Broadly speaking, there are 2 types of bar codes in use today, one-dimensional bar code and 2-dimensional bar code. 1-D is by far the more common. A 1-D bar code appears on nearly every item you purchase at a supermarket. It is what enables you to perform self-checkout at The Home Depot. Every item at your drugstore bears a 1-D bar code. 1-D bar codes appear as a series of black bars representing numbers.
2-D bar codes can be alphanumeric and can store far more data than 1-D bar codes. Many states now include a 2-D bar code on the driver’s licenses they issue. You will see 2-D bar codes on the UPS and FedEx packages you ship and receive. 2-D bar codes appear as patterns of black blocks.
QR code is a 2-D bar code symbology. When compared to other 2-D symbologies, like PDF417, and to 1-D bar codes, it has characteristics that are advantageous to those of us in the events industry. Unlike PDF417, which is in wide use in our industry, QR can be printed using just about any printer. Printing PDF417 with anything but a laser printer is a risky proposition at best. QR can be scanned using a Smartphone camera; PDF417 bar codes can not.
We use QR codes for lots of event services including lead retrieval. It’s easy for show managers to produce badges using QR codes, no special printers are required. This makes it an ideal solution for smaller, budget-strapped shows that want to appeal to their tech savvy exhibitors and attendees.
Then there is reverse lead retrieval. As an event attendee, have you ever experienced the frustration of spending time at an exhibit and before leaving being promised follow up information, or even a call, only to never hear another word from the exhibitor? Or perhaps you visited a booth with no one available to answer your questions. And then there are those exhibits in which you just might have an interest, but not enough to warrant engaging in a conversation with a sales person. The answer? Reverse lead retrieval. A QR code on the booth or on products within the booth will empower attendees, allowing them to obtain information, anonymously if they wish to opt out. Ideally they will not opt out, in which case their reverse lead is likely very valuable.
Reverse lead retrieval can be particularly useful for organizations that exhibit at consumer shows. At your typical car or boat show, attendees are anonymous - they don't wear a badge. Through reverse lead retrieval, exhibitors can accumulate quality leads.
QR codes simplify attendee and exhibitor connections and speed up the sales cycle at your event.