Is Pokémon Go having a negative impact on your cemetery or could it benefit your bottom line?
The Pokémon Go phenomenon has exploded in the past few months and the craze is only set to continue. The augmented reality game has hooked the masses and you'd be hard pressed to find a location free from users seeking to catch their next character, even cemeteries have been inundated with Pokémon Go players. There has been much debate surrounding this and many cemetery owners feel that their sites should be exempt from the Pokémon experience branding it disrespectful and inappropriate. Some cemeteries have banned users from playing the game and have even contacted the developers, Niantic, to have their site removed completely from the app.
One cemetery, Cadillac Memorial Gardens West, has reported that the disruptions have resulted in complaints from people with loved ones buried at the site.
Cemetery owner Donna Campbell explains “one person was at the grave of a loved one and was taking a photo with a cell phone and a Pokémon player came over thinking it was part of the game.” As a result the cemetery have hired a security guard to keep out any trespassers.
However, some cemetery owners have welcomed the recent trend recognizing the potential to attract new visitors to their site, so long as users are respectful of the surroundings.
PlotBox customer Holy Cross Cemetery have found themselves in the midst of the newest gaming craze. They're delighted to welcome new visitors on site provided that people aren’t wandering about disrupting funeral services or bothering visitors who come to grieve and to pray.
Director of Holy Cross, Monica Williams is in the ‘Go’ camp and she feels that if visitors can be careful and respectful they are welcome to stay and spend time in this beautiful, historical site.
Pokémon Go has provided cemeteries with the opportunity to attract new visitors, inviting them to explore the beauty and history the site has to offer. As Monica explains, “they (cemeteries) hold the great stories of people in our community; they feature beautiful works of art that tell the story of our faith. We want to share these; we invite people to experience them.”
Whether you're in the Go or No camp, this Pokémon debate opens the floor to discussion on new and exciting ways to increase footfall in cemeteries and creating a brand new audience for pre-need sales.