By now, you must have heard about Pokémon Go. The first mobile game of the Pokémon series broke a lot of records, including most downloaded app in the first week after launch (more than 7.5 million) and most time spent daily on an app (more than 30 minutes). You must have seen players catching Pokémons in your institution and you probably know what a Pokéstop is because your museum is one.
In case you don’t, here is a little summary of how the game works: Players are geolocated and have to catch and collect Pokémons that pop up around them. To catch them all, they need to get out and walk because different types of Pokémons pop up in different types of places. To gather items that help them in their quest, players have to walk by Pokéstops – and those are often located next to remarkable places, like art located around the city or museums. Finally, Gyms are places where the different teams fight to conquer the city.
As players need to get out to play, they end up walking a lot and discovering new places. And that’s where Pokémon Go becomes an opportunity for you. Here are three ways to use the game to attract a brand new audience.
1. Lure them inside
Pokéstops are not only a place for players to fill their virtual bag, they can also be used to attract Pokémons thanks to a lure module. And as you may have guessed, players love them and they are ready to stay around a lure for as long as it works (30 minutes). Announce on social media when you will be dropping a lure at one of your Pokéstops and players will start flowing in and stay to make the most of it (and of your collections).
If no one in you office has a lure to drop, you can always take some screenshots of Pokémons in your exhibitions spaces to encourage players to come in.
2. Walk with them
Your museum probably has one or several Pokéstops and may even have a gym. You have to download the app and know where they are. Once you find them, check what exhibits are within their reach. Why don't you organize a Pokémon Go tour around them? Yes, people will be playing, but they will also take their eyes off of their phone at some point and get interested in what your museum offers. Also, Pokémon Go has been a great way for players to meet other players, which means they will be happy to join a group tour with other Pokémon trainers.
3. Get them to share
If all your visitors can be your ambassadors, all Pokémon Go players can, too. Encourage them to share their screenshots of Pokémons in your exhibition space, whether it is through a special hashtag, by retweeting the best pictures or by organizing a contest where players can win tickets (so they can come back!) or a discount in your museum shop. And don't forget to show them the way by sharing pictures yourself.
4. Reward them for playing
Everyone loves discounts and free stuff. By offering players a discount on your tickets or in your museum shop, you will encourage them to come in. No one actually likes to walk around just playing Pokémon Go. Players want to see new things and meet people. Allow Pokémon trainers to come and see your collection for a little less than the full price and they will see it a gesture inviting them to come in!
5. Find a common ground
Your museum probably owns an exhibit that reminds people of the game. It can be a sculpture that looks like a Pokémon, it can be a detail in a painting, it can be a practical object that would be useful for poachers. It is not ridiculous to find those similarities, it will awaken the players’ curiosity in a fun way and they might drop by!
Pokémon Go is free and already has a huge community, which means it is a tremendous opportunity for anyone who finds a proper way to talk to the players. It's up to you to find your own way to engage with them and attract them!