The roundup of convention ideas is here.
When I was at a Project Management Institute meeting some time ago, the people doing the badges added a neat extra; colored tags indicating job status. There was one sticker indicating your company was hiring, one indicating you were seeking work. The "seeking work" stickers outnumbered the "hiring" ones, sadly, but it was a great idea.
Of course, at conventions, people are always putting things on their badges – stickers, ribbons, tags, etc. They personalize them to show off their interests, affiliations, or just for the sake of fun. I see a lot of it in the Bay Area.
You probably see where I'm going with this.
If your convention has a heavy interest in profan activities, you want to encourage people to talk with those of similar interests. You want to encourage people to work together in order to share ideas, skills, job references, etc. Its easier to do these things if people can look at a person's badge and get an idea of their interests.
In short, why not modify badges or provide add-ons or stickers to help people identify their fannish career interests?
- Having stickers or ribbons available at the registration table so people can call out their pro-fan affiliations or related interests. Stickers for "writer" or "hopeful artist", etc. can let people show off their interests and encourage communication.
- For that matter, consider different badge options if your convention prints them out during registration. Allow people ahead of time to note if they want a regular badge, a badge expressing interest ("hopeful artist") or professions ("writer", "programmer"). Badges could have different art, different colors, etc.
- Have people doing presentations hand out stickers, ribbons, or tags to attendees to note they attended the panel. This gives them some additional publicity but also lets people show off their interests.
Any one of these – or similar activities – let's people get further into the profan activities you do. People can see who shares similar interests right away, and your convention encourages new connections and strong bonds between attendees.
I wouldn't go as far as the "looking for work/hiring" stickers that helped inspire me. That may be overdoing it unless your convention is SERIOUSLY career-oriented. But making it easier for people to find those of similar interests or who can help them out can go a long way to helping the profan part of your attendees.
– Steven Savage