Event Badges: 100+ Ideas for 2020

Skift Take

Brian Ludwig

Event badges are the most powerful weapon to connect attendees. Here are 100 conference name badge ideas to connect your attendees better at your event.

In the grand scheme of event planning, the event badge can seem like a trivial and unglamorous detail. But, as they say, the devil is in the details and this seemingly small element is more than just a neck ornament.

Event badges are an essential part of the attendee experience. They are your ticket to the inside. A map. A program. A badge of honor. A behavior analyst. A keepsake. An icebreaker. A brand ambassador. The saving grace when you can’t remember if that familiar face approaching you is Barb, Brenda, or was it Betsy?

If done correctly, this powerful tool can go a long way for any event.

Here are more than 100 event name badge ideas to help you maximize their potential to do more and best use them to your every advantage.

Top 10 Event Badge Ideas

Top 10 Event Badge Ideas

These are our top 10 favorite event badge ideas and event badge designs that stood out when researching this post:

1. 100% Vegan

2. The Digital Caricature Name Badge Experience

3. Recycled Artisan Lanyards

4. Reclaimed Wood

5. All-Cloth Loop

6. Emoji

7. Acrylic Floating Name Badges

8. The Laser Lit Badge

9. 3D Badges

10. Paperless Tech Badge

11. Henna Name Art Experience

Portrait of author

“Onsite badging is more than just eliminating tables of badges and the long lines – it also allows planners to modernize the event check-in experience in a sleek, modern and powerful way, creating a great first impression for attendees.”

Senior Vice President of Sales at Cvent


Essentials of Event Badge Design

Essentials of Event Badge Design


The look and feel of an event badge reflects the event itself. So how do you make sure you are putting your best foot forward? Not to worry. This event staple can be broken down to five universals.

Attract Attention

Command attention with a clever design. A cool, attractive, and unique badge gets looks and makes an impact on the attendee experience. Stepping up your event badge game can take your badge from trash to treasure. Make it a memorable memento that will live on long after your event has concluded.

Keep it Simple

Don’t mistake needing a clever design with unnecessary clutter. An event badge has limited space. Your design should be attractive, but most importantly should highlight the essential information in an easy-to-follow format. Avoid too many colors, pictures and words when designing your badge. As a general rule of thumb, less is more.

Support the Purpose

Aim to only showcase information that serves and supports the event purpose. It is not always a one-size-fits-all design situation. A multi-day corporate conference is going to value different information than a VIP bracelet for a concert goer. A conference event badge will want to emphasize the attendees first name, making it bold, large and easily legible from a distance. The concert badge, on the other hand, will add greater emphasis to the VIP status. Bottom line: clearly state your message and keep the design clear and concise with the purpose at the forefront.

Add Value

Careful consideration of the design elements can take your event badge to the next level and turn it into full-fledged marketing collateral. Your badge will be seen multiple times and is, therefore, a critical opportunity to showcase the company or event brand. Sponsors are especially keen to be seen on an event badge. A well-designed badge is even more appealing, as those are generally tokens attendees want to hold onto long after the event has ended.

Make it Personal

Look for ways to personalize the name tag beyond the obvious – their name. This could be a personal fun fact, A VIP acknowledgment, a headshot, or their social handles. This not only champions conference networking, but this comfort level will result in flaunting and possibly preserving this authentic symbol of how they identify themselves.

How to Save Money on Event Name Badges

How to Save Money on Event Name Badges

Event name tag ideas don’t have to be fancy or expensive to get the job done. They can still convey quality on a budget. Consider these options when designing your event badges.

Badge Generators

Some registration solutions include a badge-generator or event badges template as a free feature. This fast and easy self-serve approach does away with the need for custom graphic design fees. Yet, the badges can still be customized so you stay on-brand. They also can be printed easily on-site for last minute arrivals. Learning how to make event badges is an essential for event planners!

DIY Design

Another cost-saving name tag solution is do-it-yourself design. There are free and low-cost online badge makers available like Canva or Adobe Spark. These tools can help you create beautiful custom event badges within minutes with little to no design knowledge necessary.

Simple Materials

There are some event badge options that require several individual pieces to make it whole. Each one vying for a piece of your event budget pie. Choose instead a badge design that does not require the extra bells and whistles, but still serves your purpose. For instance, use holder-less badges. Ditch the plastic holder and consider printing on a heavier paper. Ditch the lanyard and choose event badges that adhere using a pin, clip, magnet or sticker. Any of these choices can still make an impact while keeping an eye on your bottom line.

Buy in Bulk

Look for opportunities to order in larger quantities. By ordering more supplies at one time you will save more money per event badge in the long-run. Try to plan ahead and order stock for the year ahead if you can.

Seek a Sponsor

You may be able to seek a sponsor to help offset some or all of your event badge cost. In exchange, you may have to give up a little space on the badge for their logo. A small price to pay though when you consider the savings power.

Use Reusable Goods

Look to choose materials that can be reused. Items like plastic sleeves and lanyards can be collected after an event and used again. Create collection areas so guests can easily dispose of them as they exit. Another idea is to create a reusable generic design on a badge. The personalized data can be adhered with a sticker. If there are badges leftover, you can save on design and printing costs and reuse the same shell for the next event.

Let’s put these tips to work with these specific event badge ideas that are bound to get the creative juices flowing.




Wood & Bamboo

Wood is infamous for being a resilient and natural material. Yet, despite its known strength, it can be easily transformed into an array of shapes and colors. Wood will bring instant texture, warmth, and pizazz to any event badge.

And nothing matches reclaimed woods for uniqueness and character. Name badges repurposed from cast-off lumber gives new life to both the material and to your event.

Bamboo is another eco-friendly choice when considering name badge design. Perfect for the green event organizer looking to give a professional badge that is environmentally responsible.

Plantable Paper

Paper is no stranger to the event badge. Imagine it also doubling as a sustainable gift experience. This biodegradable custom name badge design is made from handmade plantable paper. Your message is printed directly on 100%-recycled paper infused with wildflower seeds. Wear it one day, the next day plant, water, and enjoy! The perfect feel-good option to complement your next green eco-event.

Recycled Eco-friendly Lanyards

Top of mind for many event organizers and attendees alike is the environmental impact. Conference lanyards are one way to achieving green meeting goals. Event lanyards are available in a variety of recycled materials, including this eco-friendly choice made from recycled bamboo.

Artisanal Lanyards

Bring some authenticity to your events with handmade lanyards made by skilled workers. Let them tell a story and add depth to your event. Often these handcrafted works of art are made from recycled material like these colorful handmade lanyards created out of recycled fishing line:

Environmentally Friendly Ink 

Design a full-color collage on a VIP lanyard to add some artistic flair, and make it green by using recycled PET and water-based ink printing.

100% Vegan

Why not go all the way towards sustainability? Here is an example with a bamboo badge, hemp lanyard and walnut ink.


Plastic Name Badges / Plastic Name Tags for Events

Plastic Name Badges / Plastic Name Tags for Events

The plastic name badge is an event planner staple. They are versatile and the customization opportunities are endless. They look professional, have a crisp and clear appearance, and are much more durable compared to their paper badge counterpart. Check out some of our favorite ways to customize your next event badge using this multi-talented material.

Magnetically Attached

This is a clever badge-lanyard combo. The badge can be easily removed and reattached to the magnetic cord with one hand, which can come very handy when your guests need to scan something.

Unique Design

Incorporate a one-of-a-kind design to your badge holder. This one is laser cut and double-sided etched acrylic with wrap around name label and RFID chip.


To get the authentic backstage pass look, the sleeveless badge style is the answer. This option is sleek and boasts a no assembly required approach.

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#wwdc #wwdc18 #apple #developerconference #sanjose #conferencebadge #letsdothis #iostum #tum #dora

A post shared by Dora De (@doszika) on Jun 3, 2018 at 6:59pm PDT

Full-color Digital Vinyl Custom Plastic Badges

This synthetic man-made plastic can add any custom design with full-color digital print to create custom plastic badges and plastic badge printing. This durable material will last through extended events or can be reused at future events.

A Featured Agenda

This inspired example elevates this versatile material by printing the agenda right on the back. Your attendees will thank you!

Credit: Five Star Events

Laser Engraved

A creative twist on the plastic event badge is adding laser engraving to acrylic. When engraved this durable plastic creates a frosted etching which illuminates from certain angles. Any shape, color, and size are possible.

Also, a custom laser engraved VIP pass is classy, stylish, and unique. Make it a VIP victory by personalizing it with an attendee photo.

Mixed Materials

Your everyday plastic badge can also get a facelift by incorporating additional materials like wood, bamboo, or metal. The added texture brings a sophisticated style to the badge and takes it from ordinary to extraordinary.

Funky Die Cut

The plastic event badge easily lends itself to infinite shape prospects. Really add some wow factor with an expected shape. The sky’s the limit.

Play With Lego

Inject some fun in your event with these name tags made out of Lego bricks. Let your guests’ inner child come out!

Hard Plastic Case

This heavy-duty plastic style couples as a plastic name tag for your event and a functional souvenir.


The Best Conference Badges

The Best Conference Badges

Here are a few general rules of conference badge design etiquette to achieve the best conference badge:


Boast a Large, Bold, First Name

In events such as conferences or trade shows where networking is the primary goal, the first name is one of the most important elements of the badge. It should, therefore, be large, bold, in a legible font and a color that can be read from a distance.

Strive for Clean Lines, Small Color Palette & Minimal Design

Keeping it crisp and clean, puts the attention where it should be.

Also, using too many colors in an event badge not only makes the badge more difficult to read but takes away from the key messaging. Try not to use more than three colors.


When using the lanyard format, design a double-sided badge with at least the first name on each side or choose a no-twist lanyard.

To really step it up, look for ways to let your badge do double duty. Add to the attendee experience with these engaging and creative conference badge examples:

Quench Their Thirst

Who hasn’t been thirsty at an event? With this water bottle doubling as badge holder, you are definitely showing you know how to take care of your guests while you remove the need for single-use water bottles.

Digital Caricature Experience

The big buzzword in the event industry right now is experiences. Conference name tags are not exempt from adding to the attendee experience. This option is a gem. As attendees register digital artists quickly sketch up a cartoon drawing of each participant. The drawing is then immediately printed on paper and inserted into a badge holder to be worn throughout the event. It is an instant conversation starter and a fun keepsake.

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One from today’s event in South Carolina #synnex#digitalcaricature

A post shared by Carlos Ampudia (@caloart) on Oct 5, 2017 at 7:44pm PDT

Waterproof Bag

With this waterproof bag, you will ensure your attendees’ phones will stay safe from any liquid spill. It can also double as a swag item that they can take with them on their next vacation to the beach.

Conference Voucher Badge Combo

This is multitasking mastery. Incorporating vouchers within the event badge design keeps those handy drink and meal tickets in easy reach.

Info Program Badge

Make it easy for attendees by creating miniature multi-fold programs to be tucked into their badge sleeves. Prime contenders would be the agenda, an event map, sponsor partnerships, WiFi codes, and a conference hashtag.

Personalized Name Tag Flair

Try stick and stack badge ribbons to allow attendees to let their personalities shine. They can be custom printed with any message under the sun or already prepared in an assortment of fun, humorous packs.

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#Auckland #conferencebadge #newzealand #volunteeringnewzealand

A post shared by Rob Jackson Consulting (@robjconsulting) on Dec 22, 2017 at 2:13am PST

The Handy Pocket

If you want a badge holder that can multitask, the trusted pocket will display the badge in front, and help your attendees stash away business cards in the back pocket. It also features two pen holders.

Top Conference Lanyards

Top Conference Lanyards

Surprise, surprise, the lanyard can get pretty fancy too. Check out these creative and sensible top conference lanyard options:

Retractable Badge Reel

A lanyard with a retractable badge reel has two main advantages, the obvious one is that your attendees won’t have to awkwardly bend over or contort to scan their badges, the second one is that you get one more spot to feature a sponsor’s logo!

Add a Poken

Enhance event measurement and visitor engagement capabilities with this small device called a Poken. It’s a USB stick that glows when it comes in contact with someone else’s. It can collect content and contact information from attendees, exhibitors, etc. and can be easily customized to a specific brand or event.

Charging Cable Conference Lanyards

Nothing drains a cell battery more than social sharing. If you want the sharing to endure add in this tech-savvy lanyard option to keep the cell phones at 100%.

Credit: Wing Hang (3Y) Industries Ltd

You can also make it a VIP experience as entertainer Lady Gaga did when she awarded her concert VIPs a high-tech charging lanyard with their VIP pass.


A lanyard is prime real estate to give some love to your sponsors, and the possibilities are numerous. They can showcase their name or their brands, use their logos if they are well-known, and customize the colors of the lanyard to complement their corporate color palette.

National Flair

If you host an international convention or conference, why not offer customized lanyards to your attendees, with their country of origin’s flags? That will surely provide some icebreaker ideas.

Double Clip

What is more annoying than a badge that constantly flips to the wrong side? Save your attendees from it with this double clip lanyard.


A conference lanyard can also be designed to go right along with any theme of the event as shown in this example where they turn the lanyard into a ruler.

Piece of Jewelry

Lanyards also moonlight as stylish pieces of jewelry. The addition of bright colors, unique designs, and fun textures bring personality to your conference.

Apply that to your VIP credential, and make it not just a bracelet, but a beaded piece of jewelry.


This is a very popular lanyard style and is often a conference requirement for safety. The lanyard includes a snap on the back that easily releases to prevent a choking hazard.

The Phone Holder

This lanyard complete with a phone holder/protector will help free your attendees’ hands while keeping their phone accessible.

Unique Conference Name Badges

Unique Conference Name Badges

This next group of conference name badges goes beyond the expected. Check out how to use uncommon materials and techniques to create noteworthy and unique event badges, and reduce the amount of plastic we use. Here are the top event badge materials to consider that don’t use plastics.


A lot of people don’t write with pen and paper anymore, they mostly use their phones to take notes. To differentiate your event, why not use small notepads as name badges? They can be used during the day or find their way back home with your attendees.

Floppy Disk

Some of your younger attendees might not be too sure what those are, but chances are a lot of your guests will feel a pang of nostalgia.


For a touch of color and artistic flair, these name tags will surely impress your guests.

Fabric Tag

Use transfer paper to get a crisp, readable name on fabric and you have a one-of-a-kind name tag!

Fringe Name Tag

If you want to add color and a bit of whimsy, why not try these fringe tags by attaching a pin on the back?


The use of metal adds a sharp and polished look to an event badge design. This surprising selection is bound to be one shiny show-stopper.

Scrabble Letters

This is a fun and out-of-the-ordinary way to display names, just get smaller letters than the regular Scrabble ones, or it will get too cumbersome.


This name badge is playing on the increasing use of emojis in daily communication, so let’s make it part of your event, especially if it attracts younger crowds.

Stamped Metal

Although these are from gifts tags, you can definitely adapt them to create unusual name tags for your event.

VIP Badges for Events

VIP Badges for Events

The VIP badge plays a leading role in the experience of your most valued guests. The credential alone gives a sense of privilege to the wearer. Here are high-ranking VIP name badge samples that we deem worthy.

Wristband & Badge Combo

When you are a VIP, you want everybody to know it. Consider creating multiple VIP credentials the attendee can show-off at once.

Vintage Name Tag

Vintage items have been making a come back for the past few years, and this simple yet elegant name tag should convince your VIPs that they are going to be well looked after.


For events with high security requirements, to make sure the right people are allowed in certain areas, or just because they are fun to look at, why not insert holograms into your badges?

Simple Yet Flashy

This design, though simple, stills manages to convey the impression that the wearer is special and important.

Don’t Be Such a Square

Experiment with shapes beyond the traditional to achieve an eye-catching VIP badge. Maybe try an Oval.

The Golden Ticket

What conveys “important” better than gold? This all-gold badge will definitely show your VIPs they are precious to you. You could even play on the idea by using a golden ticket design to add a sense of luxury, exclusivity, and luck.

Bling Case

If you want to go over the top, this bling rhinestone badge holder will certainly do the trick.

Veteran VIP charms

A loyal attendee is the best attendee. Incorporate a creative way to thank this VIP conference veteran and give them the acknowledgment they deserve. In this rockstar example, miniature pins were affixed to the VIP badge for each year of attendance.

Make it the Invitation

A VIP badge can also double as the invitation to the event.

Cool VIP Lanyards

Cool VIP Lanyards

VIP attendees deserve over the top details. This includes the little old lanyard. It too holds significant power and can add to the elite VIP status. Check out these cool VIP lanyard examples to make any VIP feel privileged:


This unusual zipped lanyard will have the added benefit of giving your VIPs something to fiddle with, while they wait for the next session or show to begin.


These lanyards made out of silk will certainly give a pop of color and a sense of luxury.

LED Neon Light-up

This LED lit lanyard will ensure VIP’s are recognizable in the day and the night. And, in case the light isn’t enough, let’s make it flash. Great for an evening event, festival, or concert.

Lei Lanyards

In the spirit of Hawaiian greeters handing out leis to give visitors their first taste of the islands, why not hand out these lanyards to your VIPs to make them feel extra special and welcome, while bringing color and fun to your conference?


These tasteful lanyards, combining the appeal of vintage and jewellery, will certainly set your VIPs apart. They might make them feel nostalgic, and remind some of them of the brooch their grandmother used to wear to go to church on Sundays.


In the same vein as the bling case, the bling lanyard will certainly draw attention to the wearer and position him as a VIP. If you feel adventurous, you can even couple the case and the lanyard, although that might be a bit much…


This chainmail lanyard is made out of anodized aluminum jump rings. The color combinations are endless and can be customized to reflect your event palette.

Add a Textured Font for a 3D Effect

A multi-dimensional font added to a VIP lanyard is a creative element fit for any VIP.


Glitz and glam is all part of the VIP package. Makes sense for it to be part of the VIP lanyard.


This reflective lanyard design is an element that can be both functional and snazzy.

White Impression

This super elegant lanyard would not look out of place at a haute couture show.

Bottle Opener

Throwing a bring your own beverages (BYOB) event? What better addition for your VIP guests than having their lanyard do double duty as a bottle opener.


Custom Event Badges

Custom Event Badges

Event badges made to order. Custom conference badges designed for your event just the way you want it. But how do you want it? Check out this next set of ways to customize your event badges with deeply personalized examples. Search for custom event badges no minimum if you only have a small number of badges required.


Incorporate the theme into your event badge design for a cohesive event experience. This space-themed custom designed event badge is ready for take-off.

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Ready for take off… #eventplanner #eventprofs #namebadge #namebadgeholder #conference #eventstaff #producers #canaveral

A post shared by Production Bureau (@production_bureau) on Jan 11, 2017 at 12:18am PST

Add a Picture

Add more character to a name tag by featuring a picture of the attendee. This can also be an added security feature for your custom conference badges.

The Modern “Hello My Name is…”

There is something downright charming about using this throwback classic approach. The old faithful self-adhesive style is simple and budget-friendly. In addition, if an attendee or guest inadvertently wears their badge home, no problem! If a surprise guest appears, no problem! A quick search on Pinterest or Etsy and you will be amazed at the modern facelift this event staple has received.

Cartoon Avatar

Incorporating an expressive cartoon avatar to an event badge is a creative, fun, and personalized addition. This could be in the form of a bitmoji, their own personal emoji or, in the example below, a hand-drawn cartoon portrait.

Write-on, Wipe-off

Take a laminated plastic name tag and make it reusable. This material can be written on and subsequently wiped off with the help of a little elbow grease and cleaner. This reusable option makes it both budget-friendly and eco-friendly.

Or use a chalkboard as a classic and uniquely reusable event badge element. They make a lively addition to any event.


A helpful tip when customizing name tags is to design color-coded badges so different attendee types can be easily identified.

Floating Name Badges

Sometimes the name is all you need for an event badge to serve its purpose. This custom design is a show-stopper.


Creative Conference Name Badges

Creative Conference Name Badges

A little imagination can elevate your conference name badges into a work of art that attendees will want to hold on to. More importantly, they will remain at the edge of their seat for what you are going to surprise them with next year. Here are some classic ways to add artistic flair to produce the most creative name badges.


The right font choice can quickly turn an event badge design into an artistic expression.

Old-fashioned Creative

It doesn’t get more creative than the world of crafting. Handmade quilted name tags could be an excellent complement and keepsake for a creative, artistic or small group event.

Also in the spirit of handmade, a needlepoint name badge is a creative, classic masterpiece.

Pimp My Badge

To start the day with a fun and creative activity, invite your guests to decorate their name badges with colored beads.


For a small event, this project will require cutting the pages of a small book, laminate them and get creative with your calligraphy skills to produce this elegant, one-of-a-kind name badge.

Off-Center Hole

Who says the lanyard holes have to be centered?

3D Badges

Add some dimension to a conference badge with a 3D artistic approach.

Swing Tag

A swing styled construction allows for multiple event badges to be stacked on top of each other. The design can not only be creative, but functional. Each layered page tasked to provide important information about the event.

Laser Lighting

Custom artwork can be laser-etched into this glowing acrylic badge.

Event Badge Technology

Event Badge Technology

Technology has proven to be an invaluable driving force when it comes to elevating the event badge objectives. Here are some of the event technology trends for name badges and event tag examples that went for high-tech gold.

Wearable Smart Badges

Smart badges turn attendee name tags into powerful engagement tools. This wearable technology offers high-tech solutions to archaic, manual processes. Sharing of digital data occurs with ease for event networking, lead retrieval, and tracking attendance patterns. Improving the event experience for all involved parties – eventprofs, attendees, vendors, and sponsors alike.

Automated Badge Printing

Oh, you didn’t register? No sweat. These handy wireless automated badge printers spit out multiple badges within seconds.

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Could do this whole day #automated #badgeprinting

A post shared by Carla Nagel (@meanwhile_at_the_association) on Feb 1, 2018 at 1:20pm PST

Self-Service Badge Printing Kiosks

This event tech trend automates on-site registration and gives your guests total control at check-in. Using a portable event badge printer.

Credit: cemmbirol

Paperless Tech

This paperless event badge is a high-tech alternative that interacts, connects, and can be reused.

Scrolling LED

Tech meets fun with the customized scrolling LED name tag.

Circuit Board Badges

Circuit board name badges are a high-tech buzz-worthy badge design. They are often turned into an engaging competitive hacking experience.

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#future of #conferencebadges #conferencebadge #iccss #iccss2016 #ic2s2 #ic2s22016 #rfidbadge

A post shared by PhD student @Dartmouth (@real_sage) on Jun 23, 2016 at 9:44am PDT

Alternatives to Name Badges

Alternatives to Name Badges

Name badges aren’t the only way to aid networking and identification at events. Here are 10 alternatives to name badges.


Substituting a wristband for a name badge is an effective way to visualize a difference in attendee type for conferences, VIP events, and for this wedding example shown:

Credit: Wed fest


The pin had been shunned as an event badge for ruining clothes. Well fret no more – the pin now comes with a magnet but the same familiar classic look and feel. With this fastening it could once again become an alternative to name badges.


Turn your next event badge into a full-on piece of personalized jewelry.

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Finally wearing this beauty 😍 made by @finestimaginary & @onrshop #necklace #nametag #shophandmade

A post shared by beth dowd (@bethdowd) on Jun 14, 2018 at 12:34pm PDT

Custom Temporary Logo or Name Tattoos

Temporary tattoos can be custom designed to create any form of messaging and branding. Creating a fun event badge alternative.

Custom Temporary QR Code Tattoos

Custom QR codes can also be turned into tattoos to enhance a networking event for a fun exchange of contact information.

Henna Name Art Experience

Henna is a dye used to decorate the body. Turn it into a name badge alternative and a memorable onsite event experience all in one.

Credit: Nadine Davidson

Embroidered Personalized Conference “Uniform”

An alternative to the customary name badge could be a personalized uniformed shirt. A nice embroidered jacket or polo shirt with each attendees’ name on the chest or collar. Themed apparel may also be appropriate. For instance, an all-star event could gift sport themed t-shirts or jerseys with last names on the back and first name on a pocket in the front. Or, instead of identifying staff with badges, give them branded shirts.



Albeit small, the event badge is far from insignificant. This multifaceted event staple is a key component to make your event a success. Did you realise there were so many different types of event badges available and how creative you can be?

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