12 QR Code Uses for Events
QR codes have the ability to transform an event into a different type of event. It'd be a green-friendly event. It'd be interactive and engaging in ways that weren't previously possible. QR codes can enhance the experience. Isn't that what we all want, anyway?
QR codes are simply a barcode that contains information that can be read into smartphones. Think of it like seeing a URL in the real world and easily going there on your phone (although, QR codes can do a lot more). Want to learn more? This QR Code FAQ will get you up to speed.
The goal of using QR codes at your event should be to help people explore and experience the event. We're early in the QR codes world (in the United States, at least, they're common in Japan).
1. Link to Event Schedules
I know when I attend various events I'm always curious to learn about what's next. I'm a fan of traveling light and don't like to carry around an agenda of the conference. Sound familiar?
I normally pull up the conference schedule on my phone (and it doesn't look that great most of the time, but I'm tolerant). QR codes help to get people to an event schedule on their smartphones. Place the QR codes at the registration desk so someone can scan it and bookmark the page for later use.
2. Mobile Ticketing
QR codes can greatly accelerate the registration line if done right. Several airports and airlines use QR codes on boarding passes, for example. The most efficient way is to find a system that is already set up for mobile ticketing. A quick Google showed me MogoTix, but I imagine there are others.
3. Event Registration
Let's say you're trying to promote an event and need to hand out flyers. Stick a QR code on a flyer that links to a sign up page. This empowers anyone to sign up straight from their smartphone!
4. Registration Badges
Business cards are old school. Use QR codes on registration badges and let people exchange info by scanning each other. Ok, that might sound creepy, but it'll save people from running out of business cards (and it might help create some buzz).
5. Sponsor Information
Give visitors another opportunity to engage with sponsors. Sponsors will probably like this too. Put a QR code next to each sponsor that allows people to learn more about that sponsor. Possibly link them to more information on the sponsor, exclusive deals, and more.
6. Session Info
Imagine an attendee visiting a session and walking out inspired. They loved the speaker and want to keep in touch. Have a QR code per session that allows someone to have the speakers slides sent to them, or they can easily view the speakers contact info and follow them on social networks.
7. Share Places to Eat, Local Events, etc.
Some conferences that attract out of state travelers could help build awareness for nearby places to eat, local events, attractions, and more.
9. Voting for Favorite Exhibitor/Speaker/etc
Give exhibitors and speakers a reason to rock! Offer contests for best exhibitor give away, most motivational speaker, most friendly speaker, and more! Make the conference interactive, build up a competitive environment and most importantly, make it fun!
10. Video Previews of Speakers
When I go to conferences sometimes I'm torn between which sessions to attend. Both of the topics seem fairly interesting. You know what would help? If I could scan a QR code and get a YouTube video of that speaker speaking on stage or speaking to the camera. It'd help build a connection with the speaker that would help me decide which one I wanted to see. Or maybe it'd make me want to see both speakers even more. :)
11. Session and Conference Feedback
Most conferences have some method in place for collecting feedback. Usually it's something along the lines of handing out paper after the session with questions and check boxes. Or it comes in the form of an e-mail blast at the end of a conference. Or maybe there is just a long URL on the badge and the organizers hope you go out of your way to go there at some point and throw in your two cents. I've seen it all.
How about a QR code that links people to a mobile-optimized feedback submission form for individual sessions? Select the name of the speaker, bubble in a few ratings, and maybe type in some more thoughts if you feel compelled. This type of feedback reduces errors, is digital (green-friendly), and reaches attendees at the point-of-experience. We've sponsored conferences and seen hundreds of people utilize this method. It works.
Spice up an event with an interactive game. First, know your goal. Is it to give something away? Is it to foster an environment of networking? Is it to simply have fun and allow people to explore new areas? Once you have the goal in mind, start the planning. Maybe build a scavenger hunt with QR codes or some type of networking game where people randomly get connected to each other. Want to involve the non-smartphone user? Set up some QR codes to send a text to non-smartphone users with questions or clues to involve them. Be sure and learn about what QR codes are capable of so you know your options.
Educate, Educate, Educate
So you know what you want to do. Now what? Educate. The two problems with QR codes are awareness and smartphone penetration in the States. Both are on the rise. Building awareness is within your control. Borrow some pieces from our QR code FAQ, recommend some apps, link people to a mobile site (http://QRme.in) that explains what QR codes are and more. Help them maximize their experience at your event.
Did I miss anything? Do you know of any conference related ticketing solutions? Let me know in the comments. Thank you!