Skip to content

QR codes vs. barcodes – which solution is better for handling the reception of events?

In this post, we won’t elaborate on the technical issues related to the construction of QR codes and barcodes. Instead, we will focus on the practical use of codes to verify attendees at the reception of the event. Codes are usually placed on e-tickets sent via e-mail, thanks to which it is very easy to control the access of participants to a conference, trade fair, concert, party or company event.

QR codes

QR codes give more options to store different types of information in them. They can contain any text, website link, e-mail address, virtual business card, etc. The latest smartphone models read QR codes without the need to install additional applications. In older types of phones, simply install the free application.

QR codes are most often found in printed advertisements (posters, billboards, etc.), product packaging and advertising newsletters. The popularity of QR codes is debatable, but no one has invented their successors yet. Prices for QR code scanners are 3 or 4 times higher than standard barcode scanners, especially if you want to read the code from the screens of smartphones.


This type of code allows, in simple terms, to encode only a shorter or longer string of digits. It is used to identify products and shipments in the supply chain. Therefore, you won’t usually find it in visible places intended for the eyes of customers.

The cheapest barcode scanner can be purchased even below EUR 30. If you do not use it very often, it will do its job. The more expensive, the faster and more durable. The scanners which reads the code from the smartphone screen cost twice as much.

What, how and for what?

It seems that QR codes give you more possibilities than barcodes. You can scan QR codes with a smartphone, but it’s not efficient – a few “good” seconds pass before the camera focuses on the code. If you have several hundred attendees to check, then reception can turn into a nightmare – to avoid this, you have to simply hire more people. If you are considering QR code scanners (more efficient than smartphones), unfortunately, they are much more expensive than barcode scanners.

It is not easy to make a choice unless… Why do you really need a code scanner? After some thought, you will probably answer that in order to efficiently “check” the participants at the reception of the event.

Therefore, you do not need additional options offered by QR codes, only an efficient barcode scanner that reads the code from both the printed ticket and the screens of smartphones. You have to take into account that even if you send an e-ticket to the participants of the event with a request to print it and take it with them, a good part of them won’t do it. People forget about such “little things”, and some even expect that you should foresee that such a situation may happen and be prepared for it. The right barcode scanner is the basis.

Short conclusion

All you have to do is prepare for the eventuality that participants will appear at the reception of the event, pull out their smartphones and show e-tickets. After all, it’s an electronic ticket, right?

What can you do? Use the event registration system that ensures trouble-free use of barcode scanners at the reception of the event. Use devices that read barcodes from smartphone screens. That’s it.