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QR Codes at Innovation Nights

You've seen them everywhere.  Those little (usually) black and white squares are popping up all over town.  On business cards and brochures, in restaurant windows or on real estate signs, even on billboards and the sides of trucks.  The QR or Quick Response code has become the darling of the social media marketing set.  How do they work?  Why do you care?
QR codes are a great link between the real world and the digital world. Originally created for the automotive industry, they are now appearing everywhere.  Download a QR reader app on your smart phone and within minutes you can probably find a QR code to scan.  The scan launches a browser on your phone and takes you to a URL.  It can display a new friend's contact information, give you access to discounts or games or prizes, download a digital business card or, in the case of Innovation Nights, pre-load a Tweet (that you can customize) about a cool new product that you just saw.
If you've come to Mass Innovation Nights in the last several months, you've noticed QR codes everywhere.  We give each company a single sheet with a big QR code for their table, and we created a "Tweet sheet" with product names, descriptions, and QR codes so you easily can give your favorite new product a shout-out.  Originally, Tim, Bobbie, Dag, and Nirmal from Digital Wavefront cobbled together a system using Click-to-tweet and a free QR code generator but the system has evolved over time.  (We also used bit.ly to generate codes and track clicks to give us metrics which help us improve how we do things for the maximum exposure for MIN "clients" -- the 10 companies launching new products.) 
Over time, new tools, like SnapHop, have made it easier and smoother for us.  SnapHop now gives you the ability to do a ShoutOut on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter, and to "Like" a product -- all with a single scan.  And it looks nicer too!  We can easily add in an image from each company and put in more information and a product description when we set up the campaigns.
So, coming to Mass Innovation Nights?  Come prepared to scan a few QR codes.  Load a QR reader app on your phone now.  You'll soon be seeing QR codes everywhere.  There's a whole world out there just waiting to be unlocked.