QR Codes for your event: Are they worth it? What mediums make sense?
(Photo by nati_superstar)
The following is a guest blog article by Lindsay Fultz of Grosh Backdrops. If you are interested in guest blogging for Sound n' Sight, please read my guest blogging guidelines . And if you have any thoughts, please comment. Lindsay and I both would love to hear what you have to say!
If you are on Twitter and into social media, technology and in the events industry you are no stranger to hearing the praises of QR codes and what this means not only to the events industry but marketing in general for personal or company/product branding.
If you haven’t heard of QR codes, basically they are very similar to the bar codes that get scanned when you purchase something but it does a whole lot more.
While QR codes for everyone are free to generate and allow for a lot of flexibility in accessing websites, images, personal information, viewing video, and sending text messages and making phone calls how many people are you actually reaching?
Yes, yes I know it is free AND flexible. I have generated a few codes myself (No I’m not going to list a bunch of links where to go to generate them, just Google “free QR code generator”) testing out how quick and easy it is by simply copying and pasting a url.
But what is to stop people from coding porn sites, viruses and countless spam for you to download on your phone? Maybe it’s too flexible??? Currently only people with scanners, smart phones and phones with cameras (they must have the right phone plan and the QR app needs to be available for them to download) can use them. Again, not a big issue for me since QR codes are free to generate...
Who’s coming to dinner?
A very small number of people are currently RSVP’ing to the QR code dinner party with the knowledge and accessibility to scan your free QR code.
So what’s for dinner? Think Guerrilla marketing. Here are some mediums to advertise your QR code and my .02 cents.
Business cards - Affordable enough to advertise your QR code but I’d rather have my name, business logo and info: title, phone #, email, website and social media sites on it which leave little to no room with out it looking tacky.
Buildings - Would be cool but most likely not in your budget.
Transportation methods - Would be cool but ads on wheels could be costly.
Magazines, Newspapers - Affordable for most small businesses but still a HUGE gamble. Not sure it’s worth the $1500-$5k it costs to advertise in print without a calculated ROI.
Receipts - Affordable and easy enough but most people tend to misplace and toss receipts.
Packaging: Affordable and easy enough but people may think it’s a bar code and throw away or tear through the box.
Trade Show displays - Estimated costs $500-$1k which is not bad. If you attend shows you should have a stand up display anyways so I don’t see the harm in throwing a QR code on there but remember promotions change so unless you are going to run the same marketing promotion every freaking year be careful what you code and have plastered for reuse.
Signage, banners - Estimated cost a couple hundred dollars so it’s not a huge investment and it is a conversation starter. Again just remember what you code for reusability.
Apparel - To me this is the clear winner. Very, very affordable especially if it’s just for t-shirts for your staff and it would be great conversation starter at trade shows. One person could have a promo, another your company Facebook page, another your Twitter etc. Tote bags with your QR codes are also an excellent giveaway and most attendees’ favorite freebie. Think about it, people carry those totes to the grocery store, beach and work…that’s a great guerrilla marketing tactic.
So you can see, IF YOU ARE CREATIVE, there are a couple of affordable ways to advertise your FREE QR codes and take advantage of this new medium without spending a butt load of your marketing dollars on print ads to test out your QR codes.
I know the print advertising industry is suffering right now and I’m sure they will see a boost in sales due to QR code advertisements but the last thing you want to do, if you are on a limited marketing budget is to spend $3500k on a ½ page print ad to show off your QR code and expect to see some ROI.
Lindsay Fultz is the obsessive compulsive Manager of Sales and New Media Marketing at Grosh Scenic Rentals a scenic backdrop and drapery rental company located in Hollywood, CA . When she is not cracking the whip at Grosh, she also coaches Track and Field and Cross Country at a local high school and enjoys cooking vegan/vegetarian dishes while listening to Aerosmith.
For more info on QR codes, check out these blog posts!
QR Barcode: Great example from Lego
What is a QR code and how do I use one?
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