Who are you?

Who are you, and why does it matter? This is not an introspective question, nor is it rhetorical; it is more of a safety concern.

How many times have you attended an event where security asked you to visibly display your event-issued name tag?  This simple identifier can be quite bothersome for some people, and I have not exactly figured out why.  Maybe because the lanyard is too long or short?  Is the font displaying the attendee name way too small or big?  Or is it that we just prefer to stay anonymous?

As simple as this concept is, you are asked to wear your lanyard so that “we” (hired security for the event) can quickly identify those who were invited opposed to those who were not.  A lot goes into planning an event, but the number one priority for any company is the safety of their attendees. Believe me, this comes first and foremost.  Sadly, it runs a close second to what’s for lunch for some!  The only way we can provide the best service to you and your company is for us to know that you belong at the event.  Wearing your lanyard is still the best way for us to immediately identify you and know that you are welcome.

Unfortunately, with the presence of active shooters more frequent than ever, wearing your name tag is an easy way for us to know who you are and what immediate needs you may have if an emergency should arise. You may not be aware of this, but those pesky name tags have more information on them than you may realize. For instance, some planners have placed the following information on them:

Front of the name tag:

  • Name and title
  • Company name and address
  • Any earned awards

Back of the name tag:

  • Any medical issues/allergies
  • Accommodations (Hotel/Vehicle Rental Info)
  • Emergency numbers if needed (especially if you are not in your home city)
  • Wi-Fi password login information
  • QR codes (which may give you a paperless option for the weeklong agendas)

Lanyard colors, what do they mean?

  • Each company is different, but the color of the lanyard can be very specific to whom it is assigned, hence separating you from your colleagues for various reasons. It also signifies who is a planner, food service employee, IT technicians, security, travel planners, etc.

So, the next time you’re asked to wear your name tag, or go back to your room to retrieve it, please understand we are only asking you this to keep you and your organization safe!


Trent Koppel is a Security Specialist and an adjunct professor at Maryville University.

About the author

Joe Clote

Joseph W. Clote is owner of Publishing Concepts, LLC a communications and marketing firm based in Saint Louis, Missouri. Mr. Clote is Group Publisher of MeetMed™ and Missouri Meetings & Events™ (MM&E) magazine, a quarterly publication read by thousands of meeting and event professionals, and producer of the St. Louis and Kansas City trade shows under the MM&E name. Mr. Clote has extensive sales and marketing expertise in the travel, tourism, fine art, insurance, and software development industries.