July 21, 2016
By Anderson Conte

Since the launch of Pokémon Go, traveling mobs of people attached to their smartphones is not uncommon. But what is it about the Pokémon Go phenomenon that’s causing people to walk aimlessly around their neighborhood to catch imaginary creatures? Meeting and event planners take note.

Here are five ways event professionals can power up their planning strategy with the help of Pokémon Go:

1. Get on the Gamification Bandwagon

Pokémon Go has dominated the art of engagement, and event professionals very well know the importance of attendee engagement before, during, and after an event. To put it simply, engaged attendees are happy attendees – and we all want happy attendees. A surefire way to encourage them to participate in your meeting or event is to weave gamification into your mobile app. Like how Pokémon Go players scavenge their communities for new Pokémon and rewards, you can implement the same elements into your events. Gamification awards points to attendees when tasks are completed and ranks each player’s score based on the level of participation. This is not only a great ice-breaker but also a way to ignite some healthy competition.

2. Remember: Rewards Work

Pokémon Go does a great job rewarding players for all their accomplishments – tracking and catching Pokémon is hard work! Though the medal isn’t tangible, rewards boost motivation and create a sense of accomplishment. You can incorporate the same concept into your events. For example, Cvent has an advocates program that rewards members for engaging with the brand. Advocates can participate in interactive challenges, exclusive product reveals, and networking opportunities to earn rewards like gift cards, Cvent swag, or VIP event access. It’s a simple and effective way to get your attendees more involved with your brand.

3. Use FOMO to Your Advantage

One of the reasons the app is so popular is because users don’t want to feel like they’re missing out. Whether this means catching a rare Pokémon or lagging behind their friends’ progress, Pokémon Go has done a great job creating a sense of urgency. You can employ the same fear of missing out (FOMO) factor into your meetings and events to achieve greater adoption and engagement. Check out our post on how to use FOMO to increase event attendance.

4. Create a Sense of Community

Pokémon Go is uniting people who would have otherwise never met – neighbors are finally meeting and bonding over their strategy to catch a Pikachu. It has created the foundation to build a relationship. In a study we conducted on the attendee mindset, we found that networking is a top motivator for someone attending an event. Planners enjoy meeting other planners, so create networking opportunities at your events. This can be done through a happy hour or seating people with similarities at the same table. Provide ways for planners to connect with like-minded individuals and you’ll see greater satisfaction overall.

5. Encourage Exploration Outside the Event

The design of Pokémon Go forces users to visit parts of their town that they would otherwise never visit. Since Pokestops and Pokémon Gyms are randomly scattered, it encourages users to travel to new local (and far away) locations. When sourcing a venue, look for a location that offers plenty of activities for attendees to explore after hours. More and more attendees are extending their business stays into “bleisure” trips, which means attaching vacation days before or after the conference.

Whether you play Pokémon Go or not, it’s undeniable that the app has become an overnight industry trailblazer and the pinnacle of user engagement success. By incorporating similar components into your overall planning strategy, you’ll be able to successfully evolve your meetings and events.

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