With the topic of sustainable events and environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) being at the forefront for many companies, meeting professionals need to remain ready to pivot and provide creative solutions for their everyday obstacles. Oftentimes it seems to create a sustainable event you need to add a line item on your budget or bring in a third-party company to help your solution. But what if small actions could make an impact?
Unless you have been living under a rock, you know that QR codes are just about everywhere nowadays. Although it may feel like QR codes have popped up overnight or that the need for QR codes is over, neither is true. You may recall when QR codes were not so ‘user friendly’; when you needed to download an app just to scan it. However, like many things, the pandemic has spurred innovation with the use of QR codes. From restaurant menus, tech support, promotional marketing, you name it. The possibilities are endless when it comes to what you can use QR codes for. But how does this play into sustainability? One of the biggest ways is reducing the amount of printing.
When it comes to the lifecycle of a print request, we typically only consider the time it takes from when we hit send on the email to when your print job arrives. But we must also consider the paper we are utilizing and the energy the printer uses to produce the request. If the request must be shipped, consider the carbon footprint needed to transport the print job. What if that print job was a QR code? Doesn’t seem like such a small action anymore, huh?
How can you use QR codes in events? Ultimately, you should look to create convenience for your attendees. Identify something that would have otherwise been a printed handout or additional steps in the process. Below I have highlighted some ways meetings professionals can use QR codes.
- Signage – Signage is a must, but how much is really needed. Make your signage pull double duty. Embed a QR code that drives attendees to a microsite that answers FAQs, agenda or contact information. This could also work well with large, branded pieces that link to company websites.
- Registration – Encourage mobile check-in during registration by providing a QR code to attendees prior to or during your event.
- Audience Engagement – Build QR codes into presentations. Drive attendees to various audience engagement apps like Slido or PollEV. You can even have your keynote speakers include a QR code that contains their contact information.
- Welcome Messages – We all love a personal touch, right? Picture this, you walk into your hotel room, on the table is your sustainably sourced amenity and included in the wrapping is a QR. This QR links to a special video message from the program host welcoming attendees to the conference.
- Need Help? – Create a special QR code that connects attendees with the event team via email or text. Prepopulate content into the email to help direct it to the right team.
There are numerous ways to incorporate QR codes into your meeting or event, and you can even create QR codes that better match your event or company’s brand colors and/or look for an elevated effect.
Although sustainability may seem like a large initiative for the average meeting professional to tackle, with a little creativity and QR code magic, everyone can push the movement of sustainable events forward.