Destinations Get in the (Pokémon Go) Game

Why Visit Anaheim put together a location guide for the popular VR app.

Pokémon Go is quickly becoming 2016’s hottest app, clocking more than 15 million downloads for iOS and Android since it was released in Australia, New Zealand, and the U.S. on July 6, and some 40 additional countries and territories mid-month.

The virtual-reality-based catch ‘em if you can game has players trolling the real world to “battle” a series of adorable cartoon creatures. Pokémon can crop up anywhere, and some event venues are capitalizing on the trend to attract even more foot traffic.

Visit Anaheim decided to put together a short guide to help visitors catch Pokémon in the city’s public spaces – including the Anaheim Convention Center. (Travel Portland put together a similar list, as did Visit Houston, and eXplore Lawrence, in Lawrence, Kansas.)  

“We learned that the Anaheim Convention Center is a gym in the game, which is a place to ‘battle,’” Charles Harris, SVP of marketing at Visit Anaheim, told Convene.

A Pokemon is ready for battle at the Anaheim Convention Center
A Pokémon is ready for battle at the Anaheim Convention Center.

“It was our Visit Anaheim staff that started to play the game after its launch that inspired the idea to publish the blog post,” Harris said. The post was the No. 1 Google result for the search string “Pokémon Go Anaheim” within 24 hours of its publication. Although Harris’s team has no specific plans at present to incorporate Pokémon Go into meetings and events, the game could very well figure into future programming for groups. “We are always looking for new ways to incorporate the latest marketing trends into the group experience, and utilizing the Pokémon Go game could be one of many tactics we can offer,” he said.

Kate Mulcrone

Kate Mulcrone is digital editor of Convene.