Using Pokémon Go To Lure Attendees To Your Next Event

Image Credit: Rick via Flickr
Written by coreynapolitano

What do you get when you combine augmented reality (AR), with one of the bestselling video games of all time? Add in the memories of childhood, the free download, and make it appealing to single players with the option for multiplayer and you’ve scored what no other app creator has. In its first week, Pokémon Go surpassed all gaming apps and is rivaling twitter in its number of users and it is not even available worldwide yet! Nintendo’s stock has risen like crazy, raking in close to 7 billion dollars in one short week. Yes, I said billions! So how can your future event or meeting capitalize on this craze?

Nearly eighty percent of Pokémon Go players are between the ages of 18 and 34, according to the website, Expanded Ramblings.  Using Pokémon Go to your event’s advantage to attract this market segment can be as simple as dropping a Pokémon Go “lure” found within the game or as detailed as mapping out the Pokestops around your venue for after-hour attendee fun, or a planned Pokémon Meetup.

If you are not familiar with the game, Pokémon Go is based upon “catching” Pokémon to add to your collection. In order to catch the cute little cartoon monsters, you must have a supply of Pokeballs. When you run out of Pokeballs, you must replenish your supply by walking to one or more Pokestops, then tapping on the spinning blue icon. You are then rewarded with a random assortment of items for future use, such as potions to heal, revives for your Pokémon injured after a battle, razz berries to feed those hard to catch Pokémon, and the ever important egg incubators to hatch eggs into more Pokémon by walking around while the game is on. The more you play, the more you catch, and the more you catch, the quicker you will “level up” to obtain more difficult and rare Pokémon creatures. More incentive to “level up” comes in the form of incense used to lure Pokémon to the user for 30 minutes, lure modules to lure Pokémon to an area for 30 minutes, and lucky eggs to double your experience points while evolving for 30 minutes.

Embracing popular culture to bring people together is a cool way to cross market your next event.

Here are some ideas to make your next event full of Pokémon Go surprises:

  1. Appoint one of your event coordinators as the official Pokémon Go team leader. This person will organize all the activities that pertain to Pokémon Go.
  2. Decide where to strategically place “lures” to your events advantage. Want to increase traffic at one particular event segment that has historically been slow due to time of the day or topic? Each “lure” lasts 30 minutes.
  3. Sent out a map of all Pokestops surrounding your event venue. You can find these using the GPS map on the game while there, or by searching for your venue’s location prior to arrival.
  4. Organize a planned Pokémon Meetup for some after-hours fun with your meeting attendees. Pick a starting point, share the Pokestop maps, and plan a route with fun stops along the way.
  5. Have a photo contest on social media sharing Pokémon capture pics during your event during designated “catch” times.
  6. Use all forms of social media to alert your attendees to Pokémon tie-ins. To ensure they are following your alerts, you can test different platforms and give away small prizes.

Just imagine claiming your next meeting or event could be the a Pokémon trainer gathering spot for the next three days. If you are wondering about the staying power of this popular app, consider this;  according to App Institute, in just one minute on September 8, 2016, Pokémon Go had 4,761 downloads and grossed $11,402 dollars; compare that to other games such as Candy Crush which grossed $1,340 and Clash of Clans which earned $945 in the same minute. Since the release date of July 6, 2016, Pokémon Go has grossed over 640 million dollars, and has proved it has staying power.

While Niantic, the app’s creator, continues to evolve this game, the possibilities are endless. Could there be commercial tie-ins? Of course! Now is the time for event and meeting planners to go catch some Pokémon while evolving the future of creative marketing.

Featured Image credit: Rick ©2016 under a Creative Commons License

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Corey is a recent graduate from Lipscomb University in Nashville, TN where he earned a BA in Marketing. He enjoys all things relating to social media and how it is changing the future of marketing and communication.

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