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15/08/2010 / Hackett

Fiji Urban Hunt: Social Media Madness in Chicago!

Team H.C. United!

Yesterday I was one of the lucky few to take part in the groundbreaking social media-fueled scavenger hunt in downtown Chicago.  Fiji water was the title sponsor, but there were scores of others, such as the host of the post-party, Sushi Samba Rio (@SushiSambaChi), The Wit Hotel, Shoreline Sightseeing (@ShorelineTours), the Hard Rock Hotel (@HardRockChicago), Veev vodka (@VEEV), and local sports and pop culture website and blog State St. Sports (@StateStSports). 

Each of the almost 50 two-person teams involved was given a list of 22 clues to locations throughout the city, instructed to check in via Foursquare upon arrival, and complete a task before moving on to the next destination to accumulate points.  For example, the task at the Hard Rock Hotel was to locate the contact staff peron in the lobby, take a picture with the Flying V guitar, and upload it to Twitter and Facebook using the hashtag #FIJIHunt. 

Carney and I rockin' out with the sweet Flying V!

Both team members had to have active Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare accounts.  My partner was the one, the only, Mike Carney, a fellow Marquette graduate and social media enthusiast.  We were allowed to only use public transportation or the Shoreline water taxi, and were given one-day CTA passes to facilitate navigating the city. 

With 22 mini-missions to tackle in only 180 minutes, the name of the game was prioritizing.  There was almost no way to get all of them finished in the time allotted, so it was important to decipher the clues, plan your route and maximize the number of points earned by your team.  Mike and I went into this thinking it would be a fun stroll around the city, checking out new places and taking pictures, but we were greeted with an intense, hair-raising sprint through downtown Chicago in 90+ degree conditions!  What a workout!

It’s hard to pick a favorite moment, but at the top of the list are the Hard Rock Hotel rockin’ with the Tribal Flying V, unlocking the “I’m on a BOAT!” Foursquare badge after checking in on the water taxi, and the Hotel 71 penthouse/ballroom that was the setting for Bruce Wayne’s palatial condo in The Dark Knight.  It was pretty cool to hang out in Batman’s bedroom. 

Even though we didn’t win the contest, it was an incredibly fun day, and I think I lost six pounds just walking around the city!  I would definitely do it again next year, and I recommend you do the same!  My only hope is that the video of Mike and I doing the cabbage patch never makes it to YouTube!  Thanks, FIJI Hunt!

You really don't want to see this.

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