For exhibit and event professionals  

What Pokemon Go Can Teach Event Marketers

October 8, 2016 By Editor

Pokemon Go and Events

Do you picture the typical Pokemon Go player as a teenager with nothing better to do than to chase a mythical creature? We did too until we saw these stats from Forbes' article “Pokemon Go Is Making Children Of Us All.”

  • The average age of a Pokeman Go player is 31 years old
  • 48% are women
  • 34.6% of players earn over $100K per
  • 19.6 % earn between $50K and $100K per year

In case (somehow) you missed all this, here's how the game works.

“Pokemon Go is a downloadable app that runs on mobile devices using GPS and augmented reality. “Essentially, the main area of the game is a brightly-animated version of Google Maps. You'll see (unmarked) roads, rustling grass (marking Pokémon in the area), and local landmarks disguised as PokéStops and Pokémon Gyms. As you move in the real world, your avatar does too. Pokémon will pop up on the map with a small vibration as you walk along, and if you tap on them, you can try to capture them.” — imore.com

The concept of having an audience collect items in hopes of winning a game is nothing new. That used to be called a treasure hunt. In the olden days (before 2011, before we all had smart phones), an event planner might issue you a passport of sorts, with the idea that you would have it stamped each time you received a booth presentation or attended a seminar. When the “passport” was full you turned it in for a chance to win a prize. Variations of the game included being given tokens or pins you placed on your shirt.

The Pokemon Go craze has taught us that people still love the idea of a treasure hunt and that using the camera from a smart phone to create an augmented reality is not only easy but also fun.

We think Pokemon Go-like games can be used at trade shows, conferences and consumer events. And other trade show experts agree. In fact, there is a company dedicated to location positioning and augmented reality just for this purpose.

The Event Advantage

Inspired by a blog post from EventTechBrief.com, we asked Candy Lab, Inc. how easy it might be to create such programs. Candy Lab has developed an augmented reality platform they call Candy Bar that allows a company to create and control its own Pokemon Go-like programs. Once Candy Lab creates Candylab technology can be used at trade shows, conventions and consumer events to provide a fun, interesting and reasonably-priced branding, promotional, or informational tool.

So, we brainstormed just a few possible applications.

Trade Shows

Visitors are enticed to visit each section of the company’s trade show booth and, using augmented reality, collect virtual symbols the company has created. They are then entered into a contest to win a prize, invited to a VIP party or receive an reward depending on how many symbols they collect.

Consumer Events

Geo-located symbols are placed at various locations at an outdoor event. Attendees capture them (i.e. touches the symbol of their smart phone) and receive a message that directs them to a specific site or provides codes to redeem free product samples or invitations to special event activities.


A cool branding idea would be to have the symbols be unique characters or famous people. When an attendee finds an icon they can take a selfie with it and then post it on your company social media site for a chance to win a prize. The more they post the more chances to win.

Product Information

Bluetooth beacons can trigger augmented reality symbols or icons outside a minimum radius of approximately two feet. When products are displayed at least two feet apart, a visitor can capture a symbol for an individual product, product information can be displayed, texted or emailed to them.

Pokemon Go may be the defining moment of summer 2016, but its legacy maybe the introduction of augmented reality to real-time events.

Reading List

The growing push to track your location indoors — CNN.com

‘Pokemon Go’ Demographics: More Women Play Game Than Men — heavy,com

Pokemon Go Is Making Children Of Us All — Forbes


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