THE BLOG
09/11/2012 08:27 am ET Updated Nov 11, 2012

"Hello, My Name Is..."

Name Tag Etiquette

If you attend cocktail parties or other events where networking is the name of the game, name tags or badge holders can be lifesavers. Providing well-printed name tags is one of the most effective investments you can make if you're holding a networking event, and they're just as important as a business card if you're attending such a gathering. Name tags make meeting strangers easier, and are terrific memory joggers for when we see a familiar face but can't remember the name.

Although some people think name tags are impersonal, they are really just the opposite. They help smooth social interaction at large events and make it easier to meet and greet people who look interesting or whom you otherwise want to connect with.

And for people who really want to add to their social and business network, the art of the name tag can make doing so much easier.

So don't be a name-tag grump or a fumbler; play by the rules and follow these tips for making the most of an event that provides name tags.

Name Tag Tips

Use both first and last names. It's much more helpful to include your last name on a name tag.

Write clearly. Remember to print, so your name can be easily read by everyone.

Size does matter. Name tags should be printed in a size that fills the entire space of the name tag in two lines, one for your first name and one for your last. This eliminates the "squint factor."

Leave off your title. Never use honorifics such as Ph.D. or titles such as VP of Sales. Your name opens the door of a conversation; the conversation itself should reveal who you are.

Tag location. Although it's easier for right-handed people to put a name tag on the left side, they are correctly are worn on the right side so the person shaking hands with you or greeting you has easy eye contact with both you and the badge. Also, name tags should be in plain view, not hidden under your jacket.

Neatness counts. Double-check once you've affixed the name tag. If it's crooked, torn, or upside down, start again. You have one shot at a good first impression.

Lisa Mirza Grotts is a recognized etiquette expert, an on-air contributor, and the author of A Traveler's Passport to Etiquette. She is a former director of protocol for the city and county of San Francisco and the founder and CEO of The AML Group (www.AMLGroup.com), certified etiquette and protocol consultants. Her clients range from Stanford Hospital to Cornell University and Levi Strauss. She has been quoted by Condé Nast Traveler, InStyle magazine, and the Los Angeles Times. To learn more about Lisa, follow her on www.Twitter.com/LisaGrotts and www.Facebook.com/LisaGrotts.

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