Pokémon GO. Should event profs embrace the craze?

14 Aug 2016 Exhibitions

If you haven’t yet heard about Pokémon GO then you are probably living under a rock. A lovely peaceful rock it may be, particularly if you feel the same way as this guy.

Event Technology - Pokemon

But, love it or hate it, the cultural tsunami that is Pokémon GO is so powerful that the Guardian has written an article designed to help people stop playing. Apparently, it is just that addictive.

What is Pokémon GO?

For those of you already caught up in the thrill of #GoCatchEmAll, feel free to skip this next part…

Pokémon GO is a location-based game played on iOS and Android devices. Players use GPS on their smartphones to locate, capture, battle, and train virtual Pokémon creatures.

Pokémon’s appear on screen as if they were in the same real-world location as the player and Pokémon GO also turns local landmarks and businesses into 'PokéStops' where players can stock up on free virtual accessories, and 'Gyms' (where trainers train their Pokémon and battle other teams).


Pokémon GO has quickly become a global phenomenon, having been downloaded by more than 100 million people worldwide.

What can event profs learn from Pokémon GO?

Outside the world of event management, marketers are already capitalising on the lure of Pokémon Go, with coffee shops and retailers offering discounts to players who come into their premises looking for Pokémon.

Mercedes has reportedly invested in ‘lure modules’ which attract the virtual Pokémon creatures from nearby PokéStops into their showrooms and, in turn, increase footfall. However, while this strategy seems viable for local coffee shops, you have to question how many of those players searching for Pokémon are actually in the market for buying a top-of-the-range car?

And so it is with events and exhibitions. The real lessons event professionals should be learning from Pokémon Go is that context is everything.

Quirky tech is always an attention grabber at events and exhibitions. Augmented and VR are being used to create multi-sensory, immersive experiences that have the potential to change the world of events forever. Likewise, gamification and proximity-based tech are being increasingly used to help event organisers and attendees meet their objectives and engage with customers.

This blending or digital and live experiences is happening all the time, and while nothing beats face-to-face engagement, to ignore the impact that technology is having on our sector would be imprudent, to say the least.

However, even the most exciting technology isn’t going to deliver results without first considering who you are trying to attract and how it is going to help you to do that. To be successful technology must be supportive of your wider event aims, not a distraction.

At Apex, we understand the immense effort that goes into preparing for events and exhibitions, and we work with you to help reach your goals and achieve a truly positive experience. If you’d like to find out more about how we can help you to successfully and strategically integrate the latest technology into your events, contact us to find out more, or give us a call today on + 44 (0)1625 429370 to discuss your requirements in more depth

Image Credit 



Apex has over 30 years of experience in events and exhibitions and a philosophy based on exceptional service, expertise, and innovative solutions. To find out more about how the Apex team can help you, contact us today.