare such a design.

Identyfikatory na bazie wejściówek wg CONREGO
Fig. The CONREGO stand-alone registration system for participants has a built-in functionality that enables automatic generating and attaching a pass that has been designed and personalised in the aforementioned manner to an email message confirming registration, which is sent to each participant.

– Office printers are very cheap, both to purchase and sustain;
– The printing area is much larger than in any other type of ID badges; 
– it is also possible to print on both sides by formatting pages.

– Office printers are quite large, so it may be problematic to arrange a number of machines at reception areas;
– The low weight (90g/m²) requires using PVC holders to reinforce ID badges, even if it has been formatted to four layers.

Printing out during the event: Entire cards or personal data only, if A4 cards have already been printed initially with the graphic image of a pass/ID badge.

Self-adhesive labels

This solution was first applied in 2016. It consists in using any of the available methods and printing personal data of participants onto self-adhesive labels of various formats, which can be easily integrated with a well-designed ID badge. Self-adhesive labels are printed with thermal printers, e.g. manufactured by Brother. The entire process is carried out automatically, provided that we have used one of the functionalities offered by your registration system for participants – in the case of CONREGO, it will be the Reception Desk Management Module

– Label printers are small;
– Label printers are very cheap, both to purchase and sustain (the cost is approx. net 500 PLN);
– The majority of printer models are capable of printing labels in the approximate size of 60x100mm, which is enough to fit a QR code and personal data of the participant, written in big, legible letters;
– Labels are applied on ID badged made using any of the available methods.

– If labels do not have proper perforation, it will be difficult to unglue them, thus prolonging the time it takes to handle each participant.

Printing out during the event: Only data corresponding to an individual participant;

A summary of the methods used to print ID badges.

As promised, this article ends with a table presenting all the media and printing methods that have been discussed in the article.

Type of ID badgeStiffnessPVC holderInitial printing of a graphic background, before the eventThe cost of manufacturing 1,000 copies, including consumables (Net cost)The (net) cost of printer purchase
Paper, not coated Average Recommended Required 250-375$ 150-200$
Paper, plastic-coated High Unnecessary Required 625-750$ It is not possible to use a printer
Plastic cards Very high Unnecessary Optional 750-850$ 625-1250$
Thermal transfer ribbons Low Required Required 375-450$ 250-400$
A4/A6 passes Very low Required Optional 75-150$ 125-175$
Self-adhesive labels Depends on ID badge Depends on ID badge Required The cost of manufacturing ID badges + 70$ 75-125$

Do you know which type of ID badges is best for you now? Share your experiences with us!

Tomasz Chrosciechowski

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