Technology

CVBs Publish Pokémon Go Guides to Draw Visitors

By / Jul 18, 2016 (Visit Anaheim)

While Pokémon Go continues to gain popularity, the game also presents CVBs with a new way to market landmarks and visitors with a new way to explore.

As the Pokémon Go craze continues to sweep the nation, organizations are taking advantage of the mobile game to boost their missions and messages.

CVBs, for example, are using the augmented reality game—which uses Google Maps overlays to let players walk the streets in search of Pokémon to catch, Pokéstops to gather items, and gyms to battle and level up—to showcase key landmarks and sites.

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A few Pokémon Go hotspots at Disneyland. (Visit Anaheim)

Visit Anaheim, which represents the California city that boasts Disneyland, was one of the first CVBs to use the game to market locations in the city, showing readers the best Pokémon haunts.

Charles Harris, senior vice president of marketing for Visit Anaheim, explained that the CVB tries to capitalize on technology trends, and Pokémon Go is especially beneficial for getting people out to explore the city. “There’s lots of cool places where people can start to interact, where they may or may not have known, when they’re here for any sort of meeting, convention, or even leisure,” he said.

Of course, there are plenty of rare Pokémon, Pokéstops, and gyms to find in the Happiest Place on Earth. But that’s not all there is in Anaheim, and that’s what the game can help prove. Aspiring Pokémon Masters can find Pokémon around the Anaheim Convention Center, the cultural center Muzeo, the Anaheim Packing District, and downtown near the Hammer Clock.

“There’s a lot of other things to do with Disney and beyond,” Harris said. “Part of that is just getting that experience, and people are now getting that experience.”

After posting the blog, Visit Anaheim’s website saw a jump in web traffic. July 13 was the site’s highest-single-day total since the end of September and its third-highest-day total in the last year. But it’s no surprise that crowds are looking for tips to find Pokémon considering the app was installed on more Android phones than Tinder in the first 24 hours and is poised to surpass American Twitter users.

Harris said Visit Anaheim may also try to incorporate the game into meetings and conventions to boost attendance and enhance the experience whether through Pokémon Go meetup events, team-building exercises, or sponsored locations.

And Anaheim isn’t alone; other cities have also published Pokémon Go guides to draw players to the area. Hannibal, Missouri, invites visitors to catch Pokémon while they explore historic sites—which double as Pokéstops—dedicated to Mark Twain’s Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. Lake Charles, Louisiana, shares not only where the city’s Pokémon congregate but also directs players to a local grill featuring a Pokémon Go special sandwich, “The Charizard.”

While the list of cities promoting Pokémon Go goes on, so do the other organizations using it. The Delaware Museum of Natural History is encouraging gamers to play while inside the museum. Alongside its exhibits, the museum houses two gyms and three Pokéstops based on key statues.

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Delaware Museum of National History Executive Director Halsey Spruance is in on the craze, too. (via DHNH’s Facebook page)

One such hotspot is on the exhibit of the dinosaur Yangchuanosaurus, which is pictured inside the app to represent DMNH. “On the stop is the name of the dinosaur and a photo of it, so when someone’s out in the community looking for these, they can actually learn about attractions and interesting things within their own communities,” DMNH Manager of Communications Jennifer Acord told Newsworks.

While Pokémon Go fever continues to spread and organizations take advantage of it, there will still be some places where playing will be discouraged, like the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Arlington National Cemetery, or while driving a car.

Alex Beall

Alex Beall is an associate editor for Associations Now with a masters in journalism and a penchant for Instagram. More »

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