Quick Response Code (or more commonly known as a QR code) is a small square image that, when scanned by a cell phone, takes the user to a specific website. It’s like a barcode on steroids. QR codes can be put on documents, pictures, banners, and more, and can even be branded with different colors and logos. It is deemed “quick response” because it bypasses the need for users to type in a URL or even open their web browser. Most smart phone cameras even automatically detect the QR.
So, what use are they to your event? This world is digital, and everyone has a smart phone. Therefore, anywhere that you can use a website or app, you can use a QR code. We recently hosted our 100th Illinois District Council event and there were QRs everywhere. Every single banner had one. Even the participants’ name tags had one. When scanned, most of them would take you to an online document that contained the event schedule, speaker details, and other event information. Others took users directly to waivers and videos for specific activities. The dining room tables even had tents with QR codes to the sponsor’s website.
The other great thing about QR codes is that they can be tracked. Just like any other website tracking, you can see how many page visitors, duration, etc., happened using your QR codes. Speaking of tracking, QR codes are a prime spot for surveys. Using a website like SurveyMonkey allows users to scan and immediately fill out and submit a short survey on their phone.
There are a couple of different ways to make your own QR codes. The easiest is to use on online generator. Here is an example of a free website https://www.qr-code-generator.com/. If you have Adobe products, InDesign also has its own built in QR code generator. One thing to think about when placing it on pieces is to keep a white background. Remember that this is something your phone has to scan, so don’t overdo the graphics behind or on the QR code or it may not work properly. Most importantly (and I cannot stress this enough) TEST, TEST, and reTEST your QR codes. The last thing you want is guests unable to scan the information you need them to have during your event. Also, an important note is to make sure you have good internet/cell service so that phones will actually pull up the site.
QR codes are a quick, cheap, and easy component to take events to the next level.