How Pokémon GO can help event planners

How Pokémon GO can help event planners

Pokémon GO, we’re sure you’ve heard of it. If you haven’t: it’s the latest gaming craze that has taken over people’s lives, worldwide. Different to other crazes, Pokémon GO has been a game changer not only in gaming but in a range of industries.

As more and more adopt the technology, there will also be an increase in its uses for events. Place this alongside the augmented reality seen in Pokémon GO, and it’s clear to see how the technologies that have driven the game to unseen heights could be used in events.

It must be noted that the location awareness technology shown in the game has been used before in a game named Ingress, although that never really took off. The popularity of Pokémon GO is down to the power of using advanced technology combined with a globally popular franchise.

So, what can event planners take from the craze?


We’ve previously spoken about how gamifying your events can keep your attendees engaged. We’re not suggesting that you let everyone play Pokémon GO at your event; that wouldn’t be useful at all.

You can, of course, take inspiration from what makes the players so addicted and engaged in the game. Use game mechanics at your event such as completion bars, challenges and points to encourage behavioural change. We’re all wired to compete so incorporating game-like rewards is useful in engagement.

Augmented reality

Unlike virtual reality which creates a false reality, augmented reality adds digital elements to the real world. The technology can be used at trade shows and exhibitions to present products too large to bring, or to show something in a different design or colour.

The technology could also be used in stage design and screens. The video below is an example of how the technology can be used. These come at a large expense but the prices have decreased in recent years.

Timing is important

It wasn’t a coincidence that the game was launched at the start of summer. This was a strategic decision. The same thought should go into your events; there are some events that just shouldn’t be held on a certain day, week or month.

Pokémon GO also lands on the 20th anniversary of the Pokémon series launch. Think about if there are any landmarks approaching relating to your business or event.

Big names sell

As mentioned previously, Pokémon GO wasn’t the first game that its developer Niantic made with the technology. Ingress, however, didn’t pick up the embracing that Pokémon GO has received. This goes to show that even when you have a great product, star power can sometimes be the difference.

Think about how this could transfer to events. Big name sponsorships? Celebrity host? Industry specialist guest speaker?

We’ve yet to figure out quite how to bring the Pokémon themselves to your event, but being aware of the above should help to bring enough numbers and engagement without the need for Pikachu.


Rosie Priestley is a Director of Toolshed Communications.