This was first posted on Oct. 3, 2012. I am reposting it because I’ve had a lot of requests to talk about name tags (and my readership has increased greatly since then!). Maybe I need to talk with the Microsoft people since the clip art has name tags on the left side!!
Elementary my dear Watson … or so I thought when it comes to the question of right or left side for name tags not on languards. I learned differently when asked to cover tips like this in a recent keynote on building life-long relationships to an audience including CEOs.
The correct place for name tags with clips is on the right side. This exercise will help you understand why the right is right.
Stand up and pretend you are shaking hands. Pay attention to where your eyes travel. Everyone shakes with the right hand unless s/he has a physical disability. Pretend again that you are shaking hands, and the person has her/his name tag on the left side. Note how your eyes are diverted from a natural flow (and natural eye contact), as you have to look to the left to “catch” or “reaffirm” her/his name. This is even more pronounced when clothing like a lapel obstructs part of the tag, and you have to literally bend to the left to read a name.
Event planners: Avoid name tags with pins as they can damage clothing … or the “sticky” type as they, too, can leave a mark on suede and leather. For permanent tags, choose the magnetic type.