Jake’s Journal: Measuring success in many ways at KC Cache Dash
As for the “competition” angle of the day, it was easy to understand the feel-good sentiment that everyone felt they came out a winner. When four avid geocachers from the area started teaching several of my social media friends about geocaching, the highlights came too quickly to count as they scoured the city in tricked-out Land Rovers to find caches, tweet about the action and raise awareness for their respective charities. The action heated up immediately when my social media counterpart at Kansas City International Airport personally offered up a $100 donation to the charity of whichever team made it up north and found the airport’s cache first.
Then as they got a little muddy and sweaty, the teams learned a bit about the varying degrees of difficulty, terrain and awesomeness displayed for each cache at OpenCaching.com. And because we wanted to keep everyone on their toes, our “social media commentary desk” egged them on through “flash cache” challenges and smack talk, making the #KCCacheDash hashtag the top locally trending topic all day (impressively topping #KUBBall for one day during the Jayhawks’ stellar tournament run). And with the final score of our scavenger hunt all but decided, we watched on the GTU live tracking as one team took a final shot at glory and a big payday, knowing that being even a minute late to the finish line would cost half their points. Check out the recap video embedded here and see whether their hail mary paid off.
Making it clear that this great day was a group effort, about a hundred Garmin colleagues volunteered at the event, all of them eager to teach newcomers about geocaching and how to use our outdoor handhelds to find adventure at OpenCaching.com. We had product designers illustrating the many stages of how a device goes from an idea into production. Engineers answered questions, many of which came from an 8-year-old that I’d met days before at a YMCA Camp who had countless queries about how the satellites see us from space and exactly what materials go inside the devices to make them all work. Not sure what our minimum age is for an internship, but I’ve added his name to the can’t-miss list. Bringing all of those answers full circle, our product support experts – the same great folks who are so helpful when you call on the phone – came out to teach visitors how to build caches and begin geocaching on our on-site course that stretched for more than a mile. And many of my friends in communications took part by lending their creative talents or attending with their families.
I guess the best sign of success is that everyone – from the nonprofits and scouts to the cachers and volunteers – immediately afterward began talking about how we can make the event bigger and better, teaching more people about OpenCaching.com and improving more lives through charitable donations. Any time the first comments about Year One are focused on looking forward to Year Two, I’ll take it as a win.
Oh, and a young Superman was there. That could be tough to top next year. But we’ll try.
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