By Greg Ruby
I had my first introduction to FourSquare last year during the 2010 PCMA Annual Meeting in Dallas when I was hanging out with my fellow Godfathers. Jeff Hurt was reminding us to check in everywhere we went that night and I was feeling left out as I did not have a smart phone at that time. By the time EventCamp rolled around the next month, I had me a smart phone and was addicted to FourSquare. Fellow EventCamp attendee Paul Salinger and I were slugging it out over the three days to hold the mayorships of the Roger Smith Hotel, site of the inaugural EventCamp.
Want to play FourSquare along with some of your fellow campers at EventCamp East Coast? First off, you will need a smart phone (iPhone, Droid or Blackberry) and have downloaded the FourSquare app. Secondly, where do we check in at? First, check in at the National Conference Center, site of this year’s conference. Someone will create an EventCamp East Coast venue, so check in there as well. Knowing this bunch of attendees, I can imagine there will be some impromptu gatherings at local restaurants and watering holes, and you will be able to check in these locales as well.
Whoever checks in the most at a venue (only one check-in per day counts) is rewarded by becoming the “Mayor” of that venue. It will be unlikely that any of the campers will check-in enough at any place while we are in town to become mayor, except for the EventCamp East Coast venue that is yet to be created. The mayor is only awarded after someone has checked in at a venue for a second time, so we should not have a mayor until Saturday morning at the earliest.
At the time of the original EventCamp, I was still very much a newbie and not that familiar with the various badges that FourSquare could reward users. Not anymore! There are a couple of badges that can be earned while you are at the conference and two other badges that can be earned in the metro Washington, DC area. So what badges can I earn while at EventCamp?
There is the PLAYER PLEASE badge that is earned when you check into a place where three of your friends from the other sex have already checked in. So ladies, become friends with at least 3 guys who are attending. Likewise, guys become FourSquare friends with three ladies who are attending. Your friends must be checked in before you do in order to earn the badge. Several of us who attended EventCamp Twin Cities were able to earn this badge during dinner after the conference.
The next badge is going to take an effort from a majority of the folks attending EventCamp to earn. The SWARM badge is earned when you check into a place where 50+ folks have checked into a venue, so we need participation from almost everyone attending to help folks earn this badge. There has never been enough check-ins at any of the previous six EventCamps to create a Swarm, so let this be your challenge at the National Conference Center!
If your schedule allows you the opportunity to do some sightseeing in the metro Washington area, there are a few additional FourSquare badges that can be earned.
Follow the History Channel on FourSquare and check into three venues they recommend on their page. It could be tough to earn the HISTORIAN badge – if only there were some museums or monuments in the Washington area to visit….
Follow C-SPAN on FourSquare and check into five venues they list on their page. Many of the sites for the Historian badge will also count towards the C-SPAN badge.
Enjoy your time at EventCamp East Coast and explore some of the metropolitan Washington area if you have the chance.