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Drupa, Printers and QR codes

Drupa is a printing convention held once every four years at the Messe in Düsseldorf in Germany. If you're in the printing trade, whether it is analogue or digital, this is the place to be. The place meet up with old friends and colleagues, network with business relations and see what others have been doing and have to offer.

Turning the tide
Eight years ago I remember loads of Chinese and Koreans taking loads of pictures of everything and anything. This year there where a record number Chinese and Koreans with big and heavy press and printing hardware. The most amuzing part of many of these areas was the fact that it was forbidden to use cameras as well as cellphone cameras... and yes, the stands had QR codes on display. Some even had spotters that approached, blocked and repremanded you on using your camera phone to scan a QR code! Is this an omen of what is to come? WTF!

Things to remember at an International Convention where you want use QR codes!

  • Attendees will not allow 'roaming' and certainly not 'packet data' on foreign networks, the costs are just to high!
  • Without convention wide (limited) known free Wifi access, no foreigner will scan QR codes and potenitailly have to go online (I think I was maybe the only person) trying to do it as I saw no one else bother (and in hindsight, rightly so).
  • One QR code does not fit all. People have little to no time to take the trouble to scan a QR code, why should they! Reps are all over the place, right? A QR Code in a magazine <> a QR Code at a convention or on the back of a bus

How do the QR codes created by and used by printers score?

QR Code Banners

Plus point: The weather in the picture is better than when I was there!  Besides the 9 'fat figure' buttons, the party stops here.

From QR codes on big banners to QR codes in the halls and on the grounds drupa.

It did not get any better! There were even suppliers would claimed they could bring paper to life with nothing at all, just a display sign! And to rub salt in the wound, digi:media 2013 was boasting a QR code with a slogan 'Content meets Technology meets Business'. What I learnt from this is that larger advertsing and marketing organizations clearly still have no clue about using QR codes correctly.  Moral to this story, you cannot rely on printers and also not marketing and advertising agencies to guarantee any kind of successful QR code campaign. They don't have what it takes and it shows.

TIP: Seek advice from companies that are experienced with QR codes and have a proven track record or you too may be throwing money down the drain and become the next QR code critic.

Bring paper to life digi:media poster
The Poster

Just how do they do it! Anyone? How do you bring paper to life?

Digi:Media gets at least -100 points for this very poor implementation of a QR code. Granted, they did take the trouble to embed their logo into it with success, however sending it off to a totally mobile unfriendly website is an amateurs error, and not one that should be made by a digital media organization.

The Page
digi:media qr code site

The winner

Konica Minolta QR Code

Mobile friendly page

Cross Media Publishing

Konica Minolta

The QR code at the Cross Media Publishing booth of Konica Minolta gets the first prize. Of the codes we saw and scanned, this was the best implementation. With easy to navigate pages and easy to read applicable information. Clearly they do understand what cross media publishing is about as they do practice what they preach.

On a final note:

Special thanks to Henk van Houten of Scriptworx for making the visit to this years Drupa possible.


Posted by: Jeroen Steeman
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Categories: Mobile Marketing | QR Code Marketing | QR Codes
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