Last week I closed out another QR code contest at a tradeshow in sunny San Diego, CA for our client Parallels. HostingCon, the premier conference and tradeshow for the web hosted services industry proved to be our most successful QR code contest to date.
You may recall the post I did on our first experience with QR codes at Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) where I talked more about how to put together a successful campaign with 2-D bar codes. Well, this time I wanted to share with you two things that really helped the campaign perform!
First, the old mantra of “If you build it, they will come” simply doesn’t work with QR codes at conferences. Engaging your audience in the real world is just as important as engaging them online. A random QR code on a poster simply will not produce the same amount of scans than if you had a live person right there to help explain the contest. In 4PSA’s case, Mike Ross (the company’s President) was on the floor both days to help drive awareness about 4PSA and the QR code contest we were running. His presence there proved invaluable and I would encourage everyone with a QR code at their booth in a conference to engage with, and educate those about what it is and what it does.
Mike Ross, President of 4PSA
Second, having the QR code right there in the booth, inches from the prize will help drive engagement and scans – trust me. Example: if you’re giving away $500 cash put it in a locked clear box and have the QR code on it. It’s that instant recognition that most people often need to get interested and participate. In the case of our contest, Parallels partners 4PSA and SpamExperts both had their prizes (an AR Drone and an iPad 2) at their booths with QR code displays on or near them. As a result, they gathered the most scans of all the other partners who participated in the contest.
View of the Parallels booth via the AR Drone helicopter
So, remember that just because you build a fancy contest/campaign people won’t necessarily take part in it. QR codes require engagement like any other social campaign you run!
Recently we were tasked with designing, implementing and launching a QR Code campaign and contest for our client Parallels. Using QR Codes (quick response codes), our client would be able to engage with conference attendees at Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference in a fun and creative way. We also set out to create brand and product awareness for them at the conference and within the broader social web. Below are some easy steps to help you with your QR Code strategy.
Decide on a call to action
You’ll need to ask what is it you want people to do with the QR Code. Do you want them to scan the QR Code and have their mobile browser go to a website or add a vCard contact to the user’s device? Do you want the scan to show some text of something important, i.e. washing instructions, directions somewhere or a happy hour menu?
In our case, the call to action was to take them to a Parallels’ branded micro-site and have them enter their First/Last name and email address to be entered to win a Samsung Series 9 laptop.
Make sure it’s social
There needs to be some sort of social component to it. Will contestants or people interacting with your QR Code(s) be able to share their experience? How? You’ll want them to share this with everyone in their social graph, trust me.
In our case, we gave them an extra chance to be chosen if they tweeted out something specific to the needs of our client and the client’s partners. With that, we had them use a hashtag for us to track the entries.
Select an online QR Code generator
There are a lot of different ones to choose from online, you can do a quick search here to find out which one works best for you.
We chose the KAYWA generator because it seemed the easiest. Kaywa gives you four content types to choose from (URL, Text, Phone Number and SMS). Remember, this is your call to action or it will help take you to your call to action. Kaywa also gives you four different sizes to choose from.
Decide how you will display the QR Code
A lot of QR Codes are being used in magazines and on billboards these days. I just saw one on the side of a bus last week here in Seattle. Placement for those is pretty straightforward. However, if you’re going to run something similar to the one we did at Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference, be sure the QR Code can be seen by all those who pass by. We had ours positioned right at the front of the booth on top of a table as attendees walked in.
Some additional things to consider:
You might consider a non-QR Code method of entry for those who don’t have a mobile device that can scan a QR Code. This just helps to make sure all can participate on some level. Don’t shut anyone out! If you need to have them tweet out something or sign up for an email list – make those methods available as well.
Also, if you’re going to be running this campaign in a conference setting make sure the attendees have access to Wi-Fi or ample cellular data. Most QR Codes are dependent on the internet so make sure people can get online!
In short, QR Codes are a great way to create a fun and engaging campaign with your customers. If you have any questions feel free to reach out to me, I’d love to hear how you’re planning on using them!