By Daria Knupp, Senior Content Marketing Manager
Put your yoga pants and joggers away, folks- according to the “Back-to-Normal Index,” developed in partnership by Moody’s Analytics and CNN Business, the U.S. economy is currently operating at 94% of pre-Covid times, suggesting we are moving toward business as usual.
The B2B trade show market is expected to make a big comeback by 2024 with a projected worth of $14.5B (NPWS).
As you’re planning for your next conference or tradeshow, let’s take a moment to reflect on a particular shining star of the pandemic and how to leverage its newfound popularity- the QR code.
What is This QR Code You Speak Of?
Invented for use in the Japanese auto industry in 1994, the quick response- or QR code, was designed to enable high-speed scanning capability of component parts. Made up of a two-dimensional black and white pixel pattern, the QR code allows users to quickly access and engage with digital information using only the camera on their smartphone. Broader application of the QR code was limited until pandemic living revived this touchless method of connectivity and accessibility.
For the novice user, it may be helpful to understand the difference between the two types of code: static and dynamic. A static QR code consists of information that cannot be revised once it’s live- which of course, data cannot be updated to reflect program changes and may therefore not be the best option for event planning.
A dynamic QR code does not contain information in the code itself. Instead, it directs a user to a URL that can be updated to allow for continual revision of information. Additionally and perhaps equally important, a dynamic QR code provides valuable information such as time, location, and devices to be tracked – an obvious goldmine for any marketer (QR Code Generator).
Promoting Your Event with QR Codes
A lot of time and money goes into planning a large-scale event- the QR code can simplify the promotion, registration, engagement, and information exchange process. Perhaps it goes without saying, but because QR codes are often engaged via smartphone, it’s essential to ensure the directed URL is optimized for mobile viewing– nothing will turn a potential user away faster than a poorly formatted and dysfunctional site.
This article focuses on maximizing the utility of QR codes; however, that does not mean you should do away with print media but instead focus on making it actionable and engaging. When creating print materials, be sure to plan for the aesthetic inclusion of a QR code and a call to action such as ‘Scan for details. ‘Direct visitors to your social media page where they learn more about your event while also increasing your online following.
Using QR codes will allow you to gauge interest in your event by tracking the number of times your code is scanned and the subsequent conversion rate. This is a valuable source of information that will inform real-time advertising revisions you can implement to boost engagement. Once you’ve piqued interest and secured registration, enable users to download a mobile ticket. Once again, the QR code becomes a helpful tool to track attendance and foot traffic through the venue.
You spent many hours curating your event- now help your attendees navigate your masterpiece by ensuring they know where to go and how to get there. Display a QR code giving your attendees access to your online floorplan near the entrance to get them going on the right foot.
Delivering a physical product demonstration is a critical part of the trade show experience- the whole purpose is to see, touch, and experience the product!
Because visitors don’t show up in scheduled intervals, though, offer on-demand video demonstrations that are readily available by scanning the ever so handy QR code. As an added bonus, your product demo will be available to share and view again later.
Trade shows are obviously a great way to promote your brand, reinvigorate existing attendees, and attract new prospects. But don’t forget it’s also one of the few occasions you’ll have a room full of skilled professionals with whom to network.
However, offering a business card in this situation could give a lasting impression that is less than favorable. Instead, share your digital business card with your new contact by offering a QR code to scan. Check out this Guide to Digital Business Cards in 2022 to learn more about creating your digital business card.
QR codes are so easy to use that you’ll be able to gather instant feedback throughout the event. Be strategic in placing QR codes around your event, directing guests to complete a short survey about their experience—Post feedback codes at booths, proximal to amenities, and near the door.
The B2B trade show and conference market is forecast to make a big comeback in the next few years. Thanks to the pandemic, you have the power of the previously undervalued QR code to impress your guests. Using QR codes will help your target audience access information, engage in content, and connect socially using only their smartphone.