CVB Brings Social Gaming to Chicago Trade Shows

The Chicago Convention & Tourism Bureau (CCTB) has become the nation's first convention and visitors bureau to offer SCVNGR — a social gaming platform that encourages users to go places and participate in challenges in order to earn points — to trade show organizers, it announced last month.

According to CCTB officials, the game will "help show organizers add value and promote attendee engagement in an increasingly competitive meetings and convention environment."

"We evaluated SCVNGR along with others, and found their offering to be superior in many ways," said CCTB Director of Digital Marketing and Social Media Harvey Morris. "SCVNGR has exceptional customer service and technical support, and their social gaming platform is unmatched — it has greater flexibility in building out custom challenges and treks so that the user has an optimal brand experience."

The first Chicago trade show to use SCVNGR was the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS), which took place Sept. 13-18 at Chicago's McCormick Place convention center. The show's game included 12 challenges — three in each of the four McCormick Place buildings — designed to familiarize meeting attendees with the convention facilities while also driving traffic to the trade show floor. Participants who completed at least six of the challenges were able to "unlock" badges in exchange for discounts at the IMTS store.

"IMTS has been reaching out to its exhibitors and attendees through various social media channels," said IMTS Exhibitions-Special Projects Manager Lee Anne Orange. "We wanted to experiment with a geo-location application, and SCVNGR met our needs. The treks [created] an opportunity for our attendees and exhibitors to go beyond any pre-existing 'boundaries' to connect with old and potentially new friends."

In addition to the IMTS game, attendees and exhibitors used SCVNGR to play several Chicago-themed games designed by CCTB staff, which designed them to help visitors discover the city by making treks to local attractions.

"Working with CCTB and IMTS has been a pleasure, and what they've built on SCVNGR is going to turn a lot of heads," said SCVNGR Cities Specialist Evan Korzon. "The IMTS trek is creative, engaging and fun, and will likely prove to be the new model for engaging convention attendees through location-based technology."