Pokemon Go hands on

How to Engage Event Attendees with Pokemon Go

Brandi 1

Image Source: PC Mag


About four weeks ago the world was blessed with Pokémon GO, the biggest U.S. Mobile Game Ever according to Survey Monkey.

Brandi 2

Image Source: Survey Monkey

If you’ve been under a rock or just inside taking a break from the torturous summer heat here’s a brief synopsis: Pokémon GO is a free, location-based, augmented reality game that actually takes place in the real-world, requiring users to explore their surroundings in order to progress in the game. Users stop at Pokestops, which include museums, office buildings, parks, even local art installations to replenish their supplies to continue in the game.

As with any craze we marketers are always left wondering, how can we get in on the action? Many have been quick to pivot and jump on the bandwagon, for instance, Yelp quickly added a Pokestop filter to their mobile app.

However, one of the most fascinating topics for me has been the conversation around how to incorporate Pokémon GO into event marketing. Meaning, how can conference and event planners incorporate the game into their meetings to keep attendees engaged?

Pokémon hasn’t officially opened the game up for advertising or sponsored activities yet but, here are a few initial ideas.

Break Out of the Convention Hall

Find some of the more interesting Pokestops in the area of your conference and host a networking or mix-and-mingle event your first night there. Hire a couple food trucks and invite folks to hunt Pokémon. You may be hesitant if you feel a large portion of your attendees aren’t in the target audience but, I bet you’ll get a lot of folks to attend just out of sheer interest.

Invest in Lures

Lures cost less than a dollar and are there to draw Pokémon to Pokestops, anyone can buy them so why not buy some to Lure folks to a session during the conference? Side note, in order for this to work your event does need to happen at a current Pokestop.

Offer Rewards

Let’s face it, 6 in 10 people are playing games on their mobile device which likely means about 60% of your conference attendees are glued to their phones. Why not engage them in the conference by rewarding them for their play? For instance, you could offer rewards for those who catch X rare Pokémon.

Does this have your wheels turning?

A couple of things to keep in mind if you’re planning to incorporate Pokémon into your next event:

  1. The game is currently a battery hog, if you aren’t already, make some charging stations available for your attendees.
  2. Remember those conference and convention halls can be terrible for WiFi, cell and GPS signals, so make sure you incorporate the game in areas with optimal signals if you want those Lures to work.

Have any other ideas? Have you already incorporated Pokémon GO into an event? We’d like to hear about it in the comments.

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