Geocoinfest Lisboa 2012

By: Lackey – Annie Love (Love)

Lackey Annie Love

What do the inventor of the Geocoin, one of the oldest cities in the world and a night time cycling tour have in common? They are all aspects of a unique Mega-Event known as Geocoinfest. Geocoinfest Lisboa 2012 (GC3N1YQ) takes place in just about three weeks in the capital of Portugal. It promises to be an exciting event and I’m thrilled to get the opportunity to attend.

This will be my fifth Geocoinfest Mega-Event I’ve attended and yet another opportunity to connect with the amazing community. I enjoy working with geocachers and Geocoins every day as part of my work at Groundspeak. I’m privileged to attend this event with my coworker Jon Stanley (Moun10bike), who plans to bring the very first Geocoin for all to discover.

Geocoins add a fascinating element to the game of geocaching for me and many others.  Beautiful designs, unique icons, and the stories and pictures they collect as they move from cache to cache, or as they’re discovered in private collections, provide a fun experience for enthusiasts everywhere.  I love walking around Geocoinfest events and seeing geocachers showing off the pride and joy of their personal collections to new friends and old.  It always reminds me that the task of generating tracking codes (the unique set of numbers and letters that identify each Geocoin) at Groundspeak HQ  has such a greater meaning than I realize on a day-to-day basis.

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A dedicated event committee of over 50 Portuguese geocachers came together to organize this amazing event for Geocoin fans and collectors in a short amount of time. The committee is divided into eleven groups that cover the individual pieces that make up the Mega-Event.  One of these organizers, António Casimiro (Acasim), explained that “A Geocoinfest event is a special Mega-Event, a themed event related to Geocoins. But in reality it is much more than that. It’s a gathering of people from many different countries, an opportunity to meet some Groundspeak Lackeys, famous Geocoin designers and producers, and many many Geocoin collectors and geocachers in general, who often carry their Geocoin collections to show around or to trade at the event.”

Along with viewing the latest and greatest Geocoin designs, I’m hoping to enjoy some of those other aspects involved with the event. Music, games, a flashmob, tasting local wines, attending an evening bicycle tour of Lisbon to discover the city, and of course finding geocaches! The organizers have done an amazing job putting the event together and I personally can’t wait to see their efforts in person.

Silva provides some great tips for those interested in attending the 2012 European Geocoinfest:

– Book travel and hotel as soon as possible, to get better prices (accommodation pointers are provided on the event website)

– Add your “will attend” log and register for the event, providing the requested information

– Look at the provided program and prepare your own schedule, to make the best possible use of time

– Periodically look at the event web site for news and updates

– Contact the organization in case you have any questions — everyone will do their best to help you!

Find more details for planning on the official event website.  If you can’t make it to the European Geocoinfest,  the annual US event (GC2XW58)  is in the U.S. state of Colorado this October. Geocoinfest U.S. 2012 offers a similar experience in North America. Check out the official Geocoinfest U.S. 2012 website and register here.