It’s a perennial challenge at conferences: you have a lanyard hanging around your neck but it’s constantly flipping over so no-one can read your name. How can you deal with that nuisance?
I’ve been grappling with this issue at Linux.conf.au 2012 in Ballarat, where a large number of people are probably assuming my name is ‘Emergency Contacts’. I had a couple of thoughts myself on what to do about it, but I put the question out on Twitter and on Lifehacker’s Facebook page to get other suggestions.
The best lanyard is double-sided
The ultimate solution to this issue is simple, but relies on the conference organisers: make the lanyard double-sided so that your name shows no matter which way the wind blow. As Ben put it:
Print them on both sides! The best conferences do, and have names in large type.
If that hasn’t happened, you have a couple of options. You could photocopy the front to duplicate the name tag, or copy it out by hand for a retro look. Christopher suggested another variant on this theme:
Tear it in half and slot the other side in the back – that way you’re either Angus or Kidman.
That won’t work with every badge design, however (it isn’t an option with the Linux one).
A popular suggestion was to use gaffer tape, a paper clip or a binder clip to attach the lanyard to your shirt. The latter two options are obviously easier if you’re wearing a buttoned shirt. The disadvantage of all three is that you need to have those items with you in the first place.
The same applies to another useful suggestion from Chris on Facebook:
Reuse a Tech Ed lanyard; they have a parted strap so they’re always the right way around.
Leaving aside whether an old Tech Ed lanyard is the right look for an open source conference, keeping a lanyard that you know works makes sense. However, be prepared for the odd argument with door staff who may not recognise your non-standard lanyard straight away.
Donna offers a solution that doesn’t require any extra gear:
Tie a knot to shorten lanyard so it swings round less.
Similarly, Chris suggested wrapping it around your wrist, though that makes it harder to read for everyone else.
Weight it with coins
This only occurred to me yesterday afternoon: if I put a couple of larger coins (a fifty and a twenty) in the back of the plastic pocket, that would weight it sufficiently to stop it constantly flapping. So far, that’s been working pretty well.
Got any other techniques to suggest? Share them in the comments.