When a major pharmaceutical company planned a drug launch meeting in New York for 150 sales reps last October, it needed to ensure that the information being presented would get absorbed and retained.

Enter “The Great Cab Challenge,” an interactive game designed by Canton, Mass.-based IML, a provider of audience response systems. Using handheld ARS devices, attendees are quizzed on meeting content as they participate in an animated cab chase in which New York landmarks provide the backdrop.

At the pharma meeting, attendees divided into groups by sales region and competed against each other by virtually racing through the streets of New York to answer questions about the new drug as well as trivia about the city. “The competition and repetition of data through the game was very effective,” says Adam Suellentrop, a producer at New York-based production company Barkley Kalpak Associates Inc. who worked on the event. “The content of the meeting was very cerebral, and it had to be disseminated in a very short amount of time.”

The Great Cab Challenge can be customized for any event and any city. IML (www.imlaudienceresponse.com) also offers other games for meetings and events, including Corporate Raceway, a thoroughbred horse race; and Summit Chase, a rock-climbing competition.