This past week I attended the National Association of Realtor’s annual convention and expo, and I was amazed to see how few of the 200+ booths were taking advantage of social media and QR codes, less the 10% had QR Codes. What I found interesting is that I was told by many of the exhibitors that 2 years ago, almost every booth had a QR code. This begs the questions; Are the exhibitors assuming that the attendees still don’t get QR codes, or do they no longer care if they do, because they don’t understand the value of this simple tool. I thought I would share some of the “opportunities” I spotted to help those of you planning a booth for upcoming expos, of course your best bet would be to hire Head of Lettuce media to help you integrate the social media into the design, we have gotten quite good at event promotion and building conversation during an event (end shameless plug).
What’s the goal? First you need to consider the goal of your expo experience and your booth. Are you selling product at the booth? Are you looking for leads to follow-up on after the event? Are you looking to establish brand recognition? I know that in many cases you may be doing more than one of these. Consider how Social Media might come into play, in the mix of your booth. If your booth is crowded a well placed QR code could give attendees quick access to your information preventing them from walking away in frustration, because they could not get answers to their questions. I noticed one company using the QR code to allow attendees to enter to win a Kindle.
While their booth may not have been the most impressive, EXP Realty scored a home run in my book with a large QR code, easy to scan which took you to a mobile site which loaded fast (right picture) where you could register as well as get some questions answered. Unfortunately they were in the minority. The majority of QR codes went to websites, and typically they did not use a url shortener the result was very pixellated codes that are hard for some phones to read, if they are not large enough.
This one, while very detailed was made large enough for a quick read, I did give them the free advice to use a url shortener next time, so that it is easier to read. After this, QR codes just got less and less prevalent. Here are some I spotted.
My personal favorite was the use by Century 21 with the QR code at the top of the really tall banner and the others in their booth, hidden by the giveaways. If you are going to go through the effort of using a QR code, don’t tuck it in the corner like you are embarrassed to be using it, instead make it prominent and easy for anyone to scan from anywhere on the floor in front of your booth like EXP Realty did. Don’t make attendees crawl on the floor like some of the examples above. Keep in mind that even though I am mention these companies, good and bad, they all score for at least trying. Over 90% of the booths at the convention had no QR code at all, and even fewer mentioned their Twitter handle or Facebook page, other then having the logos on their booth artwork, you can only assume that their name is their handle. So I do applaud these few for making the effort.
I should mention that the National Association of Realtors did do an excellent job promoting a #hashtag for the event, my measurement using SocialBro on the #NARannual tag showed almost 500 individuals in the conversation, not bad for an audience thought to not understand QR codes.