The Reemergence of QR Codes for Events

How is the QR code resurgence impacting events? Read on to find out about the reemergence of QR codes for events.

The Reemergence of QR Codes for Events

The number of U.S. smartphone users scanning a QR code will increase from 83.4 million in 2022 to 99.5 million in 2025.

While QR codes exploded in popularity during the pandemic for everything from replacing paper menus to creating touchless environments, they’ve been around for almost three decades.

In 1994 Masahiro Hara, an automotive engineer from Denso Wave, invented them. Using the black and white pieces of a Go board, his team created QR codes as a way to better track automobile and automobile parts during manufacturing and to avoid errors. When they invented the QR codes, they did not expect usage outside the automotive industry.

Fast forward, and now QR codes are everywhere, including at in-person events, so much so that smartphones with a camera combined with mobile event apps have become a crucial part of event planning, management, and marketing. 

Table of contents:

  • What is a Quick Response (QR) code?
  • How to create an event QR code
  • Using QR codes at events

What is a QR code?

QR code is short for “quick response” code. It is a square-shaped black-and-white symbol that stores content – like links, coupons, event details, or other information – as a series of pixels. And BTW, “QR Code” is a registered trademark of Denso Wave Incorporated in Japan and other countries.

Easily scanned by a smartphone or tablet with a camera, it’s a popular way to learn more about a product or service. While QR codes and barcodes are similar in that they are both visual representations of data, how the information stored within them is read is what sets them apart.

Barcodes are one-dimensional, and the data stored in them is read horizontally. QR codes are two-dimensional, and the data stored in them is read horizontally and vertically.

There are two types of QR codes: static and dynamic.

1. Static QR Code

A static QR code has an embedded URL with a fixed destination. The URL is part of the QR code pattern, which means it can’t be edited. In addition, the number of scans can’t be tracked.

Static codes are beneficial in cases where information shouldn’t be changed or where code is only used in a one-off situation.

2. Dynamic QR Code

On the other hand, a dynamic QR code allows you to track, edit, and update stored data. Using a dynamic QR code saves time, effort, and money, as content can be changed and edited anytime, even if the QR code is already printed.

How to create an event QR code

Creating an event QR code is pretty straightforward.

1. Using a computer to create an event QR code

  1. Open Chrome
  2. Go to the page you want to share
  3. Find the address bar:
  • Linux computers: On the right of the address bar, click Share and then QR code.
  • Windows computers: On the right of the address bar, click Share and then QR code.
  •  Mac computers: On the right of the address bar, click Share and then QR code.
  •  Chromebooks: Click the address bar and then QR code.
  1. You can choose to:
  • Copy the QR link.
  • Click Download to download the QR code.
  • Scan the QR code with another device’s camera.

2. Using an Android device to create an event QR code

  1. On your Android phone or tablet, open Chrome
  2. Go to the page you want to share
  3. Next to the toolbar, tap More and then Share
  4. Select QR Code.
  5. Follow on-screen instructions to share pages or download the QR Code.

3. Using an iOS device to create an event QR code

  1. On your iPhone or iPad, open Chrome
  2. Go to the page you want to share
  3. At the top, tap Share and then create a QR Code
  4. Below the QR Code, tap Share

Using QR codes at events

QR Codes can be used throughout event planning, marketing, and execution. For example:

  • Event check-in. Expedite event check-in by utilizing QR check-in kiosks. Event attendees check in with a single quick scan of a QR code from their registration confirmation email, and the conference badge automatically prints. 
  • Event payments. Make it simple and convenient for guests to make cashless purchases by scanning an event QR code to pay with their phones.
  • Get more exhibitor or sponsor information. Track and measure interest by providing exhibitors or sponsors with a QR code to display in their booths or on signage that attendees scan to receive more information.
  • Distribute event highlights and information. Event information can change quickly. Use event QR codes to provide the most up-to-date information to attendees.
  • Sustainable collateral distribution. Reduce or eliminate the need for printed collateral by having attendees scan QR codes to download PDF materials.
  • Scavenger hunts. Drive attendance to the exhibit floor or other sponsor areas by placing multiple QR codes throughout the space and rewarding attendees for scanning multiple stations.
  • Build your social followers. Encourage event attendees to follow your social channels with scannable QR codes.
  • Give away prizes. Rather than having event attendees complete a paper entry form, attendees scan a QR code to enter and submit contest entries.
  • Share contact information. QR codes can help attendees exchange contact info with one another. LinkedIn has an underutilized feature that is especially relevant at events for networking. Encourage attendees to connect with each other by pulling up and scanning their LinkedIn profile QR code (available when using a mobile device with the LinkedIn app).
  • Activate augmented reality (AR) experiences. AR is a technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world through a mobile device. Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok filters use augmented reality technology to create fun, altered photos. In addition to fun photo activations, QR codes can trigger other augmented reality event usage, including showing enhanced content, venue information overlays, interactive logos, product animations, interactive pre-event marketing campaigns, and more.
  • Gather event feedback. Place QR codes throughout your event venue that, when scanned, direct guests to a feedback form. Capturing real-time feedback while it’s fresh in attendees’ minds provides valuable insights for making event improvements on the fly or in the future.

People are using their smart devices now more than before, and thanks to their usage during the pandemic, QR codes have become ubiquitous. Make it easier for attendees to have a great event experience by using QR codes to expedite check-in, access and share information, participate in engaging activities, and more.

Streamline your event check-in by exploring Evenium’s onsite check-in platform.

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