Creating personalized WordCamp badges for attendees has traditionally been a time-consuming task for event organizers. Last year the community held 89 WordCamps with 21,000 attendees, and each person received a name badge customized for the event they participated in. That’s a massive number of badges to prepare for printing.
In the past, WordCamp organizers used an InDesign template for making the badges, but this required a tedious process of creating a CSV file of attendees, running a custom script, and completing a list of complicated steps. George Stephanis, who had experience using the InDesign template, wanted to simplify this process for organizers and help them move away from having to use a proprietary, commercial software product.
He built a proof-of-concept plugin that allows organizers to create badges with HTML and CSS inside the WordPress admin. After several iterations and contributions from the community team, Ian Dunn announced that the tool is now ready for use.
WordCamp organizers can access the tool under Tickets > Tools > Generate Badges or by navigating through the Customizer to the CampTix HTML Badges panel. The default badge design is shown below with the back of the badge (upside-down) and the front beneath it with a marker for poking the lanyard holes. User names and gravatars are automatically displayed.
Stephanis included the CodeMirror bundled with Jetpack’s Custom CSS module to make it easier for organizers to customize the badge design to suit the theme of the WordCamp. The plugin also makes it fairly easy to customize any aspect of the badge using CSS.
“The underlying markup has plenty of CSS classes to help with customization,” Dunn said. “For example, you could make volunteer badges have a different background color (so that volunteers are easier to find), or make attendees’ last names appear in a smaller font than their first names. There are also plenty of empty < div > elements that you can re-purpose for arbitrary design features.”
Once the design is finished, organizers can export as a PDF and take it to a print shop. Documentation for customizing the badges is available in the WordCamp Organizer handbook.
Organizers are still welcome to use the InDesign tool to create badges, but the new plugin for the customizer is a much easier entry point for those who aren’t familiar with InDesign. If you can help improve the tool, the code is open source on the Meta repository and available for anyone to patch.