A lanyard doesn’t seem like a top candidate for creative new uses in the events industry. After all, the accessory performs a basic function: supporting a name badge. However, at Convening Leaders 2018 in Nashville, attendees will be able to unlock a new power — literally — of the traditional conference necklace. Working with pc/nametag, PCMA’s sponsorship team is giving a lanyard that doubles as a mobile phone–charging cord to each of the registered meeting professionals and suppliers at its flagship event. Vendors will receive standard lanyards. Adib Hashem, director or partner relations at PCMA, said that the move comes from a surprising source.
“This idea came to us from Lady Gaga,” Hashem said. “She gave these phone-charging–lanyards to the VIP ticket-holders on her recent tour, and it was a huge hit. We wanted to test out the same technology with our attendees because we know that they might want to use the same tool for their own audiences.”
Hashem said that the technology is still in early stages. “It’s not quite where it needs to be yet,” Hashem said. “The cords aren’t designed to be your day-to-day charger. It’s a lanyard first and an emergency charging accessory second. But it’s a really cool concept, and we wanted to see how it works. We’ve all been in the situation where we forgot a charger back in the hotel room, and this is a convenient way to help attendees if they find themselves looking at the dreaded low battery alert.”
Kindra Evans, sales manager at pc/nametag, said the company regularly modifies its products to fit the extra needs of attendees. “Clients have turned the attachment on a lanyard into a bottle opener,” Evans said. “There can be a lot of fun extra benefits to what is an essential piece of identification during the event experience.”
Evans acknowledged that high-tech enhancements do inflate the price tag. However, she highlighted that the more innovative the idea, the more likely a company may want to attach its name as a sponsor. “I always remind event organizers that they don’t have to do this alone,” Evans said. “They can look for a sponsor to help put that great product forward. And regardless of price, one of the main priorities is creating an experience. This kind of extra feature only enhances that experience.”
In addition, as Hashem pointed out, this kind of sponsorship opportunity has a longer lifespan than a three- or four-day on-site experience. “You don’t normally think of attendees keeping their lanyards,” Hashem said. “But this is a product that will live on after the event. It fits iPhones and Android devices, and attendees can keep it as their backup charger.”
Want your own lanyard? You can register here for Convening Leaders 2018, and you’ll pick up your name badge/mobile charger in January. The lanyards won’t be the only forward-thinking component of the event, either. A new area called The Future of Face2Face will offer a preview of what might be next for events and conferences. Learn more here.