What the Pokémon Go Craze Means for Venues and Events

What the Pokémon Go Craze Means for Venues and Events. Venues and existing events are already taking advantage of the popular augmented-reality game.

Since it was launched by Nintendo and Niantic on July 7, Pokémon Go has become one of the most popular mobile apps ever. It’s already taking over venues and major summer events. The global augmented-reality scavenger hunt, which through GPS tracking encourages users to catch Pokémon.  Whether by walking to various locations on a map, has led to mass amounts of players flocking to locations—designated as “Pokéstops” and “gyms”—that range from event venues and restaurants to national and city parks, museums, and historic monuments.In just two weeks, there have been a slew of community-organized events such as park meetups and bar crawls for people to gather and catch Pokémon Go en masse. The National Park Service has embraced the craze.  By using the newfound attraction of its parks to host game-driven hikes and have rangers help players catch creatures. However, the game has already been subject to some controversy when players tried to catch creatures at sacred sites including the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. As well the National September 11 Memorial and Museum in New York.In terms of how the game has performed as a mobile app, data collected by Similar Web showed that since the app was released.  It has been installed on more United States Android phones than popular dating app Tinder, and was slated to surpass daily active users on Twitter.For massive pop culture events like Comic-Con International, which begins today at the San Diego Convention Center, it was only natural for the host city to highlight notable neighborhoods and locations surrounding the game for tourists. Earlier this week, the San Diego Tourism Authority released a guide that highlighted the eight best spots to catch the creatures during the four-day event.

“Since the launch of Pokémon Go, we’ve been seeing a lot of folks posting great Pokémon Go tips at local sites and landmarks,” says Candice Eley, director of public relations for the tourism board. “With so many people traveling to San Diego this week for Comic-Con International—many of whom we expect will be fans of the game—we thought it was a great opportunity to round up nearby ‘Pokéstops’ for visitors. We hope the game encourages attendees to explore San Diego a bit further and adds visits to some of our attractions to their itineraries.”

Voilà Chocolat, a chocolate shop in Manhattan that hosts in-store make-your-own chocolate events, has already taken advantage of the fact that it’s a Pokémon Go “gym,” where players can battle others with creatures they’ve captured. Voilà Chocolat head of sales Elaine Boxer, who’s also an avid player, explains that it made sense to introduce discounts for players, custom Pokémon-theme chocolate, and power strips for players to recharge their phones.

“We’re very fortunate that we happen to be a destination in the game.  We introduced something specific to our business that’s reflective of the game,” Boxer says. “The medium we work in is so flexible and allows us to take advantage of holidays and phenomenons like this. Whatever people’s passions are, we can reflect in chocolate.”

Boxer also notes that the shop has used its social media accounts to advertise the fact that it’s a location in the game. As well to encourage players to stop by. “Whether it’s organizing themed happy hours, bar crawls, or parties. Its what restaurants and event venues can do is really enhance players’ experience of the game”.

Political events have also gotten in on the action. Hillary Clinton hosted a recent campaign event at a “Pokéstop”.  She set up a lure module—an element of the game that attracts players to a specific location.  For a chance to catch rarer creature. It was as an incentive for players to show up at the event and register to vote.

Pokémon Go hasn’t announced any sponsored events yet. But the app does plan on hiring a community manager to organize official gatherings.

By Ian Zelaya Posted July 21, 2016, 7:15 AM EDT

Effectively Control entry and Check-in guests smoothly

1. Welcoming guests happens… before the event

Preparation and organization before your events are the keys to success. In order to achieve this, use an online booking and invitation system, such as Evenium Net for example, which will allow you to generate a booking form and ask your guests questions: Which sessions do they wish to participate in? Are they staying for dinner? Etc. Managing invitations and bookings optimally beforehand will enable you to best prepare for the guests’ actual arrival (reception counters, hospitality staff, signage, goodies, etc.)
Trick: Send your participants e-badges by email, with QR codes on them, and ask them to print them out before the big day. Arrival will be a breeze with this!

2. Adopt new technologies for a fast and personalized welcome

How can you be sure to easily and quickly welcome your guests upon arrival? Are they VIPs? Do they have a payment pending? Do they benefit from a special package or treatment? Imagine – With the help of tablets equipped with a hospitality app, such as Evenium OnSite, your hospitality staff will be able to control and manage access more easily than ever before. All they have to do is scan the QR code on the e-badges, and guide the guests through the event. It’s that simple and easy! Furthermore, all the information is directly synchronized in real time with your database. In this way, you have a global vision of your event’s statistics: who has arrived? How many people are present, etc. (Perfect! You can adapt your activities and table seating accordingly). You will also be prepared for any fraudulent attempt.

3. Eliminate A-F reception counters, implement a “production line” instead

Speaking from experience, we recommend organizing the reception counters by theme and not by alphabetical order. In this way, the guests will be spread out in a more efficient way among the different counters.

For example, create a section for those who have already pre-registered, another one for those who haven’t paid yet and yet another one that will only take care of the exceptions. These exceptions often lead to long queues. Guests have to wait their turn, whereas hostesses could have already registered two or three participants in the meantime. What more, it always makes a better impression to have a special VIP counter – you probably don’t want to make your speakers, sponsors, reporters, etc. wait!

4. Make your staff happy

Hospitality apps are often really easy to use! Your hostesses will enjoy using them and their work will become less stressful. All you have to do is brief your hospitality staff the day before the event, and let them play around with the app. It’s easy to use and quick to learn.

Imagine the worst possible cases a few weeks in advance, and compile them in a single document that your hostesses can then refer to. Train them so that they are able to answer all questions without continuously having to call you (you probably have other things to deal with!)
Trick: Count one hostess for every hundred guests

 

Perrine Abrard

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