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QR Codes for event planners

Event planners should be aware of QR codes. Why? Imagine something that looks kind of like a pixelated bar code that can be printed and applied virtually anywhere. With a smart phone and a reader application your attendees and prospective attendees can scan the QR code directly from their cell phones. When scanned, readers can be taken to a website URL, sent a text SMS, sent a phone number or provided with additional text. The WOW is that attendees can get more information about anything that interests them about your event…anytime and anywhere from the convenience of their cell phones.

QR codes were originally created by Denso-Wave (a Japanese firm) back in 1994. The idea was to create a code that contained more data than the standard 10-digit bar code yet could also be decoded at very high speed. Although QR codes have been around for quite some time, they’re re-gaining a lot of buzz in large part because of mobile technology.

img.php?s=8&d=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ready2spark QR Codes for event planners


8 ideas for event planners

Build a better print ad – Why not include a QR code in your event’s print ad? This way people who are on-the-go can simply scan your code from their cell phone to be taken directly to your event registration page.

Create a contest – At Mobile World Congress, Neustar will be pairing up with Visa to showcase the power of QR codes. Using their smart phones, event attendees are encouraged to download a barcode reader application. As part of their Welcome Packets, attendees will receive a faux Visa gift card, and will be invited to scan the QR barcode on the back each day to enter a contest to win a €50 gift card. One gift card will be given away every 30 minutes between 10am and 4pm on each day of the show.

Make networking easier – UK Museums recognized the challenge with sharing business cards at events. They’re annoying to carry around, they require you to write on them to ensure you remember who gave you the card, and once you get back to the office, you have to re-key in all the information. To help their conference attendees overcome these annoyances, they added QR codes into registration badges. Attendees could scan their contact’s badge QR code with their cell phone and download their contact information. To learn more about how UK Museums did this, click here.

Get people discoveringGoogle IO employed QR codes at their Developer Conference by encouraging attendees to scan everything in sight. They scattered various types of codes all around the conference facility and every time a QR code was scanned, the attendee would rack up points. The top 3 highest scorers at the end of the conference got to take home some swanky Google swag from the event.

Make learning about sponsors easier – Sure, we recognize sponsors with prominent signage. But think of how much more valuable sponsorship could be if attendees could scan a QR code on their cell phone and be connected with sponsor websites, exclusive deals or more information on the company.

Make registration a breeze - Check out this fantastic idea over at Nofont on How to Build a Better Conference Experience. In it Jaan Orvet writes about how QR codes could make registration lines obsolete, allow attendees to get ahold of the presentation copies they’re looking for and make getting around a foreign city much easier for the attendee.

A new take on the Scavenger Hunt – Instead of paper clues, have participants search for QR codes. When they scan one, they’re sent a text with their next clue.

Info-rich T-shirts – Have conference employees walking around with t-shirts that say things like: Tickets to the gala almost sold out (with a QR code that will take attendees to the registration page on the back of the shirt), Want to know where the bathrooms are? (with a QR code that will take attendees to washroom directions), Vote for your favorite tradeshow booth (with a QR code that will take attendees to a voting page), etc.

Build a better presentation – How many times as a presenter have you been asked to share or repeat a website URL? Make it easy for attendees to simply scan a QR code from your presentation to be taken to the website directly.

Temporary tattoos – Want to get people networking? Create temporary QR code tattoos for attendees. Let them know that 1 other person in the room shares an identical code and have them find their matching partner.

Get your QR Code

Generate your own QR codes using Kaywa (or Google search “Generate QR Codes” for a ton of options)

Download a reader like ScanLife on your smartphone

Other great ideas (updated frequently)

QR codes for tracing bicycles via Springwise


button print gry20 QR Codes for event planners
Leaderboard 728x90 QR Codes for event planners

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  • http://twitoaster.com/country-ca/ready2spark/ ready2spark

    [New Post] what qr codes mean for special events – http://www.ready2spark.com/2010/02/what-… #eventprofs

  • MBosc

    @ready2spark great ideas for events and QR. Check out our homepage for a general primer and a free decoder. http://www.chateaudescharmes.com

  • http://www.bravoparty.com/ Martin

    I mentionned QR codes in a meeting about 1 year ago and people tought I should go back to Japan. I’m happy to see others are seeing it’s uses also.

  • http://www.bravoparty.com Martin

    I mentionned QR codes in a meeting about 1 year ago and people tought I should go back to Japan. I’m happy to see others are seeing it’s uses also.

  • http://www.ready2spark.com/ Lara McCulloch

    That’s funny, Martin. Were you talking about QR codes for inventory control? I’d love to hear of any additional suggested uses, so please do share.

  • http://www.ready2spark.com Lara McCulloch

    That’s funny, Martin. Were you talking about QR codes for inventory control? I’d love to hear of any additional suggested uses, so please do share.

  • http://www.ready2spark.com/ Lara McCulloch

    Thanks so much for sharing @MBosc. For those who are interested, here’s a link to Chateau des Charmes’ QR Code Primer document http://www.chateaudescharmes.com/QRCode_Primer.pdf.

  • http://www.ready2spark.com Lara McCulloch

    Thanks so much for sharing @MBosc. For those who are interested, here’s a link to Chateau des Charmes’ QR Code Primer document http://www.chateaudescharmes.com/QRCode_Primer.pdf.

  • http://snapmyinfo.com/ mikepk

    I’ve been experimenting with a project specifically for making contact sharing easier and for using QR codes at special events. One flaw in the system is often that you need to have the decoder application on your smartphone. I’ve created two alternative ways to decode QRcodes, one using just email and the other using a nifty web camera and augmented reality setup. I’m testing the latter soon, but I think it should make sharing contact info at events even faster. Some good ideas here I hope get more traction (obviously) :).

  • http://snapmyinfo.com mikepk

    I’ve been experimenting with a project specifically for making contact sharing easier and for using QR codes at special events. One flaw in the system is often that you need to have the decoder application on your smartphone. I’ve created two alternative ways to decode QRcodes, one using just email and the other using a nifty web camera and augmented reality setup. I’m testing the latter soon, but I think it should make sharing contact info at events even faster. Some good ideas here I hope get more traction (obviously) :).

  • http://electronicmuseum.org.uk/ Mike Ellis

    Thanks for the link to my post – appreciated, and really interesting to read what others are doing!

  • http://electronicmuseum.org.uk Mike Ellis

    Thanks for the link to my post – appreciated, and really interesting to read what others are doing!

  • http://www.beeventsdesign.com/ Ryan

    OK Lara – Why are we thinking along again. Your QR Code in my Floorsquare! http://beevents.blogspot.com/2010/02/floorsquare-anyone.html :o)

  • http://www.beeventsdesign.com Ryan

    OK Lara – Why are we thinking along again. Your QR Code in my Floorsquare! http://beevents.blogspot.com/2010/02/floorsquare-anyone.html :o)

  • http://www.ready2spark.com/ Lara McCulloch

    LOL – I saw your Floorsquare post. There were a few event suppliers who did a great job of pulling Foursquare onto the Tradeshow floor at The Special Event 2010…I’ll try to remember who they were and forward their info to you.

  • http://www.ready2spark.com Lara McCulloch

    LOL – I saw your Floorsquare post. There were a few event suppliers who did a great job of pulling Foursquare onto the Tradeshow floor at The Special Event 2010…I’ll try to remember who they were and forward their info to you.

  • http://www.ready2spark.com/ Lara McCulloch

    Thanks, Mike. You came up with some unique new ideas on how to use QR codes in events. If you have any event updates, please let me know.

  • http://www.ready2spark.com Lara McCulloch

    Thanks, Mike. You came up with some unique new ideas on how to use QR codes in events. If you have any event updates, please let me know.

  • http://www.ready2spark.com/ READY2SPARK

    Mike, it’s a great point. And one we’re quite familiar with in the social media space. The nice thing about QR code vs social media training is that for QR codes it’s mainly an issue of needing a smart phone and downloading an application. I’m really excited by the technology and hope to see it embraced by more events. I’m also speaking with a client of mine about incorporating into package design. To me, this is a marriage made in heaven. Scan the QR code and download recipe ideas, make a donation to a cause, etc, etc. Thanks for brainstorming with me & I hope to see you weigh in on future articles!

  • http://www.ready2spark.com Lara McCulloch

    Mike, it’s a great point. And one we’re quite familiar with in the social media space. The nice thing about QR code vs social media training is that for QR codes it’s mainly an issue of needing a smart phone and downloading an application. I’m really excited by the technology and hope to see it embraced by more events. I’m also speaking with a client of mine about incorporating into package design. To me, this is a marriage made in heaven. Scan the QR code and download recipe ideas, make a donation to a cause, etc, etc. Thanks for brainstorming with me & I hope to see you weigh in on future articles!

  • http://twitoaster.com/country-ca/ready2spark/ ready2spark

    Curious to know if any #eventprofs are using QR codes for their events http://www.ready2spark.com/2010/02/what-

  • rayhansen

    Right On Laura! a lot of application possibilities with QR @ready2spark http://ow.ly/1bDpW #eventprofs

  • DQtweets

    Yep, I have. However, I’ve been looking for a registration company that can integrate QR coding within the attendee badge – haven’t found one yet.

  • DQtweets

    Yep, I have. However, I’ve been looking for a registration company that can integrate QR coding within the attendee badge – haven’t found one yet.

  • http://www.ready2spark.com/ READY2SPARK

    DQtweets . Hmm – perhaps Mike Ellis or Mikepk can shed some light on who they’ve used? I know that Mikepk mentioned he did his down and dirty http://electronicmuseum.org.uk/2009/12/07/uk-museums-on-the-web-2009-qr-in-the-wild/ but perhaps he’s since used another supplier. Thanks for weighing in!

  • http://www.ready2spark.com Lara McCulloch

    DQtweets . Hmm – perhaps Mike Ellis or Mikepk can shed some light on who they’ve used? I know that Mikepk mentioned he did his down and dirty http://electronicmuseum.org.uk/2009/12/07/uk-museums-on-the-web-2009-qr-in-the-wild/ but perhaps he’s since used another supplier. Thanks for weighing in!

  • http://www.theperfect-date.com/ cheryl lawson

    Love this!
    Wonder if this could be a way to create enhance silent auction bidding. Hmm Good stuff here.
    @partyaficionado

  • http://www.theperfect-date.com cheryl lawson

    Love this!
    Wonder if this could be a way to create enhance silent auction bidding. Hmm Good stuff here.
    @partyaficionado

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  • OlegB

    I use http://tagomobile.com. Nice and simple tool for creating and tracking different qr codes.

  • LaraMcCulloch

    @OlegB Thanks for sharing, Oleg.