Event planners have an insatiable thirst for knowledge about the latest and greatest technology. The reasons for this vary, but with budgets and pre-event timelines becoming ever tighter, it’s safe to assume the quest for new technology is the quest for effectiveness and efficiency as well.
This series of blogs is designed to help planners identify the right technology that will help them gain the maximum benefits for their events, while avoiding the ones that can lead to more problems than they solve. Naturally, what is new and hot today can quickly become yesterday’s news. Therefore, we will focus on technologies that seem to actually be yielding results, not just a lot of enthusiastic early adopters.
Today, sites like http://qrcode.kaywa.com and www.qrstuff.com provide free QR codes to anyone in moments. Even better, bit.ly or goo.gl provide shortened URLs that reduce the size of the code. But before you start clicking on those links, stop and think about what you intend to do with your new technological toy.
QR codes are designed specifically to direct users to a mobile-optimized webpage. What that means is if you are going to use QR codes, which are specifically designed for mobile devices, the webpage you send them to with your QR code needs to work on a mobile device! Most QR code users design dedicated web pages for their QR code.
QR codes are great for both pre-event marketing and on-site event engagement. Here are a few of the best uses for QR codes at events:
- To play a demo or event teaser video.
- To offer early event access.
- To send private invites.
- To register the scan as a check-in.
- To offer exclusive content or information.
- To access free prizes, coupons or giveaways.
- To incentivize Facebook likes and Twitter tweets to drive virality.
- For treasure hunts or collection games like those provided by SCVNGR.
Depending on how you intend to use your QR code, you can (and probably should) include it in numerous locations such as emails, your website, fliers, stickers, banners, decals, PPT – and some have even used temporary tattoos! Wherever you place your code, make certain your participants understand why they should scan it, with a clear call to action such as “Scan to Win.”
To avoid epic QR code failure, there are a few items you need to keep in mind:
- Steer clear of proprietary code formats that require a particular scanning app to work.
- Make certain you are linking to a mobile-optimized site – and that means no Flash.
- Make sure your QR code works, by testing it on multiple devices before you produce any collateral.
- Make sure that everyone you want to participate has a mobile device! It may seem obvious, but even with the proliferation of mobile devices, there is still a large portion of the population that has not yet converted.
Please share with us at PYM your QR code event successes – or learning “opportunities.”