Engage those Pokémon Go players at your doorstep

A few weeks ago - in the middle of the summer break we saw very unusual activity at the HTW Chur campus. Suddenly, young people were showing up on campus, being suspiciously engaged in some kind of activity involving their smart phones. Some could be our students, while others were clearly too young - but again it was summer break and ordinary students avoid us during that time of the year. Quickly, it became clear that these people were Pokémon Go players.

In a way, we were exited that this was happening, because Pokémon Go unites several of the topics in our curriculum. So we thought: “if these people are already here, why not engage them in some science communication/study promotion”. We have plenty of printed and online material that present what we are doing. On the other hand, this material seemed awkward for giving out to players because it is entirely unrelated the reason why these players visited us. Also we did not want to disturb our core community if we start flooding our communication channels with something they are not interested in or possibly dislike (our traditional community responds very sensible in unpredictable ways). So we were looking for something that allows engaging players while leaving our existing community unaffected.

Read on to find out what we did and what we learned.