Pokémon Go: How Can Event Planners Use this New Trend

Without a doubt you’ve heard about this craze that is sweeping not only the United States, but the entire world. Perhaps you’re even an avid player. In fact, chances are good that you are. Few apps have seen such fast success, or put out such incredible numbers of engagement at any point during their existence. Released in the United States on July 6, the app had more downloads from the Apple iTunes store than any other app in history in its first week, and on Android devices, the app was being used twice as much as Facebook.

What can an event planner learn from all of this record breaking user engagement?

How is Pokémon Go Different?

The popularity of apps ebb and flow. Every so often, a new trend will stick around, but regardless of staying power, there is one thing that truly sets Pokémon Go apart from the rest, something that event planners in particular should take notice of. While many popular social media sites like Instagram or Snapchat will encourage users to go out in the world to get better pictures or stories, it’s completely up to the user how and where to go, and a creative user can use those services to equally great effect by staying home. But Pokémon Go, by its nature as a location based game with a virtual reality component, dictates the terms of where its users must go to participate.

Already events and businesses have been noting the success of Pokémon Go, and taking advantage of the game directly, from the Republican Convention setting up as a Pokémon Gym (a place where players can battle each other) to a Hillary Clinton campaign event hosted at a Pokéstop (where players can catch Pokémon), it’s use as an effective engagement tool, is one thing both sides of the aisle can agree on. At the recent Comic Con convention in San Diego, they created a tie-in by including pointers on where to hunt Pokémon in their city guide and a New York chocolate shop has been creating Pokémon chocolates and offering discounts to players. At this time, there is no way to interact directly with game creators for sponsorship, but there are lots of opportunities to reference the game. But there’s even more to be learned.

Using Augmented Reality to Create a Real World Adventure Based on a Great Story

As Woody Allen once said, “Showing up is 80 per cent of success.” For the event planners, getting their target audience to show up can feel like the single factor that determines success. In the very beginning of its popularity, a lot was made about the fitness benefits of the game, and with good reason. The first person to “catch ’em all” dropped eight pounds in two weeks. What is it about this game that gets people to leave the many conveniences of the contemporary world, from endless streaming video services, to top video games, to whiling away hours on Facebook?

Pokémon has been around for 20 years, and while enjoying a similar sort of popularity in the 90s, it’s current incarnation transcends age. As any great marketer well knows, getting successful engagement is all about having a great story. But the genius of Pokémon Go lies in its integration of that strong backstory with the latest technology, from geolocation to virtual reality. By combining a gaming aspect, with a fun competitive edge, they have done a remarkable job of getting people to leave their arm chairs and engage.

At Soho Studios we take great pride in offering the cutting edge of event planning services along with state of the art and beautiful spaces. To find out how you can apply more of the lessons of the success of Pokémon Go to your next event, give us a call.

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