Create Sensational Geocaches – How Do I Finance That? | Daniel Pflieger

In my last post “How Do I Create Extraordinary Caches?”, I told you how geocache owners can get suitable locations. Of course, it is possible to place a PETling with a log strip at each park bench or phone booth, but as an owner you will hardly collect any favourite points. If you’re only interested in having more caches out there, you do not need to read on further. But for some geocachers, this is not enough – they want to create something legendary: Sensational geocaches the whole nation is talking about. Like those that make it to the ‘cache of the week’ or the ‘cache of the month’ in the geocaching magazine. Like those caches that seekers must make a reservation two years in advance to find. Logs that are written to make you cry from happiness. Caches like MüssmannhausVergissmeinnichtHart am WindDie Kinder des Buchbinders and so on.

We have already identified the things theses caches have in common in the last post. Most of the above mentioned caches have an exorbitant ‘wrapping’ (trailer, container, car, a whole building, …).

It is also obvious that in the most these masterpieces, a lot of money has been invested.

Firstly, for the design of the hideout and the stations, and further for the permanent maintenance. Whoever has a well-going cache with a good final knows that more logs imply more maintenance.

Cool Geocaches – But Without Paying On Top

The inspiration for this post was a note of the owner Staubfinger 0702. Many know him because of his excellent geocaches. In January 2018 he wrote regarding his cache Dexter2, that he will archive it soon, as the (financial) effort is not reasonable anymore and he has to pay on top.

This post received a great deal of attention in relevant geocaching Facebook groups immediately and caused disappointment but also understanding. This geocache has far more than 2000 favourite points and is really a highlight. As I have not found it yet, it was standing on my bucketlist of course. This is particularly regrettable because it will be archived now and I cannot log it any more. That will be a pity for the whole community.

I thought ‘Must that really happen? Are there no other options?’ And, as I manage to accomplish extraordinary cache for many years, I want to show opportunities how such complex and exclusive geocaches develop and can be operated without additional payments by the owners.

Like in the last post the approach is as follows: Find someone who is interested in the effects.

The effects of a cool geocache are: It attracts geocachers, it is found often, it is talked, written, posted, discussed, … shortly: A good geocache works like a magnet, which attracts people. And who despite the owner is interested in attracting people? Basically everybody who is advertising!

That could be: cities’ and towns’ tourism departments, leisure facilities, shops, restaurant owner, etc.

Many of Daniel’s masterpieces can be found on YouTube, like this one by The Geocaching Vlogger: The Funniest Geocache I Have Ever Found.

All of them want to attract people. They want to have potential customers at their point of sale. And therefore they spend money for adverts, radio spots, posters, advertising columns, perimeter advertising, adverts on buses, online advertising, etc.. The effects are hardly measurable. If somebody comes, the why is often unclear.

But not for geocache owners. Everybody knows exactly how many visitors have been there.

You can find sponsors with the same arguments; you can also find a good location.

Finding The Right Partner For Sensational Geocaches

But not every business is suitable to be a sponsor for a geocache. Recently a cosmetic institute called me because they wanted to have a geocache to attract more visitors. But I honestly answered that this is not suitable. The interests of geocachers do not match with the offers of a cosmetic institute.

It has to be considered what geocachers enjoy and are interested in. The following sectors are appropriate as partners or Sponsors:

– Gastronomy: cafes and tourist or forest restaurants

– Retail: outdoor retailer, bicycle dealers, technical markets, construction markets

– Leisure providers: escape rooms, laser tag, parks, zoos, climbing parks

– Tourism

In these places, it can be presumed that geocachers are interested in the products or services. This should also be clear to the potential sponsors. Think of yourself as a geocacher: What are you enjoying, where do you go shopping, what is attached to your hobby?

Surely you will find immediately possible contacts in your area. The next step is to contact them and speak to them in ‘their language’.

How this will work is answered by the next section.

Geocache Financing – So Your Sponsoring Request Will Succeed

The following example is not made up, but happened exactly like this – namely before I made the world’s best hobby – geocaching – my profession.

In 2009, I created a wide geocaching series with my friends: Hannopoly. We identified all streets available on the original Monopoly game plan in Hannover and implemented a cache. But we did not have a community field. Our idea was that the cache should include the opportunity for community care – and therefore should be large. We talked with a construction market (tourism) in our area – and they were enthusiastic at once! The gave us a garden shed in the exhibition, which we could transform to a cache as we liked. A passable cache – a rarity at that time. I think we also got some material from the construction market.

So, many bottlenecks were solved. At one go we had a location, a cool ‘container’ and even material absolutely free of charge.

What was the point for the construction market? Well, there would be many visitors on their own, and it was in an accessible area. You can be sure, this construction market will last forever in the minds of the geocacher.

Today I would even go a bit further. When you know how much money construction markets spend in newspaper ads or billboards, then it is quite legit to charge the rendered work and maintenance of the geocache. By the way: with the same arguments you can contact the public city marketing authority and eventually implement even a complete geocaching tour. You won’t believe how much money in city marketing is spent for doubtful measure (amounts with five digits for the labelling of hiking trails for example). This is all well and nice, but it is unclear if reallynew visitors come to the area due to this. If the same money were to be invested in new geocaches, the number of visitors would definitely rise.

Commercial Geocaches

In the meantime, some readers might think about the question whether the above-described way is commercial and therefore forbidden. The geocaching guidelines state the following:

‘Cache sites which are considered to be commercial will not be published. Commercial contents are the following:

  • Indication of advertising, marketing or merchandising
  • The finder must or should do one of the following
    • enter a shop
    • talk with employees
    • purchase a product or a service
  • Names, links or logos of
    • companies
    • commercial products
    • games or cache list services of competitors
  • Links or logos of agencies and organisations (including non-profit organisations), except it is necessary for the approval.

This means in plain language:

– Your cache is not supposed to be IN the business, but nearby should not be a problem.

– Your listing does not contain any adverts, any logos or links of and to your sponsor.

– The access to the cache is possible without talking to an employee or buying something (this even means no asking for the keys).

But all this leaves you enough wiggle room.

Look at these examples, which are all absolutely guideline compliant.

Nevertheless, the advertising effect occurs for the businesses. No cacher will ever forget such caches and even the environment is saved in their memory.

My fair Lady

Travel&Cache

You see, with a little preparation and the courage to contact possible partners, it can possibly happen to finance your own cache plans.

If you need support here, feel free to write me a message. No matter if it’s a GeoTour or a single cache: I can help to convince potential partners and show many case studies. My experience will make anything possible.

Have you used these tips to create any extraordinary caches? Tag us in photos of your caches – @geocachetalk on Twitter and Instagram; @Geheimpunkt on Twitter and @geheimpunkt.de on Instagram. Have you found any of the geocaches mentioned in this post? How can you use these tips in your own area?! Let us know!

Daniel, aka daniel354 (private, just for searching) and geoheimnisträger (business, just for hiding), started Geocaching in February 2008 while working with disabled kids and organizing their free time activity. The first cache made him addicted and on that same night he bought his first GPS Device on eBay. It got big pretty quickly in his life, so he started thinking about how to make it his job. First idea was a geocaching webshop which he started in 2010. Shortly after this he started with organized geocaching events for companies as an incentive. That is how “Geheimpunkt” started. Later on he came up with the idea of a geocaching travel agency (http://cacher-reisen.de/) and a geocaching marketing agency (https://kundenschatz.de/). Daniel prefers Night-Caches, Lost Place Multi Caches, T5 geocaches and really extreme caches like this long distance cache https://coord.info/GC3JH5D (900 miles on my bicycle).

The Geocache Talk blog wants your geocaching-related stories and insights – and cache hiding tips! Please contact me, Angie (aka @GeoJangie), to write a guest blog post or if you have any recommendations for subjects or authors. I can be reached via my email: JangieGoWest@gmail.com or through InstagramTwitter, or Facebook.

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