We Don’t Need No Stinking Name Badges!

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We Don’t Need No Stinking Name Badges!

I will explain why we don’t need no stinking name badges does not serve your BNI Chapter well!

I had this conversation recently with a BNI member in Australia and I have had this very same conversation with members in Indiana too.

1st Member:  I don’t understand the big deal over these BNI name badges. Why do I have to wear a name badge when everyone in the room knows who I am?

BNI badges on a table.

One of the first things that a Director looks for in a chapter is the number of members wearing their name badge. What we know is this, when the members stop wearing their BNI name badges it is a clear signal that the chapter has moved from running a quality business meeting with strong business professionals to being a casual social club full of friends.

A BNI group networking with their name badges on.

The BNI chapter has few visitors and they are not really concerned about the visitors or strangers in the room. Last week I walked into a chapter that I have never attended, located in a part of Australia that I have never been to. I signed in as a networking guest and walked around introducing myself. Few people bothered to greet me and repeatedly I had to ask if they were members or visitors because they did not have BNI Badges.

A woman standing in the front of the room with her name badge on.

Wearing your name badge shows that you are a professional business group, it is a privilege to be a member and only members have the badge. The message to the visitor when the entire group is wearing their name badge is “we take our businesses meeting seriously.”

A woman talking to BNI Members in the front of the room.

Businesses do not join BNI to be a member of a club, they join BNI to grow their businesses and build their business network.

2nd Member:  I have a company name badge and don’t know why I can’t just wear that instead of the BNI badges?

Question marks on a table.

I find this one a bit humorous. If your company has spent money and time to develop name badges for every person in the company, what message would you send to your employer and fellow employees but choose to wear a completely different name badge? In fact what is the point of even having a business name badge? How would your employer feel if you chose to wear a different name badge because you liked it better?

A woman with her BNI name badge on in front of a podium.

This is a person who has given no thought to who is in the meeting room. If a visitor or guest comes into the room and your name badge is not BNI branded then the visitor is left with the impression that you are not a member of the group. If most of the members are all wearing a different name badge then the visitor gets the vision of a disorganized group of people. Your name badge builds your visibility and credibility to the visitor.

The word trust written in sand.

Your name badge says that you belong with the group and you have been vetted as a valued and trusted member of the BNI chapter.

Further, the name badge gives visual continuity to the group membership. A visitor can see the organization and professionalism of the chapter. Founder Ivan Misner always says that “the devil is in the details” and the badge is a small but significant detail for the chapter leadership teams to pay attention to.

A group of people sitting at a round table in a business meeting.

The next time you walk into your BNI meeting, wear your BNI badge with pride and confidence. You now know that it symbolizes professionalism, unity and trust—and who wouldn’t want that?

For more information about BNI name badges check out this Walker This Way Video!

  1. Amazing.. Be Proud of your professional Dress… Name Badge, Pin, formals, good turnout… Shows your dedication to… wherever you belong..

  2. I have no grip with waring a name badge, I just think the badges don’t look professional. They are cheep plastic frames with the interns that can vary greatly. I ware it, but feel it could be done much better.

    The directors don’t ware these badges, they have much better looking badges.

  3. Magic … it was one of our key goals as a chapter when our LET started in April 2017… most have complied …there are a couple outliers that I hope see this blog post and get with the program.

  4. A third reason: At 7:00 am, not everyone is at their sharpest, and could have a hard time recalling a fellow member’s name when introducing a visitor, if that member is not wearing a name badge. It looks bad. The member may move on to introduce member who has a name badge.

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