Design a Conference Badge that Doesn’t Suck

Conference organizers always try to find ways to make their events unique and memorable, but there are some things which should be standard. Attendees, particularly those who might have had to deal with unpredictable flights or transportation/hotel issues, will always appreciate a streamlined check in process. It's a process where Occam's Razor is well-applied: the simpler, the better. This definitely goes for conference materials, like the conference badge. 

Some conference materials are necessary evils: the plethora of paper collateral from sponsors, the (usually) hideous conference bag, and sometimes a conference tee designated to become bottom-drawer filler. Or, if you attend a lot of technology conferences like I do, it's worn daily by some of the less hygienic attendees for the conference duration. All things considered, most of these materials are expendable. It makes sense to refocus on the one thing that attendees will use and reuse: the conference badge, or name badge. Here are some tips to create a badge worth its salt. Or at least worth the irritation of remembering it daily. And, when the conference is over and the badge has served its purpose, Sunrise Packaging conference name badges are eco-friendly and completely biodegradable!

What Do Attendees Want in a Conference Badge

Choosing the style of a conference name badge can depend by industry. Tech conferences, which tend to be slightly more informal, typically use lanyards with the badge hanging around the midsection. If this is the route you want to go, be considerate of the variety of shapes your attendees come in (male, female, proportions, etc). Choose a lanyard with adjustable sizes so they can choose where it should sit. 

conference badge with name, social identity

If the conference is an industry which tends to be more formal, consider a simpler conference badge that's more of  a traditional name tag with magnetic backing. There's little more annoying than putting holes in an expensive blouse or suit. Not to mention that it might hurt the fabric. Name tags also tend to be a little more discreet and elegant. 

Design Around Attendee's First Names

What's the purpose of a conference badge? To identify the attendee as an attendee and to share their name/affiliation with folks. If space is at a premium, consider cutting last names. Some attendees also might not feel comfortable sharing their full name with rooms of strangers (networking aside). Access Event Solutions recommends the following hierarchy: 

First Name (largest font)
Last Name (slightly smaller font than first name)
Company name/title (slightly smaller font than last name)
Other information (you get the drift)

What Else Might Attendees Want in a Conference Badge

If you go the magnetic, name tag route, you're probably maxed out on space after the above. However, if you go the lanyard route, the back of the conference badge is a great spot for additional information, like: 

  • Conference schedule.
  • Wifi access information.
  • Conference hashtags/notable social channels.
  • Sponsor information (understandable to *want* to put it on the front, but lets be real: no one wants it there)
  • Embedding RFID or NFC technology within the layers of a conference badge substrate. Attendees can scan their badge to win prizes, session room counts, supply contact information to enabled vendors...the possibilities are endless.

For maximum readability, print information on the back of a lanyard upside down!  

Make a Conference Badge Attendees Want to Keep

Name tags might not serve many purposes after the conference, unless they're well-designed and not obtrusively tied to the event. Keep your conference badge design simple, and attendees will appreciate the streamlined effort. Particularly if they're already a little jet-lagged. 

How Binders Aid Retention

 

Custom Turned Edge Binder

Learning and Retention

Learning and retention are hot topics for any trainer, but less so for professionals whose primary role focuses on something else. Typically, the human resources department of an organization is tasked with ensuring that employees know and understand the basics of their new job as well as build on that knowledge. There are many methods to utilize when creating training materials, and far too often, organizations focus on the format in which the materials are handed out and less so on the quality of the products. This is where Sunrise's high end binders--specifically, turned edge binders--can save you from yourself.

Ideal for HR Trainings

Turned edge binders are ideal for HR trainings for a few reasons. When an employee wants or needs information on something specific, they're unlikely to access an elearning module, search through it for the information they want, and come away from it with a positive outlook. However, being able to grab a quality binder and quickly flip to the information does. Turned edge binders also provide a tactile experience, which for some learning styles, is more effective to help employees retain information. This isn't to say that a hard cover binder should replace elearning modules or more interactive formats. But a binder to supplement and complement information is always a plus. Some things which HR departments need to consider when creating materials include these facts about adult learning:

  1. Adult learning is autonomous
    Adults are old enough to make their own decisions, right? So when learning, they need to feel the freedom to make their own choices. This is where giving them the option to skip and return to modules as well as go at their own pace (electronically or via the turned edge binders) is an important aspect to training.
  2. Incorporating knowledge and life experiences increases retention
    Being able to connect past experiences and knowledge base with new things helps things *stick*. Trainings which can pull out relevant experiences not only interest attendees (because they can relate) but also helps them frame the knowledge.
  3. Keep things goal-oriented
    Building on the previous two tips: in order to keep employees on task and engaged through their experiences, it's important that lessons have a goal or have a clear outcome. In order to maximize the learning potential, it's important to set timeframes for completion. Coupled with the clear outcomes, this helps employees stay on schedule. However, modules with known timings can make people nervous, which might be an unfair representation of their skillset. Providing hard cover binders alongside an e-module turns into an open-book test of sorts, which eases anxiety.
  4. Learning should be relevant and practical
    No one likes to feel like their time is being wasted, right? And that's hardly the impression you want to make on a new employee. Make it clear how these lessons tie in to their productivity or ability to do their job better. Additionally, using examples which help ground theoretical concepts helps enhance understanding.

But why turned edge binders?

Sunrise has many types of binders, but we love turned edge. They have a (literal) longer shelf life since they tend to be more durable. The customization is also higher than other styles, as the covers can be printed digitally or offset to match your organization's branding. Add ins, like pockets and adhesive trays, also increase their functionality.

What type of training does your organization provide? And how much did you remember a week after it was over? I bet you wish you had a binder.

 

Ann Sachs Turned Edge Binder

Goodbye High School, Hello Welcome Kit

Springtime is more than a season of new beginnings. For those completing high school, it’s the season of gowns, tassels, and warm cheese at graduation parties.  As the class of 2016 leaves high school behind with literal ‘Pomp and Circumstance,’ college becomes the next new frontier. Things just got real, so to speak. The excitement of getting accepted to a university might be slowly replaced with fear of the unknown. After all, for many kids, this is the first time they’ve left home for a sustained period of time. They might not know anybody, and they’ve just said goodbye to the friends and classmates with whom their entire social circle has comprised of up to this point. This is the perfect time for the freshman student experience folks to kick in, and send the welcome kit.

welcome kit from the University of NebraskaWhat’s a welcome kit?

Glad you asked. A welcome kit is the introduction to the institution. It might be sent all at one time, like opening a giant, college-themed gift, or it adopt a more just-in-time model where accepted students learn more gradually, and at times which it makes sense to perform actions like completing the FAFSA, registering for classes, things like that. However, while the materials should be helpful and informative, they should also impart the core values of the institution.

 

In this example (recently created for the University of Nebraska – Omaha), newly-accepted students received a small, pocket sized folder, welcoming them to the institution. Note that it identifies them as a student by associating them with the university’s mascot and iconic red and black. The die cut cavity inside is a key-shaped USB drive. On the USB drive are materials that might have formerly been printed out. A new student guide, checklist, things that previously cost the institution a pretty penny in paper, ink and postage, now condensed into a keepsake package.

gp-front-back

welcome kit from the University of Nebraska

This folder kit not allows the institution to save money (and not a few trees in reducing paper), but also helps guide the new Maverick a bit more. By placing materials on the USB drive, you can highlight certain things digitally where, in paper, it wouldn’t be possible. As the incoming class are also digital natives, this way of accessing information is more natural to them. It also provides the institution the opportunity to share things with the student in a way that meets their preferred learning style: reading, listening, and/or watching.

Some might feel like the tangible element of receiving a packet in the mail is lost, and that valuable real estate for information-sharing is cut down. I would counter that argument by looking at how Nebraska optimized the back of the folder kit with all the different ways to keep in touch with the institution (social channels figure prominently).  The design is done in such a way to enhance the presentation of the package, and not detract from it. Sunrise takes pride in crafting a box design that fits the needs of the customer.  This style–a trifold–could hold a variety of things.  Coins, gift cards, USBs are just the tip of the iceberg.

And isn’t that what going to the university should be – just the tip of the iceberg?

Build a Better Sales Kit

Your sales kit should be generating more sales for your organization.

It sounds like common sense, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, as the saying goes, common sense isn’t all that common. Too often, a sales kit becomes flooded with materials that aren’t doing the job.  As organizations try to save money in marketing by making materials more general, sometimes they can lose relevance as well.

A sales kit should…

  • Tell customers who your company is
    How do you introduce yourself to someone you want to impress? Apply those same principles to your organization’s introduction. Take the time to write a customized letter to the recipient. Write it like you would write a cover letter for a job application (for more information on the how and why of doing this, see Business Know How).If you don’t have the time or resources to do that, create different versions of a document.  Take something versatile, like company brochures, and provide targeted information for different industries.  Incorporate branding through letterhead or by purchasing custom packaging for these materials.
  • Tell customers what you docustom presentation kits, thermoformed trays, sales kit
    What documents best convey not only your company’s successes and business, but also give a sense for *how* you do it? Give potential new clients an idea for what they can expect from you. Chances are they can find similar services and/or products elsewhere. But if they’re looking for premier customer service or another aspect which your organization can provide, highlight that in your sales kit.An ideal way to convey this is through a custom turned edge binder or a catalog binder. Using higher quality materials increases the chances of the recipient keeping and examining the materials.  People are less likely to throw something away if they think it’s expensive.
  • Show customers why they should care
    This is the hook for customers. Presentation packaging for your sales kit can make the positive first impression you need to secure the sale. It can also leave a lasting impression as the client returns to the materials inside. It also helps convey a sense of the way in which you do business, as well as your company’s aesthetic and reinforce branding.Custom sales kit packaging can take various shapes and forms, but there are many ways to show your values. Committed to sustainability? Use recycled materials. Looking to make an impression from the first touch? Ask about our finishing options or enhanced options like magnetic closures.

Additional content ideas for sales kits

sales kit, custom pad packaging, branding, luxury packaging, high quality packaging

Sales sheets, catalogs, and brochures are all expected items in a sales kit. Consider incorporating more traditionally-oriented marketing collateral. Bark Creative has a great list of suggestions which includes things like:

  • Recent press releases on your company
  • News stories about recent awards or industry honors/mentions for your company
  • Client testimonials

All of the above can add a kind of narrative to your sales kit.  Adding presentation packaging that reflects branding and core values leaves a positive impression. If you are concerned about space or overwhelming the recipient, there’s always the option to save these types of content on a USB drive. The main advantages?  Even more customization by using press releases or testimonials from clients in similar industries. And it will be easier to update on the fly!

What’s the most effective part of your sales kit?

 

Testing Packaging Concepts – Prototyping

retail packaging, importance of prototyping, custom prototypes for boxes

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is important to conduct qualitative research and preliminary tests on new packaging concepts before launching them in store. One guiding principle is to keep shoppers in a shopping mindset the following tips can make a big difference in your research and results. At sunrise we help a lot of companies with their market research by prototyping. Sometimes all it takes is to touch and feel your product before it is released in the market.

1. Present packaging concepts within competitive context- When concepts are shown next to competition, it is more realistic to the shopping experience and allows us to gauge competitive differentiation, which is critical to in-store success.

2.Minimize side-by-side design comparisons-Conversely, when shoppers see alternative design systems for the same brand simultaneously on a side-by-side basis, it immediately takes them out of a shopping mode and encourages a focus on aesthetics.

3.Show concepts in their totality– It is important to remember that shoppers encounter packages in their totality and that the “gestalt” of a design is often more than the sum of its parts. Therefore, you should consistently show shoppers full packages and then probing to understand which design elements are driving reactions.

4. Show concepts alone (without marketing support)– Finally, it’s important to remember that packaging typically has to work on its own, without the benefit of advertising or point of- sale support. In this day of fragmented media, it is simply unrealistic to assume that shoppers have recently seen your commercial.

Blog Source: Packaging News

Get Creative with Promotional Packaging

To catch the eye of a targeted consumer, branded promotional packaging can make a world of difference. The best way to accomplish this is through using high end materials and design to catch the attention of prospective clientele, and gaining interest for new product roll outs. By improving printing processes, product layout, and overall design, a brand can interact with its marketed consumer while improving and promoting their brand identity in general. When a company participates in interactive promotional packaging of their product, they hold the consumer’s attention and ensure higher rates of consumption in the future. The goal of this type of packaging design is to become more involved in the decisions of the consumer and their purchasing experience. Here at Sunrise, we see a wide variety of packaging solutions that are created to promote a new product line, or even awareness of existing company services. From USB packaging  like a Flashpad used to distribute information, to large scale product demonstration kits like the Key Surgical case shown here, companies are finding innovative a creative ways to extend their brand.

Product Promotional Kits

Sometimes the best way to promote the rollout of a new product or product line is to simple give distributors and clients a sample kit of what you have to offer. As they always say, sometimes you have to spend money to make money, which is exactly what you do when investing in a promotional kit for your brand. Shown here are just a few promotional packaging solutions that stand out to us. Of course, the e-cig box and the Starbucks box were both made by Sunrise Packaging (we thought we would throw in the disc box because it is just so cool!). Each product kit should have an element of design, a way to display the product, and durability to keep sample products protected. These kits used high quality turned edge boxes to portray a luxury design and brand representation. In order to display the product or line, both Starbucks and Mistic used high-end water-jet cut foam to hold each item in its proper place. These durable promotional kits do more than just show your customers what to expect in the new product line, they show you that they are willing to invest in a demonstration kit to show you their standards in quality!

Flashpad™ USB Packaging Modified

Rigid Flat with FoamEver since we released the rigid USB packaging solution, the Flashpad, it has grown to become one of our most popular and useful products. The idea originally came from the need to add shelf presence to an otherwise forgotten promotional giveaway. Think about marketing events and promotional mailer attempts that you have received. Often the postcard, small office utensil, or pamphlet goes noticed but discarded and forgotten. By developing the Flashpad, we created an affordable packaging solution that offers you more real estate for branding as well as a display feature for your promotional flash drive. USB flash drives are extremely useful in an office setting and make information distribution a piece of cake. By using USB packaging like the Flashpad, companies guarantee that their marketing efforts do not go unnoticed. As a custom manufacturer, we receive a wide range of needs and requests from our customers. Our versatile output and flexible manufacturing team are able to create elaborate and unique luxury packaging solutions. So when some of our clients wanted to take the concept of the Flashpad and tweak it to hold something different, we were all on board! Shown here are just a couple of variations of the Flashpad that show just how customizable this USB packaging solution is. Made with a simple turned edge flat with customer supplied artwork, we are able to provide unique die-cut foam to be adhered in this hardcover “book”, if you will. If you want to see how the Flashpad is made, or any of our other interactive packaging products, visit our youtube channel to see what we have to offer! Vikings Marketing Kit

 

Starkey Boxes: New Youtube Video

Watch the latest youtube creation from Sunrise Packaging, Inc. just released today! While we have talked about these custom boxes before on our blog at www.sunriseboxes.com, we thought an interactive video could show you the two piece setup boxes in action. Made with turned edge manufacturing, these rigid setup boxes use provided artwork from Starkey and soft touch lamination to display and protect a new line of hearing aid technology. Compatible with Apple products, the new product needed to go into an equally compelling packaging solution. Our favorite feature on this box is the development and installation of a rigid PVC window. Different from any packaging window you will see in retail outlets, this thermoformed window is created specifically for this application. It is slightly formed into a tray in order to lie flush with the top surface of the box. The plastic material that is used is also a thick material that protects the product from tampering and other external factors.