The Importance of Name Tags

nametag_jeffloweflickrDo you cringe at the idea of donning a name tag? Whether white and sticky or plastic and magnetic, there is just something so mortifyingly geekish about wearing a name tag. Or maybe it’s ego: everyone knows my name. Or the opposite: no one needs to no my name.

But the humble nametag is so very, very important.

This weekend I attended a writers conference. Talk about the ultimate in geekiness… conference name tags are the worst. (And is it just me or does wearing your name around your neck make you look down at it, as if to recall your own name, whenever someone asks you?)

Anyway, I’m at this conference dutifully wearing my name tag when I spot another full-on soulmateĀ geek with a different sort of name tag. Hers is from her graduate program. I might not have thought anything of it if not for the fact that my good friend who happened to be across the room at the time talking to the crazy cat ladies other writers had graduated from that very same program not long ago.

Suddenly we all became fast friends. My friend and the just-a-moment-ago stranger had instructors and mentors in common, and we all had a great time combining our little tribes. This new friend even invited my pal and I to lunch with the literary agent she was hosting. And that is a very big deal at a writer’s conference. The result of a silly little name tag was new friendship and professional connections.

Which is why today, I bit the bullet and donned a nametag on my way into a lunch meeting where I knew nobody knew my name. Even though they probably should – by now.

What are you missing out on when you don’t identify yourself?

Image Credit: Jeff Lowe, Flickr