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May 26, 2017

Pokémon Go and gardens?

pokemon

Pokémon Go and gardens?

 

Public spaces must make the most of this latest craze!

 

If you have somehow managed to miss this current craze, then let me briefly explain.

 

Pokémon go:

  • augmented reality game
  • played on smartphones and tablets
  • users ‘find’ and ‘catch’ the Pokémon characters
  • the smartphone’s GPS and camera allow the user to ‘see’ Pokémon characters in ‘real life’

 

Found a Pokémon?

  • Use the touchscreen to throw a Poké Ball and try to catch it!

 

But what is this information doing on a gardening website?

 

If you discovered a way to attract 15-35 year olds to your venue, would you do it? What if, by attracting them, these people would then write about your venue all over social media? You’d do it, right? Parks and gardens may not seem like the place for groups of 20-something year olds to hang out, but without them, what is the future of these venues?

 

Well, that is what parks and gardens are tapping into! It’s not just the Pokémon characters, but ‘PokeStops’ and ‘gyms’ too.

 

Pokémon characters are popping up everywhere, and there is plenty of evidence to support the fact that this craze is bringing whole groups of different people to venues. But where are Pokémon players finding their Pokémon?

 

  • Public parks and gardens
  • The RHS
  • The National Trust
  • The National Trust for Scotland
  • The Eden Project

 

… and all of these places have great marketing departments!

 

How does the marketing work?

 

Social Media!

 

While Pokémon characters can be found on a map, the Pokémon Go game requires the player to visit the location to catch the character. Marketing departments all over the world are waking up to a whole new demographic of potential visitor! The power of social media in the online gaming world is extraordinary and moves at a pace. Reporting Pokémon sightings via social media (especially the rare characters: Moltres, Pikachu, and Dratini) is seeing gamers flock to these venues.

pikacho pokemon

 

What gardens can I play Pokémon Go?

  • Staff at Wisley have found 15 so far
  • There are currently 27 at The Eden Project and three gyms!

 

 

What can Pokémon Go really help to achieve?

Short-term

  • Increased visitor numbers
  • Interest in the venue from different groups of people
  • Fresh air and exercise!
  • Promotion on social media

 

Long-term

  • Interest in the parks, gardens, and outdoor spaces
  • A future!

 

 

Is this just a bit of a gimmick?

Well, it could be argued as such. But, and this is a big but, the chance to make your park, garden, public space, or any other venue appeal to the younger generation is just too big an opportunity to miss. It’s time for these venues to get on board and get involved!

 

 

 

And finally … where can I find Moltres, Dratini, and Pikachu?

I couldn’t possibly tell you … but if you hunt around the parks near you, then a Dratini, Pikachu, or Moltres will not be too far off!

 

 

Pokémon: Gotta catch ‘em all!

 

 

 

About The Author

Profile photo of Sara L

Freelance Journalist. Qualified Horticulturist

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