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RISMEDIA, November 22, 2010—I didn’t really know what to expect from this year’s NAR Expo in the Big Easy. I had never been to New Orleans before, but obviously had heard enough about it to know that we were in for a long weekend!

After getting home to New York and sifting through all the beads to get to the information gathered at the show, one thing was blatantly obvious—QR codes were at the forefront of a lot of conversations and were the focus of the Expo’s Startup Pavilion.

There were QR codes all over the show: on people’s t-shirts, business cards, at their booths (focus of many new companies), in presentations, on printed materials, and countless other places throughout the event. If I had to rank the questions we got at our booth and from our clients who we saw at the Expo, “What’s your opinion on QR codes?” would certainly be in the top three.

The answer to the question was well received and illustrated what surprised me most about all the QR coding at the Expo; it all depends on how they are used.

While QR codes are cutting edge (here in the U.S.) and certainly have a “cool factor” for the more advanced mobile users, their benefit rests solely in the way in which they are used to benefit a business and simultaneously provide information to consumers. The most important thing about QR codes and again—what surprised me most about many I scanned at the Expo—is that it’s all about what happens next.

First and foremost, when using QR codes, you must ensure that the destination you are driving consumers to is mobile-enabled, meaning the website that the QR code opens up should be formatted to fit any mobile phone with Internet access and provide that mobile user an experience that is tailored to them as a mobile user. Using a QR code to drive traffic to a website that is not formatted for a mobile device is an inherent contradiction and a mistake many QR coders made at QR’diGras this year.

From a business point of view, while QR codes do have that “cool factor” I mentioned earlier, they

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