I'm a firm believer in mixing a little fun into meetings, and I heard from a colleague who got to experience playing the geolocation game SCVNGR at an MPI New England event that that's one good way to go about it. So I want to give a big kudos to the Chicago Convention & Tourism Bureau for making the SCVNGR social gaming platform available to show organizers.
It sounds like the first round is happening now. From a press release: "The International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS), the country’s largest manufacturing technology show takes place September 13-18 and is the first convention at McCormick Place to offer interactive gaming to its 90,000+ attendees and exhibitors. The IMTS 2010 trek includes 12 challenges – three challenges in each of the four McCormick Place buildings in an effort to familiarize attendees with McCormick Place, the nation’s largest meeting facility, and drive traffic to exhibitors. Participants who complete at least six of the challenges can unlock badges to receive discounts at the IMTS store."
Very cool idea. I'll be curious to see how many of those 90k people play along.