I’m no technophobe. In fact, I spend most of my delicious salary on technology – my brand new HDR TV is a joy to watch, the PC is equipped with the latest hardware, I only download an app for my iPhone if it’s in the ‘Hot This Week’ section… you get the picture. And I definitely love events that innovate and keep improving and keep finding new ways to engage. But, Pokemon Go as a means to engage me at an event? Thanks, but no thanks!
Answer me this – am I the only one who prefers interacting face-to-face with other attendees instead of everyone acting like extras from The Walking Dead? I mean people are already occupied more than enough with their smartphones. Have you seen a Pokemon Go enthusiast on the street? Or anywhere else for that matter.
Embrace the gimmick… or don’t!
There’s no right or wrong way here. Sure, you can learn from Pokemon Go and bring your event audience the joys of augmented reality, make better use of gamification, show them how progressive you are, and so on. And I totally believe the stories of how you connected with someone because of Pokemon Go and became BFFs! Just stop trying to convince me Pokemon Go is the way forward if you want to be cutting edge, and that somehow this mobile game is supposed to teach me new event planning tricks.
Sure, it’s probably fun. But there’s nothing new to learn from the success of Pokemon Go.
- VR was news back in 2014, today it’s more of a trend.
- We already knew gamification is a good way to engage your event audience. Again, this was considered news back in 2010.
- Augmented reality games, similar to Pokemon Go, have been around since 2009.
- People have been preoccupied with their smartphones since the turn of the century.
I could be wrong about the years, but the point remains. Pokemon Go brings nothing new to the table as far as events are concerned. Its novelty comes from the fact there are many people out there who grew up with this media franchise, so it has loads of mainstream appeal and nostalgia going for it. I was lucky to dodge that bullet!
One of my colleagues likes to say that “just because something is popular, doesn’t mean it’s bad”. And I’m not saying Pokemon Go is bad, because it probably is not. I’m saying event planners have very little to learn from it. In the end it is up to you to decide how you want to engage your target audience and what technology is right for your event. Just remember that technology should be there to assist and enhance the experience, not compensate for a lack of quality content.
I like my events like I like my coffee – unaugmented
For me, events can be fun and engaging without everyone staring at their screens. Or in their VR headsets. If you want to be genuinely great at your event job, don’t further encourage mankind’s fascination with screens! Instead go for an experience that keeps people away from their smartphones, tablets, etc. If I want to immerse myself in virtual reality I’ll stay home, where the likelihood of me falling off a bridge while chasing something is relatively low. The one thing that gets me going to an event every time is the opportunity for networking. That’s where I see their biggest value. Please, for the love of humanity, don’t take this away from me!