Six Reasons Why You Should Use QR Codes for Your Next Event

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Michael M McCurry | 30 year veteran of the meetings & events industry

Michael M McCurryIt’s really amazing what a person can accomplish when they have the right tools or resources for the task at hand.  Such is the case with mobile devices.  I recently abandoned my Blackberry (thankfully), and entered the realm of Android phones.  With that transition has come a whole new world of awesome possibilities.

I made a pact with myself that every day I would learn about at least one new feature to use with my new phone.  Thus far I have done a pretty good job of living up to that commitment.  I spent some time this past week investigating QR (Quick Response) codes and other similar barcode based tools.  I am absolutely fascinated by what I learned.

For context a QR code is a specific matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code), readable by dedicated QR barcode readers and camera phones. The information encoded can be text, URL (web address) or other data.

I am surprised (pleasantly) at how simple it is to create and interpret these bar codes and there are a slew of free online tools available to do so.  Click on this link to access a website which will assist you in finding the best application for your mobile device.

Six Reasons Why You Should Use QR Codes for Your Next Event

I have been thinking about how I could weave the use of QR codes into an event strategy and realized the possibilities are endless.  So, here is my first stab at a list of functional reasons why you should use QR codes for your next event:

Reason #1:  An electronic conference brochure — On a press release, event poster, marketing video, email blast, promotional products, or even a Twitter/Facebook post include a QR Code with a link to a downloadable PDF brochure.

Reason #2:  Create a Link to Conference Website –Use any of the channels identified above to distribute your link to prospective attendees.  If your event registration and/or housing process is online you can post links to these locations as well.

Reason #3:  Conference Handouts  — Post a QR code on the screen in the meeting room and participants can scan whatever the session handout into their smartphone.

Reason #4:  Post Event Survey/Evaluation — Once again, post the QR code for link to the evaluation form on the session screen, and attendees can immediately provide feedback regarding the session they have just attended.

Reason #5:  Media Access — provide access to links for event music, video archives or pictures via a QR code.

Reason #6:  Share Contact Information — speakers, or exhibitors can post a QR code with their electronic contact information and attendees can scan it into their smartphone’s contacts database, or email it to a friend/colleague.  Attendees can exchange contact information with one another by scanning QR codes embedded on their phones.

These are just a few examples of how you can use barcode technology to enhance the event experience for your attendees.  Also, I should mention that QR codes are just one of several barcode based tools available.  Another tool you should take a serious look at is Microsoft Tag.

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