Columbus Arts Festival: Tweet and Go Seek promotes excitement and exposure

By Sarah Thompson
From the June 6, 2013 edition

True or false: Art can be adventurous, but only in the metaphorical sense.

False. Well, it’s false at the Columbus Arts Festival, at least.

For three years and counting — this will be its fourth year running at the event — the promotional Twitter game, Tweet and Go Seek, will encourage patrons to explore Columbus and festival grounds as they hunt for 200 images fitted on tiles. These images are photos of Instragram pictures by local photographers placed in a certain area around town; the only clues to the picture’s whereabouts are in background of the image.

If the adventure alone isn’t enough, the incentives may pique your interest: Each image is associated with a gift, anywhere from $5-$500 in product offers or gift certificate codes, with a total of around $3000 in prize-form.

While that range may be large, Matt Barnes, artist and father of the Tweet and Go Seek idea, a promotional tool used by the festival and other events around town, said the range of competition isn’t.

“People just go crazy. We’ve had people collide and butt heads for a $5 gift card to a shoe store before,” Barnes said, referencing an issue from the Tweet and Go Seek campaign for last year’s Columbus Marathon. “A lot of the hunt is about the competition.”

But that’s not the only thing. Patrons tend to collect the images of the photography, he said, which fulfills another goal of the game: exposure of local shutterbugs’ work.

Tweet and Go Seek continues the “enjoy local” theme with the awards; all gifts are from Columbus-based businesses, from Jeni’s Ice Cream, North Market and Dirty Frank’s to CAPA, CD 102.5 and McConnell Arts Center. There are even Columbus Arts Festival VIP tickets.

Ready to hunt? Follow @ColsArtsFest or @tweetandgoseek, and keep your eyes on your Twitter feed for each image and its accompanying award. Once you find the tile showing the image, redeem your gift at the Greater Columbus Arts Council information booth at the festival or at the appropriate business.

Tweet and Go Seek will run through June 9, with images being hidden around the city before the Columbus Arts Festival and then on site during the event. Get to grabbin’: only 35 tiles will be hidden each day.