Pokemon GO is turning into a powerful moneymaker pushing the video game maker’s market capitalization above $30 billion. How does it convert into real profit? There are different estimated quotas. According to IGN, Pokemon GO has made more than $14 million across all mobile platforms only week after it has been released. It proves that Niantic Labs’ new smartphone game has become a real craze. Moreover, its popularity is still growing. In this post, I am going to focus on Pokemon GO’s proven and potential influence on the event industry.
Pokemon GO’s existence has changed the way we manage events. Fans organize unauthorized competitions with these little creatures as a part of official events. Such gatherings happen to be numerous. That is why event managers have to track these social media initiatives and prepare for them. Planners should predict what issues may occur as it takes place outside their supervision. On the other hand, there are some hints that foretell that event industry will benefit from Pokemon GO’s popularity. Some organizers have already tried to consume the revenue that is awaiting for the event business. They see a potential of a ricochet profit. There are also various happenings all around the world centered on this phenomenon. Everyone wants a piece of the pie. As a result, we can differentiate 4 main event directions:
The event industry is wondering whether Niantic Labs would release Legendary Pokemon around official events as it did with their other augmented reality game, Ingress. If authors used the same scenario, players would have to work together to defeat and catch a particularly strong Pokemon. In a Forbes' interview, John Hanke (Niantic CEO) confirmed that the company would be releasing a new creature at the official Pokemon Go events. "You will see new Pokémon come into the game around special events at certain times in certain parts of the world [...] You’ll see us do some things around events." - he told the journalist. Hanke revealed that company may either plan their own events or support those self-organizing ones. He mentioned that if they go for official happenings, they will make them more engaging and interesting than in the past.
- Official Niantic’s events
Comic-Con International is a nonprofit educational corporation dedicated to the comic world. According to their official website their core goal is 'creating awareness of, and appreciation for, comics and related popular artforms, primarily through the presentation of conventions and events that celebrate the historic and ongoing contribution of comics to art and culture.' Their recent event proves Niantic’s new game popularity. A Pokémon Go bar crawl was one of the best events at the last Comic-Con gathering. Hundreds of people had come together just outside the convention center to drink and play the game. Plenty of Pokemon trainers were competing with each other making this a very successful show. Another example is connected to the famous music festival in Hungary - Sziget. Two attendees collected a group of people via Facebook and encouraged them to join Pokemon hunt during the official event. It all have generated extra chaos for the organizers. That is why when you organize a mass event decide whether you are going to support or ban such initiatives.
- Events devoted to Pokemon GO as part of a bigger happening
What do Dolphinarium in the Netherlands, Genius Phone Repair in Michigan, Yakama Nation Cultural Center in Washinton and Event0 in Germany have in common? They all organize Pokemon events in order to appeal to their potential clients and take advantage of the Pokemon's madness. Many brands all around the world try to promote their companies by steering their marketing strategies towards Niantic's latest game. They plan and execute hunting competitions for the hordes of fans. Some of them are professionally executed by the event departments or external agencies but some are totally amateur with no budget.
- Events that incorporate Pokemon GO in the marketing strategy
People all around the world create theme groups and events. They exchange knowledge, share stories and compete in Pokemon hunts. Such meetings, both offline and online, has gained huge fame. For example, on the 30th of July fans organized ‘Pokémon GO Little Tokyo Event!’ in Los Angeles. There were around 20000 people on the facebook directory list and around 6000 attendees. What's more, the number of Pokemon trainers is growing substantially each day. They offer their services for around $20 per hour. Many people plan their birthday parties around Niantic's game theme as well. How about organizing a Pokemon GO training event or a theme birthday party? Maybe it is about time to offer it in your agency’s portfolio? There might be some ROI potential in this venture.
- Separate and spontaneous fan initiatives
As you can see there are different Pokemon-centred initiatives all around the world. They may be official or self-organizing, free or paid, online or offline, professional or amateur. Try to think about the event industry in your region and analyze if you can benefit from this Niantic's phenomenon. Every time there are people interested in a given topic there is a place for holding events. Availability of the target audience is one of the key planning factors. Don't forget to let us know in case you have any Pokemon adventures.