QR Quest Columbus scavenger hunt kicks off Monday

The first-ever QR Quest Columbus kicks off Monday at 8 a.m. The four-day Amazing Race-type event starts at Blind Acre Media’s offices, at 77 E. Nationwide Blvd., Suite 100, and features more than 10 Columbus-based businesses and attractions downtown, in the Short North and in the Arena District.

Unlike a typical scavenger hunt, QR Quest Columbus uses Quick Response, or QR, codes −two-dimensional matrix barcodes that can hold thousands of alphanumeric characters of information− to lead participants from destination to destination.

“Participants, who we call ‘Questers,’ will navigate downtown Columbus using their smartphones and knowledge of the city to follow a series of video clues,” says Scott Holtkamp, founder of Blind Acre Media and the event’s organizer.

To access the videos, Questers will scan a QR Code, watch a video, decipher the next location from the clue, check in on Yelp or Foursquare to confirm they were there, and then move on to the next stop.

While the majority of businesses involved are being kept confidential (as the point of the quest is for participants to decipher video clues that uncover their next destination), Nationwide Arena, MoJoe Lounge’s Short North location, and Tip Top Kitchen & Cocktails are three confirmed stops on the quest.

Questers who complete the entire course, which takes an hour and 15 minutes, will be entered into a drawing on Oct. 10 to win prizes.

“All said, we will be awarding over $400 in gift cards, tickets, and merchandise from businesses and attractions all around Columbus,” Holtkamp says. “We don’t want to give too much away because most of the prizes will come from the businesses and attractions on the quest, but these are places we all know and love.”

To Blind Acre’s surprise, the participating business owners typically were  receptive to using QR codes.

“In almost every instance, they were aware of the technology and really excited to see them in action,” he says.

With smartphone sales predicted to outpace PC sales by the end of 2012, more and more consumers have QR-friendly technology in their hands, he says, adding that  QR codes are a great way to engage customers and also track them.

“Used in combination with unique landing pages, business owners are able to actually track which of their promotional items are driving customer engagement and then capture important consumer data,” he continues.

To learn more about QR Quest Columbus, visit Blind Acre Media’s Facebook page at Facebook/BlindAcreMedia.