How Can You Stop Your Lanyard Flipping Over?

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).

Stationery solutions

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.

Tie it

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.


Comments

    two micro bulldog clips either side? :)

    stand perfectly still...

    Two words: Staple. Gun.

    Ok...this is the straw that broke the camel's back. I used to find Lifehacker both informative and good at summarizing a unique range of information. Now Lifehacker US outputs too many stories about anything and everything in an apparent "more is better" strategy. This leaves Lifehacker Australia to tackle the dregs such as the important issues of lanyards.
    Google reader -> unsubscribe.

      Agree. Why do we need to ask for community suggestions for such ludicrous issues, I guess these days it's easier to engage twitter then your brain.

      I've always wondered what peoples houses would look like if they used some of the mass of pointless tips that get posted on lifehacker at times... probably a mass of bulldog clips, post-it notes and bits of string.

      Can we get back to useful tips that actually help us increase productivity and workflow. Here's one to start you off, if you spend a lot of time looking at a computer screen this may help keep your eyes a bit happier at the end of a long day. http://ethanschoonover.com/solarized

      Adios muchacho!

      Lanyards could easily be prevented from flipping if the neck strap was attacked to the plastic card holder at two separate locations, such as either of the plastic card or even just 3 cm or so apart (instead of being attached at a single point in the middle).

      The downside two having two attachment points is that it requires two metal clips per lanyard, which increases cost.

    If you are wearing a button up shirt just paperclip it to a button.

      Just realised you already mentioned that one. My mistake.

    #firstworldproblems

      Was just going to say that... sans the hashtag

      Isn't everything on Lifehacker a first world problem?!

    Put a magnet on it so it sticks to your belly button ring ;)

    What does 'Super Grover is no validly minuscule package' (in the pic) mean?

    Use a small piece of chewing gum to stick it to a shirt button?

      Or blu-tack... but chewing gum is more readily available near conferences and tastes better

    I'm so sick of poorly engineered everyday things. The pouch has holes either side and the lanyard should have been attached with one strap to each side rather than a stupid swivel clip in the middle. Job done. You should have a new category of "Who Engineered this Crap" so maybe the dumbass designers and engineers of this world start to pay attention and actually try what they've designed. Is it too much to ask for to have toast come out consistent in colour but I'm stuffed if I can find even something so mundane at any price that can do it.

    Get a large permanent marker from the rego desk and .... write your name on the flip side, above the emergency contact info. Using this method lets you hack your own silly description.

    Gee... Whatever happened to the old handshake and saying "nice to meet you Ted, my name is John"

    Use a magnet. Magnets make everything better!

    Magnet in your pocket (or inside a t-shirt) and a washer or other metal thing in the cardholder.

    Don't have a magnet? SHAME ON YOU!

    Buy a no-twist "hook" lanyard. That way when your no-twist lanyard twists, it wouldn't have actually twisted, because it's a no-twist lanyard (designed not to twist).

Join the discussion!