When meeting with our show organizer clients, one of their most common questions is, “How do I convince my exhibitors to invest in sponsorships and how do I help them improve the ROI of sponsorships on my show?” Technology such as QR codes and GES Interactive Venuesm are two of the best tools available to show organizers and exhibitors.

As a result of the growth in smartphones equipped with barcode-scanning apps, clients across the board are using QR codes or “mobile barcodes,” to track the ROI of their sponsorships. After implementation, exhibitors are able to quantify the reach of this “new media” marketing tactic, which in turn provides the hard data needed to convince their boss to budget a little more for sponsorships at your next show. Not only does this technology quantify the success of sponsorships, but it also shows your exhibitors that you’re ahead in the technology race.

Here are the five key tips to successfully using QR codes:

1. Encourage exhibitors to put their QR code on every single piece of promotional material:

a. This goes for every marketer. Posters, flyers, stickers, merchandise tags, press kits; the more unusual the better. Any promotion without one is a missed opportunity at major events, especially technologically savvy gatherings.

2. Don’t use proprietary code formats:

a. QR codes should simply contain a URL directing to your mobile web presence. Exhibitors can easily create a free QR code with services like bit.ly or goo.gl, and they come with the added benefits of shortening your URL (compressing the size of the QR code) and some basic tracking, of course.

3. Encourage your exhibitors to offer great incentives:

a.  Make the call-to-action valuable. Most of the time an attendee will need to download the barcode reader and quite frankly they aren’t going to unless there’s a valid reason, so make sure you are offering something worth their while.

4. No Standardization:

a. Do not force exhibitors to use QR codes the same way. This will take away the personalization and competitive edge. Let them get creative and use it to their advantage (in the long run this will drive adoption for your shows).

5. Communication:

a. Send a brief message to exhibitors and attendees explaining QR codes. This can be done through a simple piece of signage or a direct marketing piece.  If a user has a bad experience they probably won’t use them again.

Another great option is GES Interactive Venuesm, a sales sponsorship tool that can also be a very valuable to you and your exhibitors. Available for numerous convention venues across the nation, exhibitors can purchase your show’s sponsorship opportunities online. In addition you can use this tool as your all-inclusive sponsorship site by uploading other sponsorship opportunities. This tool also allows you to monitor your inventory, set your sponsorship pricing, and provide easy access to information and venue details specific to your show.

With the added value of QR codes and the ease of use Interactive Venue offers, opportunities abound to help exhibitors maximize their presence at your show. For more information about Interactive Venue or to start a conversation about QR codes email me at Jquade@ges.com.

Article via ExpoWeb and Mashable