SCANVenger Hunt: Gamification That Encourages Face-to-Face Interaction and Active Learning

March 3, 2013

The Mission: Get members of the Denver Chapter of the National Association of Catering Executives (NACE Denver) networking, while showing off the LoDo neighborhood of Downtown Denver. Oh, and make it fun.

NACE Denver tasked the Arrangers, a Destination Management Company headquartered in Denver, to carry out this mission. Danny Findley, sales manager at Arrangers, said, “The chapter wanted to do a team building event and thought maybe a scavenger hunt.”

The Arrangers decided to turn that idea up a notch with a modern approach. They partnered with SCANVenger Hunt, a company that provides a mobile interactive gamification platform for corporate team building, as well as the travel and hospitality industry.

Attendees were randomly split into teams at the start of the event to encourage networking with people they were less likely to be familiar with. Each team was given their first clue and off they went. At each stop, participants had to answer a trivia question in order to get to their next clue via a QR code scan.

Findley said the trivia questions were designed so that the attendees would learn more about what Downtown Denver has to offer in the way of restaurants. Not only would participants get to do some sampling at each restaurant, they also were actively trying out a new bit of technology.

Event planners and show organizers often struggle with the delicate balance of technology and face-to-face interaction. There always is a fear that attendees will be so focused on the technology that it will discourage them from connecting face-to-face.

This game was a perfect example of starting with clear objectives and then finding the right tool to get event organizers to their goal. This particular tech tool is one that encourages interaction with other attendees and builds excitement during an event. “[Participants] could see real time who was in the lead and we also had bonus points built in to incorporate local info,” Findley said.

Findley also has seen SCANVenger Hunt used successfully at trade shows. Unlike passport books, where show attendees just go from booth to booth to get a stamp, SCANVenger Hunt helps exhibitors start a conversation through a relevant trivia question.

At their 2012 Awards Gala, NACE Denver awarded Arrangers with Best Entertainment for the LoDo Dine-Around QR Code Scavenger Hunt. That sounds like a  mission accomplished.

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