Using QR Codes for Event Planning

By Whitney Bertram, Operations Manager

What is a QR code?

A QR code (abbreviated from Quick Response Code) is a type of matrix barcode (or two-dimensional barcode). A barcode is an optically machine-readable label that is attached to an item and that records information related to that item.

The QR Code system has become popular due to its fast readability and greater storage capacity compared to standard UPC barcodes. Applications include product tracking, item identification, time tracking, document management, general marketing and more.

A QR code consists of black modules (square dots) arranged in a square grid on a white background, which can be read by an imaging device (such as a camera) and processed using Reed–Solomon error correction until the image can be appropriately interpreted; data is then extracted from patterns present in both horizontal and vertical components of the image.

Free QR code generators

How to utilize QR codes during your events

  • Schedule & Program Information. QR code on a name badge or the paper program that links to the schedule or program information
  • Tradeshow Booths. Exhibitors can have a QR code at their booth that attendees can use to get further information about their company.
  • Business Cards. Add a QR to your business card so people can download your information to their phone.
  • Conference Handouts. Add a QR code to a sign posted outside of the session that can be used to download course notes or relevant web pages.
  • Put a QR sign up at an event so people can access the event survey on their phones.
  • Social Media. Post a sign at the registration desk that has QR codes that link to the association’s Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.
  • Scavenger Hunt. Host a QR code-based scavenger hunt during an event.

QR Code Example Name BadgeTips

  • Include instructions on how to download the QR reader app and how to scan the QR code.
  • Make sure you have a mobile-friendly site to direct people to.
  • Before you decide to include a QR code, determine if it will add value.
  • Instead of a QR code, a link would be more useful on a website or electronic marketing piece. It’s far more convenient to click a link on a website than to get out your phone, open an app, scan a QR code, and read the site from your phone.
  • Don’t use QR codes where there is no Wi-Fi or cellular connection.
  • Don’t rely on the QR code as the only source for attendees to get more information.

Related Articles

http://www.smartmeetings.com/event-planning-magazine/2011/07/qr-codes-and-beyond

http://www.spyderlynk.com/ – The new QR code.

http://en.wikipedia.or
g/wiki/Near_field_communication – Beyond the QR code.

Want to know more about association management? Contact us info@imiae.com to find out more about what IMI Association Executives can do for your organization.

IMI Goes Red for the American Heart Association

IMI Turns Red for the American Heart Association
IMI Goes Red for the American Heart Association

By Adrian Emerson, Association Accounting Specialist and 2014 Chair of the IMI Association Executives Fun Committee
    
Are you considering starting a “give back to the community” initiative in your office? Read below for Adrian’s experience with IMI’s efforts to branch into office-wide charity efforts.

The Backstory
Based on a lot of individual interest in charity efforts during 2013, IMI asked me to start an ongoing office-wide charity program in 2014.

First Steps
My first step was to determine what kind of charities and charity programs would be the best fit for our team’s interests and availability. So, I created a good old fashioned survey. I found that everyone had different passions and interests when it came to charities. Some team members were interested in charity events like a group walk, while others were more interested in collecting donations. I also found that choosing charities for everyone to agree on would not be an easy task! I had to create a plan that would satisfy our desires to give back to the community, but would also fit within the team’s availability and would be appropriate for the entire group.

Next Steps
I decided that this year would be a testing year. We would freely test a plan and be ready to change things up in 2015 based on our experiences. From our survey results, I picked several different types of charity options and just see how they worked with our group of individuals. We settled on one charity drive each quarter and preplanned the four charities for the year. We obviously couldn’t participate in all of the charities suggested by our team members, but we did our best to focus on the main charities our team felt passionate about. I’m keeping the list of the remaining suggestions for future years’ charity efforts.

Going Live With the Plan
For our first quarter charity we picked Go Red for Women, which is a charity drive sponsored by the American Heart Association. The event is during the entire month of February and is part of the National Wear Red Day. Did you know that heart disease is the number one killer of women in the United States? For this charity drive, I built a free online webpage on the Go Red for Women website to collect donations from our employees. Our February staff meeting happened to fall on National Wear Red Day so we asked everyone to wear red in support of the cause. IMI collected donations for about a month and we raised $252 for the American Heart Association. I look forward to the good we hope to do during the rest of this year.

Your Turn
Does your office have an ongoing charity program? We’d love to hear about your success stories and how your program works. Please share in the comments below!

Want to know more about association management? Contact us info@imiae.com to find out more about what IMI Association Executives can do for your organization.

What to Consider When Re-Organizing Volunteers

Image Credit: Canva

By Jalene Bowersmith, Executive Director

These ideas are inspired by the session “Re-Imagine Volunteering” at the ASAE Annual Meeting on August 12, 2014, presented by Debra BenAvram and Peggy Hoffman.

Considering how to help your organization’s volunteers be more effective? Maybe it’s time for a re-organization of your volunteer structure.

What to Consider When Re-Organizing Volunteers

Define success.
Before you get started, make sure you have the end result in mind. What are you looking for? Do you want to increase documented engagement, stronger member satisfaction, or added interest groups? Make sure you have an overall plan with a clear timeline, expectations and commitments. Establishing where you want to go is critical to knowing how to get there.

Remember, change it takes time.
It seems to take about 18 months for a board structural change to take affect and everyone to get on board with the new process and roles. Be prepared to be patient – and to help your volunteers settle into their new holes.

Clarify roles and responsibilities.
Make sure every one – board, chairs, volunteers, and staff – knows what their responsibilities are. This is critical during a transition to keep projects moving forward and to make sure all tasks are covered.

Go slow to go fast.
Take the time to communicate well when you are onboarding volunteers. A good foundation will help speed the transition and make for more effective volunteers in the long run.

Listen to the experts.
Let the volunteers determine their skills and expertise. Always start by asking your volunteers about where they feel they would fit best within the organization and work from there.

No volunteer left behind.
Every new process will have people who need help getting on board with the change. Use education to help the stragglers see the benefits of the new process and let them be a part of the solution. Each of your team members can be a positive advocate for the change.

Want to know more about association management? Contact us info@imiae.com to find out more about what IMI Association Executives can do for your organization.

7 Evergreen Ideas to Engage Volunteers

evergreen ideas for volunteers jpgBy Jalene Bowersmith, Executive Director

These ideas are inspired by the session “Re-Imagine Volunteering” at the ASAE Annual Meeting on August 12, 2014, presented by Debra BenAvram and Peggy Hoffman.

Don’t miss these 7 evergreen ideas to engage volunteers – and keep them engaged.

1. Make sure the board and volunteer messaging is positive and collaborative.
Proactively establish that the organization works as a team to accomplish the goals.

2. Hold comprehensive training every year for all volunteers.
Group experiences like training help volunteers to feel more invested and anchored in their volunteer experiences.

3. Sunset committees that aren’t needed anymore.
Closing committees that are no longer active allows the volunteers’ energy and efforts to be poured into new tasks where they can see the fruits of their labors.

4. Formalize the volunteer application system.
Having requirements and an application for volunteers will help you to gather information about volunteers and place them in projects that will be the best fit.

5. Know when the project is too big.
No one enjoys volunteering on a project that is struggling. If initiatives are floundering, then it might be time to consider bringing in a staff member or an outside consultant to take over all or part of the project.

6. Develop non-traditional volunteer roles.  
Stop thinking of “positions” and start thinking of tasks and projects that need to be accomplished. Pool the creative resources in your team!

7. Use volunteer satisfaction surveys.
Volunteer satisfaction surveys help your volunteers know that your organization cares about the volunteers. Ask what made participants decide to volunteer, what strategies are working, and how they would like to see the organization change.

Want to know more about association management? Contact us at info@imiae.com to find out more about what IMI Association Executives can do for your organization.