I remember the days, pre-cell phone era, when a scavenger hunt meant running around my neighborhood attempting to collect rubber bands, banana bread recipes, and old coke bottles from indulgent neighbors faster than some other band of kids.
Of course, as technology changes the game, the games change too. With increasing frequency, QR codes are used to develop knowledge of places (like libraries or even cities), and generate interaction between customers and businesses. One of the more fun and inventive ways to do this is through the use of QR-coded scavenger hunts.
SCANVenger Hunt, a social platform, is making a business out of high-tech, adult scavenger hunting. Recently, in Dallas, Texas, the Dallas Visitors Bureau and the Omni Hotel licensed the platform to create a fun and tech-savvy way for 300 event planners to learn about the city and hotel. Event attendees were able to scan QR codes hidden at various locations, including The Omni Dallas Hotel, The Dallas Cowboys Stadium, Texas Motor Speedway, Southfork Ranch, The Sixth Floor Museum, and The Great American Golf Course.
Once attendees located and scanned a hidden QR code, they were prompted to either answer a trivia question or interact with the location in some way, for example, by uploading a picture to Facebook. Answering questions or performing tasks builds up points to earn rewards. This same type of functionality can work at retail locations, municipalities, malls, and car dealerships.
An Infiniti dealership used the SCANVenger game over the course of a weekend to familiarize clients and potential customers with different parts of the dealership. Trivia questions posed during the game encouraged interaction with Infiniti sales representatives and boosted the dealership’s activity 86% above average.
High-tech scavenger hunts are also popular with the younger crowd. One place the game has been used to successfully promote literacy in general and digital literacy specifically, is in libraries. Gwyneth Jones, aka The Daring Librarian, runs an award-winning education blog, and has created a QR code scavenger hunt to help ESOL students get familiar with how to use the library. On her blog, she gives detailed instructions on how to create QR codes and scavenger hunt hints. You can find her detailed instructions here.
Conducting digital scavenger hunts in schools is another way to incorporate friendly competition and technology with learning. A free online tool, The QR Code Treasure Hunt Generator, from classtools.net is a great resource for educators who want an easy, step-by-step method for creating a simple QR code scavenger hunt. Simply enter a series of questions and answers, generate 2D codes for each set, and then place the codes where students can search for them.
Whether the intended audience is children or adults, integrating QR codes with scavenger hunts can broaden the platform for learning, creating a timely opportunity for marketers and educators alike.
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