I recently had the pleasure of working with theMassage Therapy Foundation as it participated in the AMTA National Convention in Portland, Oregon.The Massage Therapy Foundation advances the knowledge and practice of massage therapy by supporting scientific research, education, and community service and does some outstanding work for the massage profession. The American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) is the founding partner of the Massage Therapy Foundation (MTF) and the two organizations work closely together.
The AMTA holds a great convention every year with a large exhibit hall. Exhibitors from all over the country set up at the convention and fill the hall with all sorts of interesting products and services for the massage community.
The Massage Therapy Foundation also exhibits at the AMTA National Convention. This year, we worked with the Massage Therapy Foundation to set up a QR code scavenger hunt.
If you're not familiar with QR codes, head on over to our QR codes 101 post for some background information.
The goals for our QR code scavenger hunt were:
- To increase understanding of what the MTF does
- To increase foot traffic for MTF donors at the exhibit hall
- To introduce QR technology to AMTA members
- To encourage traffic and donations at the MTF booth
- To create a fun experience for MTF donors and AMTA members
We set up the scavenger hunt with the following rules:
- The MTF created six questions that asked for a specific fact about an aspect of one of the Foundation's projects
- Convention attendees could stop by the MTF booth to pick up a sheet of questions
- Each exhibitor who was a donor to the MTF would get a special QR code sign at their booth
- When each QR code was scanned with a smart phone, it would pull up a YouTube video with a Foundation volunteer stating a short fact about the MTF - this statement contained the answer to one of the questions
- Attendees who answered all six questions correctly could turn in their answer sheets at the MTF booth
- A drawing was held for all the participants who turned in a completed answer sheet and the winner was awarded an Amazon Kindle (donated by SpinWeb)
In order to get the campaign and QR codes ready we used the following process:
- Create insightful, powerful short stories using facts from the MTF annual report
- Create questions from those stories
- Recruit six volunteers, assign them each a story, and ask them to record it on video
- Upload each video to YouTube and mark it as "unlisted" so it can't be found without the URL (this keeps the answers from getting out before the convention)
- Create a QR code for each video using the Google URL shortener
- Create labels with the QR codes on them and place them on branded MTF signs
- Place the signs at each exhibitor who made a donation to the Foundation (check out these photos of the signs as well as this video featuring an exhibitor)
- Write a post on the MTF Blog explaining the rules and proving links to QR scanners to help attendees get ready for the campaign
So how did it turn out? It was a big hit! Convention attendees had a great time hunting for QR codes, scanning them, and answering the questions. Congratulations to Katie Stewart on winning the Kindle!
So what were some of the benefits to this QR code scavenger hunt?
For starters, the Massage Therapy Foundation booth was hopping with traffic! There were very few times when the booth was not packed with people either making a donation or getting information about the scavenger hunt.
Another benefit to the MTF was that each person who scanned a QR code and watched a video was exposed to a brief statement explaining a significant Foundation project and how it impacted the massage profession, as well as those in need. This created greater awareness of what the MTF does and brought the specifics of its work into sharper relief. Take a look at a few of the videos:
- Whitney Lowe talks about bringing massage to rural workers in Mexico
- Allisa Haines on massage for special needs children
- Ann Blair Kennedy discussed massage for orhpans in Uzbekistan
Next, the campaign brought value to the exhibitors who participated. The QR code campaign brought people to the exhibitors who had donated to the MTF and increased their foot traffic at the convention. It was also a great way for the Massage Therapy Foundation to show appreciation to those exhibitors who were donors.
Another nice side benefit to the American Massage Therapy Association was that we were able to introduce QR code technology to AMTA members who might otherwise not understand it. Following this campaign, many more AMTA members now have QR scanners on their phones which will allow AMTA to utilize this technology for future campaigns more successfully.
Finally, it was fun! We got great feedback that a lot of people were having fun hunting for codes, striking up conversations with exhibitors, and participating in the contest.
So while it was a bit of work to set up, we found that the QR code scavenger hunt was a big success and fun way to use new technology. If you are looking for some interesting ways to generate excitement and traffic at your next conference, a QR code scavenger hunt might be worth a look. Some guidelines:
- Keep the videos short (30 - 45 seconds)
- Give people instructions in advance (perhaps through a blog post)
- Make sure you have people on hand at the event who can help people install QR apps for people
- Give away something awesome (Kindle, iPad, etc.)
Questions? Comments? Please post below.