Wednesday, March 30, 2011

8 Tips to Enhance the Impact of Utilizing QR Codes for Your Next Event

Recently I have been doing a lot of research regarding QR codes.  I am really excited about this technology tool, as in my opinion the possibilities, for its use, are endless.

Courtesy of Marsid M & M group

Last week I published a blog article introducing my first ideas on how to utilize QR (quick response) codes, for meetings and events.  Interestingly, this article received the greatest number of hits, of any blog post I have written, since I started my blog in 2009.

Either my blog content generally stinks (I’m pretty sure that’s not true) or QR codes are a topic of significant interest to people.  :-)  There are a lot of statistics available that suggests their popularity is rising, but that’s for another discussion.

Enhance the Impact of Utilizing QR Codes for Your Next Event

I am hungry to learn as much as I can about the best approach for utilizing QR codes.  As I am acquiring new information I’m thinking about how it would apply to the meetings and events business.  Here are 8 starting tips to enhance the impact of utilizing QR codes for your next event:

#1: Develop a Strategy First – As with any other business initiative, you will be better served to determine upfront what your objectives are for using QR codes.  As my lovely friend Midori Connolly says “technology is just a toy unless you find a useful purpose for it.”

#2: Deliver Significant Value – Any QR code should contain some sort of call to action, and should deliver access to information that is useful, or valuable, to the person scanning it.  For example, place a QR code on a promotional poster, for a conference, pointing the user to the conference registration page is very helpful.  This allows attendees to conveniently register for the event from their smartphone.

Sending a customer to a webpage that is self-serving, boring, or pointless, will yield a negative result.  Make their time spent worthwhile.

#3: Optimize Content for Mobile Devices – When using a QR code to direct meeting attendees to a website make sure the site is mobile-optimized.  If you point them to a place they can’t see, or benefit from, you are wasting their time.

#4: Bigger is better – There’s a general rule that QR codes need to be at least an inch in size. QR codes can be any size, but the bigger, the better.  This is particularly true if meeting attendees will be scanning a code from a far distance.

One example of this would be a QR code posted on a projection screen. (let’s say for a speaker evaluation)  In this context a relatively large QR code will be beneficial, as then participants can scan it from across the room.

#5: Good Mobile Service Coverage – When planning use of the QR code be mindful of the location it will be utilized.  Put into perspective, posting an event sign, with an embedded QR code in it, in an area where cell phone service is unavailable would be completely useless.

#6: Test your QR codes!  – it is absolutely essential to test all QR codes before launching them.  Besides ensuring the code does what you intend, verify it can be easily scanned by participants. For instance, if you put the QR code up on a projection screen, make sure it can be scanned from where people will be viewing the screen.

Example Poster

#7: Include alternate access to the information providedRemember, QR codes technology is still new, and some people are not able to utilize it yet.  Therefore it’s important to provide attendees alternative access to the information you are sharing.

For example, if you post a QR code on a promotional event marketing piece, accessing a website with important additional information, print the website URL directly beneath it. (see photo to right)

#8: Provide Education regarding Use of QR Codes – attendees will appreciate it if you provide some clear instructions, in a conspicuous place, (such as your conference website) on how to use this technology.  Post information on where to obtain QR code reader mobile applications.  For a listing of mobile applications please click here.

As with any new technology there is a lot of speculation as to whether QR codes will achieve mainstream adoption in the business world.  From what I’ve seen so far, I don’t see any reason why they won’t.

Question:  how do you see QR codes fitting into your event marketing strategy?  If you have already utilized them, for your conference, what type of feedback did you get from your participants?  Please share your comments below.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Sayer Martin March 1, 2012 at 12:46 pm

ToMyFace.com utilizes QR codes automatically when a questionnaire is created. Perfect to gather feedback. Would love for you to try it out and help us improve!

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