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What #EventProfs Can Learn From Pokémon Go

Blair Pettrey

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Whether it’s you, your child, your coworker, your noticing of the influx of people looking down on their screen in populous areas (more than normal, we mean), or you just keep up with the latest cultural news – you’ve heard of the massively popular newly launched game ‘Pokémon Go’.

What is Pokémon Go?

In laymen’s terms, Pokémon Go is an augmented reality game available for smartphones. Pokémon Go utilizes smartphones GPS to help players find Pokémon in the ‘real world’. Released just over a week ago on July 6, 2016, exclusively to Australasia, the United States, and parts of Europe – Pokémon Go has already taken the world by storm. Like the biggest mobile engagement app Tsunami, Hurricane, tornado, and blizzard combined type storm.

As NPR ‘defined’ Pokémon Go in a recent post, “A Letter to Pokémon Go Players from an Ingress Fan”, Pokémon Go is: “Played via a smartphone app that pulls in a mapping function, this is a "real world" game that requires players to consult the Pokémon Go map of their neighborhood (or wherever location they are visiting), then capture Pokémon characters. By visiting certain sites, including historic landmarks, the play is enhanced; some activities become possible only at higher levels of achievement in the game.”

Pokémon Go – a mobile game app that has generated 7.5 billion dollars for Nintendo its first week of launch, is generating more user engagement than Facebook and Twitter combined, and had more installs on Android devices in its first 2 days of launch than tinder does total – mean for the event industry? A lot.

1. Event App Adoption Rate

One of the most important aspects of any successful event app, is the adoption rate. Event adoption rate is how many attendees of your event attendees download and use your app. MeetingPlay prides ourselves as on having one of the highest event app adoption rates. Yet, Pokémon Go in 2 days out beat downloads of Tinder. And while all three apps – MeetingPlay, Pokémon Go, and Tinder are user engagement based apps – we all service different demographics and serve different purposes. Thus why would Pokémon Go be relevant?

Encouraging users to adopt your app before your event, allows for excitement and opportunity for hype to build upon that excitement. The more opportunity you are able to encourage users to adopt your event app, the more that will utilize the app on site. Pokémon Go has built prime real estate in adoption rates merely based upon word of mouth. Encourage event attendees to download your app – and then incentivize or encourage their colleagues to adopt your event app as well. The power of trust goes a long way when it comes to event app adoption rate – and that trust begins with your adoptees.

2. Make it Fun – Gamification

At MeetingPlay we’ve shared time after time how important event app gamification is. What is event gamification? In exchange for participation and engagement within your events mobile app, your event attendees are rewarded points, rankings, and potential earnings. Gamification encourages event interaction and engagement not only within your event app, but with vendors, promotions, and even networking. Pokémon Go has been so successful not because it is required or encouraged, but because it is fun. The ‘prizes’ are merely virtual yet the excitement and ‘addictiveness’ of Pokémon Go’s gamification is enough to attract new users, and retain current users.

3. Lure Your Event Attendees with a Pokestop – Aka Event App Sponsorship

Enter Pokémon Go Pokestops. Pokestops are currently specifically stationed locations usually at cultural spots (statues, public builds, restaurants, coffee shops, etc.). (In the future, the opportunity for sponsored pokestops is in the works.) Essentially however, locations that have already been identified as ‘Pokestops’ can attract (aka ‘Lure’) clients by engaging with the Pokémon Go mobile app and paying to attract Pokémon – and allowing other users to see that your ‘Pokestop’ has an influx of Pokémon present, thus attracting other Pokémon Go users.

Sure your event app isn’t going to be “luring” anyone with the influx of Pokémon – but you can encourage others to engage with your event app, and your event, as we mentioned prior through incentives and offers.

Not only will ‘luring’ event attendees to download and engage within your mobile event app, as we mentioned previously, it will also delight your event app sponsors and vendors. Unique opportunities exist within your event app to attract revenue, for both you and your event app sponsors. Push notifications is one example of ‘luring’ your event attendees to specific vendors or exhibitors – and an offer you can present to potential sponsors. (Learn “11 Ways to Monetize Your Event App” with MeetingPlay’s free eBook).

In Conclusion

Social Tables hit the nail on the head when they said: “Like any great event, Pokémon Go brings people with common interests together.”

Whether your event is aiming to encourage networking, engagement, or long term participation – before, during, and after your event – MeetingPlay and Pokémon Go have one thing in common – as engagement driven and focused entity’s, our apps and engagement focused technology is here to help your next event.

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