Fill Your Venue Using Pokémon GO
We can’t get enough of Pokémon GO at HoldMyTicket. Seems like someone's always luring Pokémon here to the office. It's gotten us on our feet more often for a coffee break or a walk around the block. The hype of this game is still very real.
Procrastination aside...did you know Pokémon GO could also bring more people into your venue? Your spot could be THE spot to play!
To explain the craze...
Image courtesy of [Tumblr](http://wholockedmerlin.tumblr.com/post/58053967991)
Pokémon GO launched a few weeks ago for free on iPhone and Android. It achieved over 30 million downloads as of last week and now is in 31 countries. Check out these stats of the game blowing other social media apps out of the water.
Here's how it works: The player creates a character that walks around in a simulation of their actual surroundings. Pokémon roam around for them to catch, raise, and then battle. Everything is plotted on real-world locations, so the players actually have to be on foot. Here's the important vocabulary:
PokéStops: Checkpoints at places of interest like notable buildings, art installations, and monuments around town. They're used to power up and collect special items that help players catch Pokémon and advance their trainer level.
Gyms: Larger checkpoints where players battle their Pokémon. These places are less frequent around town and are generally well-known establishments within a community. Players tend to spend more time here. If your establishment is a Gym, you're in luck.
- Lures & Lure Modules: Items that can be placed on a PokéStop for a duration of 30 minutes to attract Pokémon who are hiding in the area. Lures are free and are earned from gameplay. Lure Modules, which are much more powerful, can be purchased in the app for 100 PokéCoins (99 cents).
Pokémon for business?
Interestingly, there isn’t a marketplace for businesses to tap for ad placement yet. You have to set yourself up as a player and have access to the same stuff that any regular user buys.
Creatively, you can still market this way. You just have to play the game.
Bring the players to you
Lures have about a 15-meter radius. If your venue is near any notable art installations or landmarks there's a good chance there is a PokéStop and players near you, and you can use a Lure.
Any players can see your username stamped on the Lure. It's a cool social element where you're acknowledged for your well-spent 99 cents. A word of advice: make your venue's name your username so people recognize you.
A technique called farming lets you utilize areas that have a lot of PokéStops to place multiple Lure Modules at once and draw an unavoidable amount of Pokémon into that area.
Be open to the game. Offer rewards.
Fortunately, you're facing a prime audience for live events! You're drawing in young people who are already out and about. Especially if you're farming, players are doing some high-intensity catching. They're earning the break time to migrate to your establishment and enjoy your show.
- Use the hype of Pokémon to advertise, and don't forget the personal touch of your venue. Rock bar? "We only accept Rock types here"
- If you are near that Pokéstop, advertise it! Clear and simple. There. Are. Pokémon. Here.
- Offer incentives, like discounted entry or a free/discounted drink, to players based on their trainer levels. (For example, Level 5 is an achievable, but still exclusive level)
- If you have plentiful Pokémon inside: Do a photo contest at the event. Players have to snap the best shot of a Pokémon at your venue, then tag your venue on Instagram. Reward them later on your social media with tickets to another show, or see if the band would want to join in by announcing the winner onstage and do a meet & greet.
- If you're in a Pokémon dead zone: Mobilize. Place Lure Modules at other locations with high Poké-traffic and place offers there. Use a poster or flyer that has a QR code that leads to promo tickets. Spread the word via social media or newsletter: “We’ve placed some lures around downtown. Catch Pokémon and find our flyer. Scan the code for $5 off tickets! Valid from 7-10 pm tonight!"
Hey tour guides, get in on this
Attention all walking city tours, trolleys, and nature hikes: Chances there are already Pokéstops on your tour! Do you focus on historical buildings, murals, or nature spots? So does this game.
You and GO share the goal of shedding a new light on a city or area, which is great! Just embrace that, at moments, the group's attention may shift from the history of this 100 year-old building to the Zubat in the tree next to it.
- Make sure everyone can play. Invest in a mobile hotspot and get everyone on your wifi.
- Carry a mobile USB charger so players can charge their phone if they're running low on battery.
- Help them level up and pause the tour when a rare Pokémon appears.
- A member of the group’s egg just hatched in its incubator? Celebrate!
- Pokémon GO PLUS, the game's bluetooth accessory, is releasing at the end of this month. If you’re really feeling generous purchase one and reward the person with the most Pokémon caught by the end of the tour.
Pokémon courtesy of [deviantart](http://spiketheswede.deviantart.com/art/Pokemon-Logo-Minimalist-270706985) and [Pokémon Wiki](http://pokemon.wikia.com/wiki/Onix)
If you’re fortunate enough to have a PokéStop or a Gym on location, make that your event! It's a perfect theme for your more low-key event coming up - maybe your weekly karaoke night.
- Promote: Add a Pokémon-themed twist to your usual flier and make it known that this is a special event for players.
- Place Lure Modules for the span of your event. They can't be scheduled, so set a reminder for yourself to place a new module every 30 minutes.
- If you really want to go all out: decorate, serve a themed drink, use your projector to stream related videos.
There you have it: a Pokémon party at your venue.
*You are not too late to use this game for your business!*
Pokémon has brought a new twist to in-app marketing - you’re sharing goods (like Lures) and adding value to customers (like Trainer Levels) in a virtual space (Pokémon GO), while advertising on the ground.
The Pokémon Go community is still an expanding variety of people. What better way to increase your customer base, personalize your venue, and build a rapport with existing and potential event-goers.
Too Long; Didn't Read?
Spend 99 cents and attract new customers, or keep them entertained during your show!
Image courtesy of [rebloggy](http://rebloggy.com/post/pokemon-mine-vulpix-geodude-psyduck-chronicles/35866982721).