QR codes 101: What, why, when and how

QR codes are everywhere: on the back of your favourite soft drink, at the till point of your favourite coffee shop and – here’s where you need to pay attention – on the invitations to some of the world’s most prominent events.

Despite their ubiquity, QR codes are one event technology shrouded in mystery: what are they exactly? And are they really that useful for me, and my guests? We’ll answer these two questions and explain why this simple addition to your event content can add an element of exclusivity and increase engagement – two crucial qualities of a successful event.

QR, short for “Quick Response” codes are unique, smartphone-readable codes that comprise of black and white squares. Defined by Marketing Profs as “the real-world equivalent of a clickable link”, QR codes connect the user to a piece of exclusive content, like access to an exclusive event area, a discount on a purchase or as an incentive to share their experience via social media. This all thanks to the computing power of a smartphone.

This seemingly simple technology can be used throughout your event to give your guests a more engaging and immersive experience, by way of providing them with an array of content that’s super easy to access.

QR codes can be used at events in the following ways:

On your invitations or save the dates
Think of a QR code as a first class boarding pass, if you will. A QR code on your digital invitations serves as a ‘digital gatekeeper’ of sorts, denoting an air of anticipation. Once scanned, guests can be directed to a bespoke event website, access related multimedia and pre-register for the event. More.

At the event registration or guest check-in:
Arguably one of the biggest benefits of replacing manual guest list management with QR codes is that it speeds up and streamlines a traditionally arduous process. What’s more, because each guest has a unique QR code, security breaches are mitigated (read our past blog for more on how QR codes can increase security at your event.) What’s more, event staff are immediately notified of each guest’s particulars, eradicating the chance of VIPs being passed over, or a special needs guest having to wait in line longer than necessary.

At the event:
Use QR codes in place of a press kit or event pack. Instead of having to lug reams of notes around them, guests can access all event-related information instantly using the device in the palm of their hand. To add increased value to your attendees, use QR codes at various event touch points, like information booths or while waiting for the lunch buffet, to provide them with product discounts and special offers.

After the event:
Make your event linger long after the last guest has left the venue by sending guests a post-event QR code to access key takeaways, limited offers and more. Make sure to direct guests to a post-event survey too: this is an opportune time to gather additional information about their experience at your event, brand sentiment and more.

Are you as excited about QR codes as we are? Check back in later this week to learn about the do’s and don’ts of using QR codes at corporate events.

Our Quantum QR code Software and scanning App enables event companies to orchestrate discreet and secure registration. Find out more here.

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