Effective Conference Marketing With QR Codes: What To Know

Planning on hosting a conference and need to implement an effective conference marketing strategy? Consider incorporating QR Codes. 

These 2D Barcodes have made their way beyond inventory and logistics management centers to become vital tools for a wide range of businesses globally. Chances are, you come across them daily, whether at your favorite restaurant, the grocery store, or even your workplace. 

Business owners already use QR Codes for business networking because of their ability to share vast amounts of information without taking up too much space on business cards and other networking materials. You, too, can use them to streamline your conference marketing strategy. 

Wondering how? Check out how QR Codes can help your conference before, during, and after the event in an all-in-one campaign.

What is conference marketing?

Have you ever held a conference but only a fraction of your projected event attendees came? It can be disappointing and even affect your reputation, especially if you’re a professional event organizer. 

How do you ensure your conference is a success? Simple: by marketing it. Conference marketing involves promoting and advertising a conference to attract as many attendees as possible and boost revenue generation efforts. 

If you run a business, conference marketing is vital as it ensures you receive much better returns on your time and financial investments. It can also:

  • Showcase your company’s goals separately in addition to the overall conference theme.

  • Improve brand awareness in connection with a conference.

  • Get you new leads and partnerships because attendees know you’ll be there to have meetings.

What makes QR Codes the perfect conference marketing tool?

If you plan on implementing a conference marketing strategy, you need the right tools to get you there. Conference marketing often involves print advertising, and there’s no better way to connect print advertisements with digital links than QR Codes.

Using a QR Code for networking and event management is smart, as it gives you insight into the expected number of event attendees through scanning analytics. Let’s take a more in-depth look into why QR Codes can enhance your conference marketing efforts:

Track and optimize conference marketing campaigns

When you use QR Code Generator to create your QR Codes, you can choose Dynamic QR Code solutions that enable access to real-time scan data. This includes location by city and country, time scanned, operating device used, and unique vs. total scans. 

Various scanning data you can track in QR Code Generator PRO
An overview of QR Code tracking data in QR Code Generator PRO

Scan data can reveal if your marketing efforts are effective—a few scans could indicate the campaign isn’t reaching your target audience, calling for you to re-strategize. All the metrics you need to optimize your campaign are at your fingertips.

Calculate print advertising ROI (return on investment)

QR Codes are breathing new life into print advertising. They have become so popular because, with a quick QR Code scan, anyone who reads a print ad can automatically be connected to a company’s digital content. No more needing to look up links later on and no more guessing for marketers to calculate the true impact of a print ad.

QR Code idea on a billboard to save the date of a conference
An event QR Code on a print poster ad promoting a conference

To determine whether your print ad is reaching your target audience, you only need to look at your scan data. Many scans could indicate a high ROI, while a small number could mean a low return on investment (ROI). This information lets you know whether to reassess your conference marketing strategy before your event date. 

Integrate QR Codes with digital platforms

Let’s be honest—selling physical event tickets and registering attendees manually is a hassle. It consumes a lot of time and resources, and there’s a high risk of making mistakes. This is why many event organizers today choose online event management. There are numerous benefits of online event ticketing and registration, one of the most important being an improved event experience for attendees

QR Codes connect physical marketing materials, like flyers, to digital platforms, like websites and social media, where you can provide better experiences for attendees. With a simple scan, you can direct your target audience to a QR Code landing page that offers more details about your conference and allows them to register seamlessly. 

QR Code example on a LinkedIn post
QR Codes can be accessed via scan or short URL for digital use

Explore comprehensive branding options

Your conference promotion materials should align with your event to make it easy for potential attendees to recognize them. Event branding is especially vital when planning recurring conferences, as it can make them memorable. 

QR Codes are the perfect solution if you want to maintain consistency in branding because of their customizability. You can design your QR Code to align with your conference’s theme colors, include your business’ logo in the middle of your code, and more!

QR Code Generator PRO enables maximum customization options for QR Code designs. You can style your QR Code with a custom frame and editable CTA (call to action), your logo or image in the middle, different edge styles, and brand colors. 

QR Code customization options in QR Code Generator PRO
QR Code customization options in QR Code Generator PRO

Further, you can easily adjust your QR Code size to fit chosen conference promotion mediums, regardless of their size. Scale up when using billboards and down when using business cards or brochures.  

Find sponsorship and partnership deals

Sponsors and partners are integral to a conference’s success. They not only offer financial assistance but also boost events’ credibility and broaden their reach. 

QR Codes can help you find partners by making it easy for you to sell your concept. Rather than carry bulky binders when presenting yourself to brands, you can print resume QR Codes that link to everything there is to know about you and your conference. This helps you appear more professional and allows you to communicate more than you would on paper, increasing your chances of securing sponsorships. 

QR Codes are also a convenient means to let your target audience know about your partners. On your promotional materials, include codes that link to information about your sponsors to boost your conference’s credibility. 

Using QR Codes for different stages of conference marketing

Now that you know the benefits QR Codes bring to conference marketing, we can dive into which QR Code solutions can be used for which stage of your conference marketing. Here’s an overview of how to use QR Codes before, during, and after your event:

Before the conference

Without proper conference marketing, you can’t expect many attendees at your conference. As such, marketing is just as vital as planning the actual event. 

There are a few ways to go about doing conference marketing. For example, you could create social media ads (like on Facebook or LinkedIn), share blog posts promoting the conference and its advantages (like particular speakers or events), or even send emails. But, alone, these strategies would only allow you to reach existing leads. 

How do you expand your reach beyond your current leads? By also using offline mediums like flyers and newspaper ads. QR Codes allow you to connect offline mediums to online channels, where new leads can get vital event information. 

An Event QR Code used in email marketing to increase conference attendance
An event QR Code used in email marketing to increase conference attendance

An Event QR Code is a suitable solution because it lets guests view all the conference details on a customizable display page, with a button that saves the conference’s date to their calendars. 

For event registration, you can include a CTA button that links guests to a registration page or booking software. Doing so eliminates the need for in-person booking, enhancing attendees’ convenience and saving you a lot of time. 

If an event QR Code isn’t quite the solution you’re looking for, you might also want to consider a Video QR Code (market a conference with video media), Website QR Code (direct your audience to a landing page or conference registration platform), or Coupon QR Code (discount conference registration) to boost your conference marketing efforts. In any case, testing out different marketing strategies is the best way to optimize your campaigns.

During the conference

Once you’ve finished marketing your conference, you’ve also got to ensure your attendees are satisfied with their experience. Here, QR Codes are extremely handy, too.

An example of a vCard Plus QR Code on a business card to easily connect at conferences
An example of a vCard Plus QR Code on a business card to easily connect at conferences

You have seven seconds to make a good first impression, as this is how long it typically takes for people to form opinions. Where are your attendees likely to spend their first seven seconds during your event? The event check-in desk. 

You can make a good first impression by running an efficient check-in process, and QR Codes can help with this. Issue printed or digital tickets with unique QR Codes to all your guests during registration and ask them to use them for verification during your event. 

This way, all you have to do at the check-in desk is scan QR Codes to determine the validity of the tickets. This is faster than checking each guest’s details manually. 

The functionality of QR Codes continues beyond check-in. You can also use them for digital business cards—add a vCard Plus QR Code to your physical business cards to make sharing your contact information simple and fast. You can add a description of your job, all your contact details, and even a Google Maps office location on the QR Code display page.

Another way to use QR Codes during your conference is to embed them on attendees’ ID badges to make networking easier. This is particularly useful when you’re hosting a conference and want to calculate the number of potential customers or partnerships you find.

A vCard Plus QR Code on a conference ID badge for touchless networking
A vCard Plus QR Code on a conference ID badge for touchless networking

QR Codes can also help enhance your company’s marketing during a conference. For example, you can use a video QR Code on a print poster during a talk to connect your audience with particular content related to your products and services. 

A QR Code placed on a banner during a conference talk connects customers to interactive information
A QR Code placed on a banner during a conference talk connects customers to interactive information

Moreover, you can add QR Codes to marketing materials such as brochures, flyers, or even a table tent if you have a booth at a conference. For example, these QR Codes could connect your audience to your social media profiles, particular brand videos or images, or even a landing page on your website.

After the conference

If you plan to host any conferences or events in the future and continue building relationships with contacts from the conference, it’s a good idea to follow up. Ask attendees what they liked and disliked about your event. This will help you understand what to improve during future conferences to secure high attendance. 

A Feedback QR Code sent to conference attendees after a conference to stay in touch
A feedback QR Code sent to conference attendees after a conference to stay in touch

For this purpose, a Feedback QR Code fits perfectly. You can customize the feedback form for your needs and receive automatic email updates whenever someone fills it out. Send it to event attendees via email or traditional mail. You can also include instructions on how to stay in touch with you after the conference.

Ensure the success of your conference with QR Code technology

More event organizers are embracing QR Code technology as the demand for convenience grows. QR Codes are the perfect tool for conference marketing as they’re versatile—you can use them for everything from event information sharing to feedback collection. 

QR Code Generator PRO lets you create QR Codes you can use before, during, and after your event. Whether you need Event QR Codes that help you share event information and registration forms seamlessly or Feedback QR Codes that allow you to collect data to improve future conferences, rest assured you’ve found the perfect QR Code builder. 

Sign up for QR Code Generator PRO to elevate your marketing strategy, improve the overall event experience, and get valuable insights into the quality of your conference. 

Tobias Funke

Tobias Funke is Bitly’s Vice President of Product. With a background in software engineering, he has a decade of combined experience in product development and the QR Code space. Tobias leads a team that developed one of the most successful and popular QR Code generators available. His entrepreneurial and growth mindset helps build products that continuously disrupt the market. You can connect with Tobias on LinkedIn.

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