What Pokémon Go Teaches Us About Event App Games

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If Pokémon Go is any indication, gaming is highly engaging and a lot of fun. As it’s set to overtake Twitter in terms of users in just a few days it’s no surprise that event planners are paying close attention to how they can use gaming in their events and marketing. The planners we work with have been creating mobile event app games for a while now, using them to drive attendee networking and enhance learning. In fact, they regularly say the game is the highlight of the entire event!

Having Fun

So what can planners learn from Pokémon Go when designing event app games? The first thing is that it’s fun to play. This sounds obvious, but it’s a good reminder that when we’re creating a game to generate specific outcomes, we should ask ourselves, “how much fun will this be to play?” Earning points and competing with colleagues and leader boards is fun, but if you really want to engage your attendees, playing the game needs to be fun in itself.

Let’s take the common example of using a game to facilitate learning at an event. One way to create a game could be to add a list of quiz style questions to the event app and award points for each question answered correctly. This in itself will facilitate learning, but add some Pokémon Go features to it, and it could become a lot more exciting.

Moving and Hunting

Pokémon Go has people moving around and interacting with their physical environment and an event app game offers the same opportunities. You could have attendees look for answers to questions in physical locations around the venue, this creates a parallel for your attendees between the event and the event app. Or think about giving some answers or point generating codes to people – perhaps influential attendees or speakers. You could even hide codes in PowerPoint presentations. This taps into another feature that makes Pokémon Go fun – hunting. It’s in our DNA and something worth remembering when creating event app games.


The millennials in our team whiled away countless hours of their childhood playing the original Pokémon. We even have a company Slack channel dedicated to it! The appeal of Pokémon Go for these guys is partly the opportunity to revisit the joy of the original game from their youth, cleverly reimagined for smartphones. This is useful to remember when it comes to designing event app games. If you are able to find out what was hot when your attendees were young and incorporate it into the game in some way you’ll find it easier to capture your attendees’ imagination and keep their attention.

Social Media Content

Pokémon Go photos are regularly showing up in social media feeds. Which reminds us of something we’ve known for a while – people are always looking for interesting content they can post. Giving your attendees good photo opportunities through the event app game or even your event app photo wall could be the key to your event trending on social media.

Bringing People Together

Events are all about bringing people together, and apps can enhance that. Games like Pokémon Go or an event app game help people break the ice, giving them something to start a conversation. As I write, hundred of thousands or even millions of Pokémon Go players are meeting other people in their communities as they flock to a range of destinations in search of Pokémon, candy or gym battles. At events, attendees using an event app game designed to facilitate networking can make hundreds of face-to-face connections through the event app. A pharmaceutical company did a great job of this at a recent event (read more about the event here:).


Pokémon Go has an educational aspect to it where points are earned by going to real world locations and using the app to “check in”. Whilst there may be some debate around which historical sites should be used in the game, there’s no doubt that players are learning facts about local monuments and landmarks simply by playing. Event app games have been designed with learning in mind and the Pokémon Go phenomenon simply reinforces the value of games as serious learning tools.

Whether the thought of roaming the streets searching for Pokémons fills you with joy or dread, I hope you are inspired by the phenomenon to consider an event app game for your next event.

Dee Brannick – CrowdComms, Co-Founder

Working in Event Tech since 2003, Dee has made thousands of events shine by incorporating market leading technology into a diverse range of events. From boardroom meetings to multi-location conferences, Dee is passionate about finding the right solution for her clients. In 2011 she co-founded CrowdComms to maximise the explosion in smart phone usage at events and now works out of the UK office in sunny Dorset.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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