The French military used lanyards for practical purposes during the 1950s, but the Boy Scouts made them famous years earlier.

It was the late 1920s and Boy Scouts at summer camp used strands of colored plastic and leather to create bracelets, neckerchief slides, and lanyards. Knotting lanyards soon got a new name—boondoggling.

Today, you can give a lanyard a practical use, or find something fun to do with it. Check out 6 ways anyone can put a lanyard to use.

1. Make a Name for Yourself at Conventions

Go to any trade show or convention in the world and you’ll find thousands of people wandering from booth to booth. They carry sturdy plastic bags filled with literature and the latest promotional gizmos.

They also wear lanyards.

If the trade show organizer did their job well, each attendee wears a lanyard with a name tag. People not wearing one don’t belong. Or, maybe they forgot their back at the hotel.

Lanyards at trade shows and conventions serve two purposes.

One is security. Any large event should have a security team scanning the crowd and keeping an eye out for people who haven’t paid to get in.

The second purpose is networking. Wearing a lanyard with your name and your company name mean people who have an interest in you and your services can more easily identify you.

2. Who Stole My Favorite Pen?

If you have a favorite pen that you can’t work without, you’re not alone. If your pen goes missing at least once a day, you’re not alone.

Pens and other items you need to get through the workday have a habit of growing legs. Reduce the time you spend hunting down pens, keys, and other tools of your trade.

If you’re not using lanyards at work, you’re likely spending precious minutes searching when you should be signing. You’re holding up the team meeting because your keys aren’t around your wrist or neck.

Curious about what else you’re missing out on? Company pride! The best product you can wear to promote your business or let people know you love your job is a company-branded lanyard.

3. When You Work at a Hospital

Working in a hospital guarantees at least two things. You’ll wear an ID card and you’ll carry keys.

Whether you’re a doctor, pharmacy tech, or work in housekeeping, people want to identify you. In some hospitals and medical facilities, you can’t get in without scanning your badge.

Can you imagine wearing a lanyard around your neck while stitching up a wound? What about unlocking doors or filing cabinets? You need the retractable lanyard!

Retractable lanyards use badge reels. The reels use a system of vinyl snaps so that employees can attach their ID badge. Next time you watch your favorite medical drama, see if the hospital staff aren’t all wearing them.

Don’t forget the patients! While most hospitals don’t use ID badges for patients, why not put a branded lanyard in each patient’s welcome bag at check-in?

4. Kids Are Forgetful Little People

Lanyards aren’t only for people who go to work. Little people who go to school can benefit from them too.

How many forgetful children do you suppose are out there losing permission slips, lunch money, and house keys?

Suggest to your child’s school that they provide lanyards to students. Kids from kindergarten through college forget things. A lanyard with a vinyl pouch is a creative and fun way to help students keep belongings organized.

On field trip days, lanyards help teachers and parent chaperones organize and keep track of students. They also help school staff learn student’s names quickly.

Hand out lanyards with your school name and mascot during the first week of school. Include the pouch for an ID and other small items. Kids and parents will thank you!

Many school districts already provide lanyards as a way of identifying staff. With recent security issues in schools, districts are coming up with ways of using them as part of their student security programs.

Whether your school promotes them as a fun option for students or a serious security tool, lanyards can do the job of both.

5. Going to the Chapel

Now here’s a fun and novel idea. How many weddings have you attended where the ushers handed out IDs at the door to the reception?

Make yours the first nuptials people attend where they receive a useful wedding memento. No more refrigerator magnet photos of the happy couple, and no more monogrammed anything.

Print each guest’s name, put it in a badge holder, and hang it on a custom printed lanyard.

This is a multi-purpose wedding souvenir. Your wedding security team can use it to identify freeloaders at your open bar. Guests can start a conversation without that awkward pause waiting for introductions. Boom!

6. The Chargeable Lanyard

If you’re looking for the perfect event gift, take the lanyard to a new level. Offer tech candy at its best and give attendees a lanyard with a duo charging cable.

Chargeable lanyards are great for any function or event where attendees may need a phone battery recharge. Make sure you order the duo cable so both iPhone and Android users can enjoy the gift.

Most also come with a swivel lobster clip so guests can easily add keys or their badge. Brand the connector piece with your company logo and contact information and you have an excellent promo item.

Interested in More Articles Like This?

Who knew there were so many different uses for something most people don’t give much thought to until they can’t find their keys or ID badge more often than not?

Lanyards have an interesting history, but perhaps more thought-provoking is the fact that we’ve only covered 6 ways you can use a lanyard. Sure, the majority of uses deal with identifying who should be somewhere and who shouldn’t but believe us when we tell you, there are more than six different ways to use a lanyard.

If you’ve enjoyed reading this post, then we’ve enjoyed having you here. Go back through our archives and you’ll find many more articles on a wide range of topics, including business, lifestyle, and real estate.