Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Ease: NFC's Clear Advantage

Successful Workplace reports that QR Codes, because they require users to take extra steps, are rapidly losing ground to NFC.
"Just as some of the world realized what QR codes actually are, the shift is happening toward Near Field Communication (NFC) instead," writes columnist Jeanne Roué-Taylor.
Both technologies serve the same function, Roué-Taylor says, but with a major difference in the user experience.
Both "create a digital bridge to physical collateral," but QR Codes are "too clunky" and demand "too many steps from ‘notice to value,’" while "NFC, simply put, is easier to use."
NFC is a "virtual doorway" that's driving the "move toward the Internet of Things," Roué-Taylor says.
While QR Codes demand that users change platforms to acquire collateral, NFC enables them "to invisibly pass through electronic borders without changing platforms."

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

NFC Tags, One. QR Codes, Zero.

NFC World reports that NFC tags have beaten QR Codes for in a popularity contest.

"We have found that the NFC tags are more popular than the QR codes, because they are very simple to use," Dutch retailer Vic told the trade publication.

In a test, Vic plac
ed NFC tags and QR Codes throughout its store.
Both allowed shoppers to access product Websites, discount coupons and promotional videos using their smartphones.

The NFC tags were used more frequently than the QR Codes.

"It is definitely something we hope to keep in our store going forward into the future; it is our way of connecting our online and offline worlds."

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Welcome to the Mobile Movement. Resistance is Futile.

Event technology guru Corbin Ball provided today’s guest post. His bimonthly newsletter Tech Talk is read by more than 9,200 planners worldwide.

When he was still governor of New York, future President Martin Van Buren wrote a letter to sitting President Andrew Jackson complaining about a new form of “mobility.”

“The canal system of this country is being threatened by a new form of transportation known as railroads,” Van Buren wrote. “Railroad carriages are pulled at the enormous speed of fifteen miles per hour. The Almighty certainly never intended that people should travel at such breakneck speed."

How often, like Van Buren, do event planners swear that the Almighty never planned for attendees to use their mobile phones?

All humans are naturally resistant to change, but planners are even more so. That’s because event technology is often mission-critical. If it blows up your face, your job is on the line.

That said, the sheer rate of technology-driven change is unprecedented—and overwhelming. The number of options presented every year paralyzes planners into inaction.

But planners shouldn’t resist new technology—particularly the technology behind today’s “mobile movement.” Because to do so is to guarantee your event will become noncompetitive. Digital Darwinism is the name of the game today. Don’t adapt and you’ll perish.

If you want to blame someone for the situation, blame attendees, not smartphone manufacturers.

Attendees are carrying around more computing power in their pockets than fit in several rooms a generation ago. And they like the feeling. In fact, attendees are ready participants in the mobile movement, and are on a path to make ever-increasing demands on you to give them the same digital conveniences others give them every day.

What should you do to prepare yourself for the future?

Stay aware of the technology that’s trending. Right now, that’s mobile (and social) media. But more new technology is due on the scene any day—and poised to usher in more change in the next five years than it did in the past fifteen.

Do your research. Read newsletters and blogs voraciously. Talk to peers. Pick consultants’ brains and ask vendors to provide you background and best-practice information.

Evaluate and forge ahead. As a planner, no one is better positioned than you to evaluate new event technology. You’re on the front line. You know what matters to attendees. And you understand what’s at stake.

Charles Darwin said it best: “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.”