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Increasing business traffic with Pokemon GO

July 27, 2016
Westfield Republican

By Todd J. Tranum

President and CEO of the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce & Executive Director of the Manufacturers Association of the Southern Tier

Something in the world of gaming has literally changed the landscape, for individuals and for businesses. If it sounds like "just a game" to you, think again. I personally noticed the change in early July when our four children started walking around, eyes on their phones, saying things like, "I just caught a Pidgeotto," and "There's a Jigglypuff. Let's go get him." "What are you playing?" I asked. The answer was Pokemon GO.

My first thought was that I am really glad to see that there is an application that encourages people to get outside and move around. My second thought was, "What the heck is this, how does it work, and how do I catch a Wiggly tuff?" Thirdly, I wondered how this movement can help increase traffic to local businesses.

Based on our understanding of the Pokemon GO application and through some research, we view Pokemon GO as another fantastic tool to drive foot traffic to your business. We encourage our local businesses to understand and leverage the application. Here are a few tips. First of all, you need to download the application, and if you are technologically challenged or, have an antiquated phone, grab a millennial to help you figure that out. Once you take that first step, find out if your business is near a Pokestop or a Gym. These locations crowdsource Pokemon GO players, since they are places to gather rewards, advance your game, and enter battles within the application. Once you have the application you can purchase lures, which draw players to your business. Lures are affordable, and it may be worth the small expense to help bring foot traffic in your door.

Additional recommendations include running specials and promoting your business as Pokemon-friendly. You can leverage your website and social media platforms to promote the presence of Pokemon at or near your business. At least one local museum, the Fenton History Center, is promoting itself as a Pokestop, and is also offering half off the admission price to anyone who shows their Pokemon GO avatar. This is a great example of how to use it to boost business. We see this as the tip of the iceberg. We expect to see more and more applications that blend virtual reality with the real world. The possibilities are endless and we encourage business people to get on board now.

An important note to Pokemon GO players: please be careful and aware of your surroundings while playing, and when you do enter a business to capture a Pokemon, be courteous and buy something. Please support our local businesses. Along the way check out the incredibly interesting local attractions and museums where you'll learn fascinating stuff about what life was like before handheld electronic devices.

You Could Win $100 by taking the Chamber-MAST Survey!

The Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce and Manufacturers Association of the Southern Tier are conducting a membership survey. The data we compile will help us expand and improve the services we provide. This simple online survey should take just 10 minutes to complete. Information you enter is confidential. If you choose to provide your contact information at the end, you will be entered into a drawing for $100 worth of ShopTauqua Chamber Gift Checks from the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce. There is a direct link to our Membership Survey from our homepage at We appreciate your feedback.

Hanover Chamber Yard Sales set for August 6

For the 24th year in a row, Silver Creek and the surrounding area will be full of shoppers on Saturday, August 6, as the annual Hanover Chamber Yard Sales get underway. The sales will run from 9am-5pm and participating homes will offer "Bunches of Bargains" from 3:01pm to 5pm. Those homes will be designated on the yard sale maps. Sales take place rain or shine and the Chamber strongly encourages shoppers to purchase the maps to locate the many sales participating in "Bunches of Bargains" and those outside the Village of Silver Creek. Sale maps will be sold for $1 each beginning at 9am the day of the sale in the park in Silver Creek or at 29 Oak Street. This event is a key fundraiser for the Chamber of Commerce, with map proceeds used for community enhancement projects. Yard sale participants receive a "grape" poster with their map number to be displayed in a prominent location on sale day. For more information, to register your sale, or to volunteer on the Yard Sale Committee, contact Chairperson Sue Briggs, Destinations Plus, at 934-9522 or 934-7334.

Play Where the Pros Play for the Chamber Golf Tournament August 11

Local golfers can play where the pros play by registering for the Chamber of Commerce Annual Golf Tournament. Enjoy a tremendous day of golf and camaraderie on the Upper Course at Peek'n Peak, plus great prize packages and food! The Annual Chamber of Commerce Golf Tournament is August 11 and is sponsored by: DFT Communications, County of Chautauqua Industrial Development Agency, Community Bank, Dahlstrom Roll Form, Jamestown Mattress Company, Koester Associates, Lake Shore Savings Bank, Lawley Insurance, Lictus Oil and Propane, Lynn Development Group, National Fuel Gas, National Grid, Shults Auto Group. To register or learn more call the Chamber at 366-6200 or 484-1101 or visit



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