Monday, May 23, 2011

Geocaching for business

Ok - so my son has introduced me to Geocaching, and you ask what is it?
Well it seems to be treasure hunting but using technology instead of the old map and compass.  For Geocaching you use a website and either a GPS device or a smartphone, such as a Blackberry, Android or an iPhone – you also need to use your legs, eyes and common sense.
Cache boxes of  ‘treasure’ are hidden all over the world, all you need to do is search for them on the website, download the information to your GPS enabled device then, using the navigation software on your device, start walking in the right direction.  Once you have found the cache, you update the log book in the cache and possibly swap out one of the items found in the box (you have to swap items of the same or higher value).  You can even have ‘Trackable Items’ that you leave in a cache (perhaps in another country) and other Geocachers (is that the correct term for these people) can take the item and place it in a closer cache to your home cache, updating the Trackable Item log on the web.

Geocaching seems to be a great way of getting out and about in the countryside, seeing new places and even providing entertainment on long drives.
So what about the possibilities for businesses?
  1. It could be used as an internal team building event – most people have smartphones, the trial app is a free demo and the membership of is also free. It would train people on what other things a Blackberry can do apart from making calls, plus they would have to work as a team to find the caches.  A very cheap event. Plus they may get hooked!
  2. As an client team building event, purchase a few GPS devices, set up the caches and let them find the treasure – there are even companies set up to run these types of event.
  3. As a Marketing tool – now I am thinking, on a global level – when they made the Planet of the Apes film, the film makers set up APE Caches all over the world as an advertising gimmick – a Company could do a similar thing, especially if it has offices all over the place, each office could be responsible for one cache (ensuring it is full of company goodies) and the Geocachers would love to collect the whole set; or competitions could be run to see if a Trackable Item could be moved from the USA to the UK for example – the possibilities are huge, the outlay is very small and the advertising potential is enormous at a very small outlay – after all it is a healthy pastime that can be done by anybody.
  4. Another Marketing tool, would be to have GeoCoins minted for your company, these can then be left in caches for others to collect or use themselves… Example below

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