#GeocacheChallengeLdn — A Retro

Back in June I had an idea in #GeocacheChallengeLdn

For those who haven’t heard of it before, Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location. Kinda like Pokémon Go, but with actual items in the real world.

The event was an experiment — no set location, no real ticketing, just a set of tweets that participants should post in order to interact with myself and others. “#GeocacheChallengeLdn #registration. Our team is @_phzn @redroxprojects” and “#GeocacheChallengeLdn #log <photo>” were example of how ‘cachers’ would take part.

The immediate response was moderate, but the few people who engaged seemed really engaged. Without ticketing, I found it hard to estimate how many people would take part, but had a feeling it’d be about 20 or so based on the Facebook event.

Hugh & Sailesh finding one of 13 caches

As the day approached, the excitement seemed to fizzle and not many people engaged with the hashtag. Two teams of two people registered, only one person checked in, and just Hugh and Sailesh (above) took part.

Why didn’t it work?

These are just hunches I have, but I thought they were worth sharing:

  • The weather was beautiful and I feel many people would have done more summer-y things.
  • It was both a Bank Holiday weekend and the weekend of the Notting Hill Carnival. When my proposal was to go and explore London, clashing it with this was not the best move.
  • There was no formal ticketing process which reduced buy-in, and it’s easy to hit ‘Going’ on a Facebook event and then forget about it.
  • In it’s design, it required attendees to use Twitter and publicly post, which may have put some people off.
  • There may have been too many steps needed if people stepped through the flow as I designed it.
  • There was no set place to start — perhaps with a fixed starting point, like a HQ, there would have been more incentive to actually get up and go.

From talking to Hugh and Sailesh (the winners I guess), they had a really fun day, which means I’m happy with the outcome. I’ve learnt quite a bit from this one, and I hope you can take something away too.

Like what you read? Give Kevin Lewis a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.