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Pokémon Go And AR’s Potential Impact On Live Event Design

To say that few apps have ever had the impact Pokémon GO has had in the last two weeks is an understatement. According to figures from AppInstitute.com in the next 15 minutes from when you read this line Pokémon GO will have been downloaded 72,998 times and Nintendo and game developer Niantic would have earned a staggering $163,099. Extrapolate that over a day and that’s just over 7 million downloads and $15.65 million in revenue.’

By daily active usage numbers, Pokémon GO has already passed apps such as Twitter, Pandora Radio, Spotify and even Netflix and is rapidly approaching Snapchat.

As some of you may be aware, the key technology driving Pokémon GO is Augmented Reality. Clearly, something this culturally popular is going to touch most industries in some way in the coming months and years. Live event design is (not surprisingly) ahead of the curve when you consider the pioneering (and hugely expensive) hologram technology that enabled live re-appearances by Tupac, Michael Jackson, and others.

At Riverview, we see great potential in the other technologies that have made Pokémon GO a huge success — namely smartphone cameras and GPS — and believe that brands can harness these technologies effectively for their next live event.

Cost is the obvious obstacle to wide adoption — the technology is still new and too expensive for most brands to use today. But what if it wasn’t? What if it were as accessible as LED lighting or HD screens?

Here are just a few ways brands could appropriate the technology:

• Think about how much printed and email content is sent to attendees surrounding an event — from early-bird discounts to calls for submissions/session ideas etc. What if all that information was available and disseminated via a show app that integrates with your phone’s GPS and incorporates logo animations. That type of engagement will likely have a net positive effect on attendance.

• For many internal corporate events, team-building exercises are often a centerpiece. Imagine a scavenger hunt using a Pokémon GO like app that personalized to the company, the teams, and even individuals.

• Imagine a trade show booth equipped with GPS technology so as a user approaches a booth it can send you product info or discount offers.

• Here’s one we actually did for PayPal: as attendees entered the conference the PayPal app (GPS) was able to identify the person and automatically check them in, creating a very personal and connected experience for all attendees.

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