How To Print QR Code Stickers

 

As Registration Chairperson for Stir Trek Conference, this year I was in charge with coming up with a way to print QR code stickers for 2,100+ attendees.  The QR codes would contain name and email address for a registered attendee so that sponsors could have a quicker / easier way to capture contact information for giveaway prizes or sending follow up communications.  Since we care about attendee privacy we also planned for “opt-out” stickers that could cover over the QR code stickers if attendees chose.  In this post I’ll walk through the highlights of how we designed, created, and printed the QR codes stickers.

QRCodeSample.jpg

Designing QR Codes

Before starting this project I was familiar with QR codes, but I never knew the amount of data (or what type) could be encoded in a QR code.  Even more interesting (at least to me) is the science behind how to size the QR code relative to the distance at which the QR code will be scanned.  The following article is from 2011 but gives some insight into scaling the number of characters encoded with the scanning distance.

QR Code minimum size

https://blog.qrstuff.com/2011/11/23/qr-code-minimum-size

QR Code Minimum Size
Modules Characters Scan Distance
150mm (6″) 300mm (12″) 450mm (18″)
25 26 15mm (0.6″) 30mm (1.2″) 46mm (1.8″)
30 49 18mm (0.7″) 36mm (1.4″) 55mm (2.1″)
35 72 21mm (0.8″) 42mm (1.7″) 64mm (2.5″)
40 98 24mm (0.9″) 48mm (1.9″) 73mm (2.9″)
45 125 27mm (1.1″) 54mm (2.1″) 82mm (3.2″)
50 163 30mm (1.2″) 60mm (2.4″) 91mm (3.6″)
55 203 33mm (1.3″) 66mm (2.6″) 100mm (3.9″)
60 249 36mm (1.4″) 72mm (2.8″) 109mm (4.3″)
65 298 39mm (1.5″) 78mm (3.1″) 118mm (4.7″)
70 351 42mm (1.7″) 84mm (3.3″) 127mm (5.0″)
75 407 45mm (1.8″) 90mm (3.5″) 137mm (5.4″)
80 468 48mm (1.9″) 96mm (3.8″) 146mm (5.7″)
85 534 51mm (2.0″) 102mm (4.0″) 155mm (6.1″)
90 601 54mm (2.1″) 108mm (4.3″) 164mm (6.4″)
95 669 57mm (2.2″) 114mm (4.5″) 173mm (6.8″)
100 739 60mm (2.4″) 120mm (4.7″) 182mm (7.2″)

We needed to encode attendee first name, last name, and email address.  After analyzing our registration data the longest combination of those fields was under 125 characters so we could safely scan a 1″ x 1″ sticker from 6″ away.  Since the QR code stickers are put on the attendee badge, the smaller the sticker size the better so that we didn’t take up too much space (or cover the great artwork from Nate Lovett and badge design from Carey Payette).

Label Stickers

Since the stickers needed to be 1″ x 1″ I purchased 100 sheets (80 per sheet / 8,000 total) of the following label stickers for less than $20 USD.  This allowed for many sample prints to ensure images and other information was lined up on the stickers for the final product.

OL5425 – 1″ x 1″ One Inch Square Labels

https://www.onlinelabels.com/OL5425.htm?src=dlc-353

Label template

The stickers came with free downloadable Microsoft Word template for the exact dimensions and layout needed.  One wrinkle to the plan was that our shipping vendor (great folks at Markt custom apparel) would be applying the stickers to the badges as they packed attendee boxes.  As such we needed to print not only the QR code but also a “verification” sticker with attendee name and registration ID number to ensure the right QR code went to the right box.  More on that later using Word’s mail merge to accomplish that challenge.

Generating QR Codes

My primary laptop runs Windows 10 and I was able to find an app in the Microsoft Store called “QR-Code Generator Pro”.  There is a QR code bulk creation functionality in the paid “pro” version.  I exported our registration data (name + email address) from Eventbrite to a suitable CSV format that this app could then encode.

QR-Code Generator Pro

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/p/qr-code-generator-pro/9nqzgs8wzlh2

Importing QR Codes

For many years I’ve “known” about mail merge but I had honestly never used it for more than 5 mins at a time.  Working with 2,100+ attendees made mail merge a necessity for the scale and complexity of what I needed.  I found the following online article that walks through creating the placeholders in the mail merge template and then linking fields from attendee registration spreadsheet to those placeholders.

2 Ways to Batch Insert Multiple Pictures into Your Word Document via Mail Merge

https://www.datanumen.com/blogs/2-ways-batch-insert-multiple-pictures-word-document-via-mail-merge/

This took much longer than expected due to the sometimes one-way changes that were applied which required starting over from scratch.  I settled on a template that I can now re-use in future years by simply importing the newest attendee data spreadsheet and applying the mail merge.  As mentioned previously needing to print not only the QR code but also attendee verification data meant that the “next record” tag had to appear on every other label in the template.

Printing QR Codes

Printing the QR codes on the label stickers took a number of sample runs before I got them working properly.  At first the QR codes printed slightly off center.  Attempting to adjust the margins on the QR code images proved unsuccessful.  In the future I may look at increasing the (pixel) size of the generated QR codes to compensate for the printing issue.

Conclusion

Overall I’m very happy with the final results and the fact that this is a fairly automated and reusable process.  As always we’ll continue to tweak and refine the process to continue delivering the best we can for our attendees.  If this overview helped save you time, effort, etc. please let me know in the comments or share back improvements.

 

-Frog Out

Slides from SharePoint Cincy 2018 Conference

This post is a few days late as I’m catching up from being out of town for vacation and at the SharePoint Cincy 2018 Conference.  A big thank you to all who attended my session, the organizers (especially Sean McDonough), sponsors, other speakers, and anyone else who helped put on the conference.  Below are my slides from my session.  Feel free to reach out with any questions or comments.

Dipping Your Toe into Cloud Development with Azure Functions

Slides

      -Frog Out

Speaking at SharePoint Cincy 2018

I’m excited to be speaking at SharePoint Cincy 2018.  I believe this is the 5th year I’ve spoken there and it has always been a good conference to meet with attendees and hear other good content.  Below is an abstract for the session that I’ll be presenting on cloud development using Azure Functions (a recent area of big interest I’ve been working with a customer on).  There is still time to register.  Feel free to use my promo code Jackett2018 for a discount.  If you’re attending the conference feel free to stop by and say hi.

SpeakerBadgeSPCincy2018Jackett

SharePoint Cincy 2018

Website: http://www.sharepointcincy.com/

Registration: http://events.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=vwg9epoab&oeidk=a07ef00osd9d81e26f2

Title: Dipping Your Toe into Cloud Development with Azure Functions

Abstract: Those on-prem custom solutions (ex. timer jobs, batch processes, etc.) need to be re-written for SharePoint Online. Where do you host them so that you don’t DoS the proxy? How do you properly secure public endpoints for Azure resources? What authentication will you use against SharePoint Online? In this session we will introduce Azure Functions and related services as an option for replacing on-prem solutions while keeping in mind security, architecture, authentication, scalability, and more. We’ll also walk through a real-world scenario calling Office 365 APIs using an authenticated Azure AD app. Prior experience with Azure is helpful but not required.

Slides and Demo Files from SPTechCon DC 2017

   Big thanks to Stacy and her crew of organizers, all of the attendees, and fellow speakers at SPTechCon DC 2017.  This was one of the best ones I’ve attended from an engagement and networking perspective.  Below are my slides and source code.  Feel free to let me know about any follow up questions or comments.

PowerApps and Microsoft Flow for Developers

GitHub link to demo project files

https://github.com/BrianTJackett/BTJ.PowerApps.AzureDBSample

Slides

Intro to Power BI for Office 365 Developers

Slides

Sample Financial Data file

http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=521962

Blog posts on SMAT data report

https://aka.ms/SMAT2013BTJpart1

https://aka.ms/SMAT2013BTJpart2

      -Frog Out

Slides and Demo Files from Dogfood Con 2017

   A big thanks to Cassandra, Trey, Danillo, and all of the other organizers of Dogfood Con 2017.  Thanks also to all of the folks who attended my two sessions.  Below are my slides and source code.  Feel free to let me know about any follow up questions or comments.

PowerApps and Microsoft Flow for Developers

GitHub link to demo project files

https://github.com/BrianTJackett/BTJ.PowerApps.AzureDBSample

Slides

Intro to Power BI for Office 365 Developers

Slides

Sample Financial Data file

http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=521962

Blog posts on SMAT data report

https://aka.ms/SMAT2013BTJpart1

https://aka.ms/SMAT2013BTJpart2

-Frog Out