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Planning an event

It’s party time! It’s your son, Rohan’s birthday. You plan the event. You want to create an e-invitation. But what if you also want a printed invitation along with an RSVP? What if you want your friends to effortlessly see your photographs and videos that you captured for your son’s birthday from one single place? What if you want to provide the navigation details while they are on the way to your party?

You use Qruize Media to consolidate all the above. Create your very own digital invitation. Link it to your traditional, printed invitation by including a QR code too!

You decide to do the smart thing, you cruise to Qruize! We are here to help you out.

Smart invitations and Qruize Media

Register for free; in Qruize Media under the ‘Individual’ category and create a campaign, or a smart invitation, using the amazing Dashboard.

  • Enter a Title. For e.g., ‘Rohan’s birthday’.
  • Attach a welcome video of Rohan. Under ‘Media’ choose ‘Upload video’. Open, say, YouTube in another browser tab. Upload Rohan’s video. Copy the URL that appears in the address bar of the browser and paste the link in the text box.
  • Provide some detail. Under ‘Description’ enter a short and sweet description for the party, e.g., ‘Rohan turns one.’
  • Enter your contact details. Enter your web site, address, phone and email details.
  • Include your social presence, e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest etc. Under ‘Social Plugins’ choose ‘Facebook’ from the List Box and enter your ‘Handle’ in the text box. Do the same for ‘Twitter’, ‘Pinterest’ etc. The invitee will be taken to the landing page.
  • Specify tags as keywords for search by internet search engines, e.g., “Rohan’s birthday’, ‘Rohan turns one’ etc.

Now ‘Save’ the campaign. This is the basic smart invitation. However, you wish to incorporate a map to the venue and facilitate RSVP.

Get by with a little help from…

The Qruize Media platform allows you to create a smart invitation which effortlessly integrates all the above allowing you to manage from one location – your smart device! For simplicity, instead of reinventing the wheel, let us use time tested third party applications like Facebook, Google Calendar, Hotmail Calendar, YouTube, Vimeo, Google Maps, Flickr, Picasa etc.

You have to…

  • Permit RSVP. For incorporating RSVP, you must create an event in a third party application like Facebook or Google Calendar. You wish to use, say, Facebook. Create the event, enter a name and description. Specify the date, time and venue. Invite people. After specifying invitees, you will see a URL in the address bar of your browser. Copy this link which we will refer to as MyRSVP-1. Now, come back to the Qruize Media page and ‘Edit’ your smart invitation. In the Dashboard, in the ‘Description’ text box enter ‘Please RSVP’. Using your mouse, highlight the text ‘RSVP’. The icon gets enabled as you do so. Click on the ‘Link’ icon. Paste the URL, MyRSVP-1 in the text box under ‘Link URL:’. Check the ‘Open in a new window’ box and enter the text ‘RSVP’ for the ‘Description’ text box. Click ‘X’ to save and return.
  • Include a map. In the Dashboard, in the ‘Description’ text box enter the address of the venue of the party. Open Google Maps in your browser and specify the location of the party. A map will be generated. Click on the ‘Link’ icon in Google Maps, copy the HTML code and come back to the Dashboard. Click on ‘Edit HTML code’ and paste it.

How to notify invitees…

After ‘Saving’ the newly created smart invitation, roll your mouse over the campaign. Click on the ‘Share’ icon. After entering a short invitation message, click on the ‘email’ icon, enter the recipient email ids (of the invitees), enter the sender’s (your) email id and click on the ‘Share’ button.

How does the invitee manage the invitation?

In the smart device, tapping on the link ‘Rohan’s birthday’ in the email invitation takes the invitee to the e-invitation in the Qruize Media page.

The aftermath…

After the party, you want all the invitees to view the pictures taken. You post the pictures in, say, Flickr. Now copy the URL in the address bar from the Flickr web site and paste the link in the Dashboard in the ‘Others’ category in the list box under ‘Social Plugins’. Now, all the invitees can see the photos from the same location as before.

Now, isn’t this a cool, smart invitation?

Click here to see a sample invitation.

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Friends, we have seen what a Quick Response or QR code is. Let us now have a look at its best practices. Once QR codes burst into prominence, many businesses started incorporating them into advertisements, leaflets, brochures and the like for the sole purpose of being trendy. So, after scanning the code, the user was taken to a home page. Egad! Why would the user take so much trouble to scan a code and simply be directed to a home page? Double egad! So, the golden rule is that don’t have a QR code solely for the sake of it. Have it only when there is a relevant and pertinent reason for the user to take the trouble to scan it. One good reason is to allow the user to benefit immediately after scanning the code by offering a discount, or a limited time offer, or a free MP3 download or a product or service tour. The more incisive the reason to scan the code, the better the utilization of the QR code. Let us now look at the Ten Commandments that constitute the best practices of QR codes.

Ten Commandments

  • Size does matter: The size of the QR code should ideally be 1” x 1”. New scanners are mushrooming that read smaller codes but it is better to assume that the average user has a less sophisticated reader. Keep in mind that the more complex the code is, the larger it should be. Use URL shorteners to crunch the URL.
  • Re-sizing matters too: Though file formats like HTML, .tiff, .SVG and .EPS can be used to store QR code data, it is best to use the .PNG data format as it ensures loss-less data compression. In other words, there is no loss of data when re-sizing is done.
  • Keep a contrast: The QR code should be on a white or light colored background with black elements or modules. If you insist on colored elements, ensure that there is at least 55% contrast between the squares and the background. Common sense dictates that QR codes be placed on non reflective, non curved surfaces.
  • Space and place: Ensure that there is a good border of white space around the QR code. When a QR code is printed on paper, make sure that is away from the crease of the page so that it does not get crinkled up when the paper is folded. Because of the white space around the QR code, do not place it on the edge of a page.
  • Prevention is better than cure: Once the QR code is generated, it is prudent to test it thoroughly before printing it to see that it takes you to the correct web page. Gawd! Imagine printing thousands of leaflets only to discover that the code does not work! Also test the QR code with Android, iPhones, BlackBerry, Windows to see that it works with various technologies and operating systems. As a backup, (if for some strange reason the QR code does not work), provide a web page URL so that the user is not disappointed. And, let not your code point to pages with Flash content…an iPhone does not support Flash. You will lose up to 30% of your user base.
  • Location does matter: Use QR codes in appropriate places. Ensure that there is net connectivity where the code is displayed. Heavens! Imagine using a QR code in a subway where there is no WiFi or 3G! And for God’s sake do not place a QR code on a billboard on a highway unless you want a 20 car pileup! And no QR code on a web page when a hyperlink will suffice! Don’t forget that the QR code is a fancy hyperlink. Make sure there is plenty of light to scan the code. In short, place QR codes in locations where they can easily and safely be scanned.

  • Optimize for mobile: The QR code will be seen on the screen of a mobile phone. So make sure that your code leads to pages optimized for a mobile. Gadzooks! Imagine a code that redirects control to a web page that is displayable on a large, computer monitor!
  • And how! QR codes are just becoming popular and many people don’t know how to scan a code let alone why to scan it. So, for heaven’s sake give plenty of instructions – how to scan a QR code, where to download a reader app, and so on. Granted, QR codes are unsightly and placing instructions will make it more so but it is worth the trouble to place instructions near the code.
  • And why? Analytics is a very important aspect of the QR code strategy. Studies have shown that these codes give a high ROI (return on investment) for companies because they enable a person to immediately find out more about any advertisement they have just seen – right on their smart phones. But darn! Imagine having a QR code and not knowing how many people have scanned it, the geo location where they have scanned it and whether the QR code served its purpose or not! Analysis lets you infer intelligent information based on all the above mentioned factors.
  • Finally, the KISS of life: I mean, once the user arrives on the landing page, keep it simple, senor! Make sure that the user utilizes the least amount of keystrokes, clicks or as in the case of mobile phones, taps, to avail that discount, get that coupon, see the video, take a virtual tour and so on. Don’t forget, the page has to be clean and not cluttered up.

Cruise to Qruize for your QR needs. At Qruize Media , we stringently adhere to all these commandments to give you a delightful, profitable QR code experience.

Introduction

Scenario one: You are reading an advertisement about your favorite car in a magazine. You read about the various colors the car comes in. You want to visualize the color  Wouldn’t it be simply marvelous if you could see actual pictures of the car in various colors?

Scenario two: You are reading a provocative article in the newspaper where it says that the costs of petrol and diesel are going to go up considerably. You are stunned by this development. You wish you could comment on it immediately in Facebook, but cannot do so as it is in the print media. But what if you could?

Enter QR codes…

What is a QR code?

A Quick Response or QR code is a smart tag that connects our daily world with the world of information. We have all seen a bar code. Simply put, a QR code is a two dimensional bar code. A bar code contains vertical elements where as a QR code contains both horizontal as well as vertical elements. A typical QR code consists of black or colored rectangles on a white or light colored background. Usually, it is scanned by a downloadable reader app in a camera enabled mobile phone or a smartphone. The URL is then decoded and the relevant webpage is immediately loaded into the mobile phone internet browser. The user can then take appropriate action like viewing a video or clicking on a Facebook ‘like’ button.

In short, a QR code is a quick link to a website that has more information.

What does a QR code contain?

A QR code contains a unique identifier that tracks additional information about the object it references. It is an image based hypertext link that is offline and leads to video, Facebook, Twitter or other web sites.

A QR code is set to be the next big thing that can store one’s personal data, website URLs, phone number, SMS/MMS message, vCard data, vCalendar data, e-mail, discount coupon promotions and much more. Thus, a person who sees an article, advertisement, flyer or poster with a QR code can scan the code, read it and find out more about the article or promotion in question.

Where does one place a QR code?

QR code printing can be done in newspapers, advertisements, brochures, articles, leaflets, pamphlets, business cards, labels, billboards, walls, t-shirts and so on.

Advantages of QR codes

A QR code permits a person to immediately and effectively find out more about something they have just read by using their camera enabled mobile phones or smartphones. Conversely, a business benefits because research has shown that QR codes give a high ROI (return on investment).

Benefits to the user

QR codes allow one-to-one connectivity that is relevant, engaging, and motivating for the user, who can take advantage of special sales, promotional activities, discounts and the like. Complex web site addresses need not be remembered. Scanners like the Qruize Reader enable users to read QR codes effectively and avail instant gratification.

Benefits to businesses

QR codes are not expensive to make. At a relatively low cost, businesses can leverage this wonderful boon to get high return on investment. Moreover, it is not expensive to include in ads and these ads can be highly effective. When a user scans the QR code for additional information, dynamic content is displayed in the webpage. provides such interactive content management capabilities to businesses to maximize the ROI of the ad spend.

Limitations

There must be ample lighting so that a mobile phone can effectively scan a QR code. The scanner may not work in a dim or dull environment. Net connectivity is also important for the web page to be loaded in the mobile. Moreover, QR codes must be used only in locations where they can easily and safely be scanned.

Summary

QR codes have been around since the 1990s, and were first designed for the automotive industry. The potential for QR Codes is limitless.  QR codes have brilliantly taken up what the social media is doing well now, bringing people together with technology, and extending it to enhance the experience. There are some risks but the opportunity for success is great. QR codes are here to stay.

Trivia

  • The QR code was invented by Denso Wave, a subsidiary of the Toyota group.
  • A bar code has 30 numbers where as a QR code has 7089 numbers.
  • Some of the apps that read QR codes are the Qruize Reader, the Red Laser, the Bar code scanner, the QR scanner.