Have Your Residents Caught Pokémon Go Fever? Hot
With over 75 million downloads of the new Pokémon Go phone application within just three weeks of release, the game clearly reached a level of excitement that’s swept the nation.
If you’re not familiar with the augmented reality application, Pokémon Go is a GPS enabled phone app that requires players to roam the city, literally, in search of nearby Pokémon. Monsters can be captured and battled against other player’s monsters in nearby “gyms” and Pokémon eggs are incubated and hatched by walking as well.
Pokémon Go is an app that’s getting noses (mostly) out of screens and out for walks in nearby parks and downtown areas. It’s also an app that’s bringing communities together and uniting them over a fun and exciting game. There are more than a few ways to rally your community around the app – and form additional friendships in the process.
To capitalize on this game, you’ll need to first download the app yourself if you haven’t already. Familiarize yourself with the app and then take a walk (or drive) through your nearby community to note gyms and PokeStops.
If you don’t have a nearby gym, fear not! Businesses can actually request that their location be made into a hangout by sending a special request to the game developers via the Niantic website. Via the website you can also report other PokeStops or Gyms that you know are poorly located or dangerous.
Host a Pokémon hunt
Invite active players and users of the app to the clubhouse for a group excursion. Once you’ve grouped up you can start your journey around the neighborhood for some fresh air, exercise, and monster catching. Be sure that children are with a parent and encourage participants to dress appropriately – including reflective clothing if you’ll be returning after dark. Aim for not longer than a one hour walk outside the community to ensure that younger participants can keep up and stay focused.
All that walking will surely leave residents tired – be sure to keep them energized and hydrated with some simple Pokémon-themed snacks (noted below) and plenty of water.
Here are a few other ideas to make the most of your Pokémon-themed activities:
There are plenty of ways to encourage your residents’ to stop in, brag about their awesome catches, and share stories. If you have a television and DVD player in your clubhouse, consider running a Pokémon marathon of the movies and television serial. You can also award any purchased titles via a drawing at the end of the month.
Awards and prizes
The ideas here are many. You can use Pokémon-themed prizes to both reward participation in your event and recognize accomplishments out on the hunt. You may also want to put together a gift bag or two for the most-improved players over the course of a month.
Regardless of how you choose to award any prizes, here are ideas of items you may want to gather up as giveaways for your winning residents I’ve arranged them in order of cost-per-item - from $0.30 apiece up to $10 each - for budget conscious managers):
Pokémon tattoos ($5 for 16 pieces)
Pokémon Character Pencils ($6 for 12)
Silicone children’s wristband bracelets ($16 for 12)
Pokémon 3D lollipops ($16 for six)
Pokémon bouncy balls ($12 for four)
How to draw Pokémon book ($5)
Pokémon plush toys ($20 for 4 - Most popular characters)
Pokémon water bottles ($6 each)
Pokémon sticker book ($10)
For a reasonable $7-20 you can score a Pokémon photo booth backdrop with or without a prop kit to set the scene for your events. The full kit includes fun glasses, an Ash Ketchum hat, ponytail bopper, and other props. Add in some adorable Pikachu Pokémon latex balloons ($6 for 6) and other event favors like stickers or monster hand stamps for attendees and you’ll have yourself a fun event!
Aside from needed beverages to quench the thirst of your weary Pokémon hunters, simple and inexpensive snacks can be make fun with creative names like “Mewtwo Melon Balls” (watermelon and honeydew balls) and “Charmeleon Chips” (Doritos).
Image source: Pintrest
Other suggestions include: Doduo's Dip (7 Layer Dip), Jiggly Puff Jello, Raichu Dip, Charizard Fire balls (Cheetos), and other creative puns using the names of all your favorite characters. The fun is in the silly names, so be sure to label the foods appropriately so that your Pokémon-named food items are a sure hit.
Have residents dress up at their favorite Pokémon characters and arrive to your event in costume. Consider awarding prizes for the best costume and take lots of pictures for posting on social media. Also, don't be scared to dress up yourself! Vargos on the Lake got a lot of reactions as one of their team members dressed up as Pikachu!
*TIP* Putting together an event that doubles as a marketing campaign to attract members of your community doesn’t have to be hard. Simple changes like opening up your WiFi and stocking water bottles labeled “Pokémon trainer juice” may be all it takes to make a lasting impression with both current and prospective residents. Check out this Forbes article for more Pokémon marketing tips you may be able to use with your community – and happy hunting!