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by Michael J. Shapiro | September 01, 2010

SCVNGR, a  Cambridge-Mass.-based company whose technology uses geo-social technology, has built a game platform that's part scavenger hunt, part mobile tour guide, part Foursquare-esque networking tool. Essentially, one simply boots up the iPhone or Android app (or texts a given code from other mobile phones) and discovers nearby places at which one can check in and/or nearby "treks" to complete. These treks have been created for a variety of conference clients, as well as universities and museums, and have lately gained more popularity among destination management organizations. Both the Philadelphia and Norfolk, Va.,  convention and visitor bureaus announced SCVNGR apps this summer as fun ways to explore and learn about their respective cities.

Both organizations tout the SCVNGR challenges as potential team-building activities. "One could very possibly set up a group into teams," explains a VisitNorfolk spokesperson, "challenging each team to complete a trek, and at the end of the day or specified time, the team with the most points wins. We anticipate it will be a hit with conference attendees, as all of the games are within close proximity to our main convention area."