When one hears about a Pokemon Run Carnival, one can expect a decently fun 3km run, fun games booth, and some delicious food to go around. Apparently, not everything went as expected for Taiwan’s Pokemon Run Carnival.
The event was held in Taipei last Saturday, 13 January 2018. Although the run was held by Avex Taiwan, an organisation that should have had a decent amount of experience with large events, the event seemed to have stumbled and fallen with a low 1.5 star aggregated review score.
With a whopping 122 one-starred reviews compared to 24 “other number”-starred reviews, lets take a look at some of the reviews to try to find out what actually happened to rile the Taiwanese up.
First up is Wang Fiveout, who commented that his legs were tired from the queuing and not the running. As you would see this will be just the start of a long chain of similar complaints.
Ming Yeng Lee was also similarly not amused. In her review, she listed 6 points that made the event a terrible one. Basically, out of the 5 hours she was at the event, 4 hours was spent queuing up. Worse still, the queue arrangement was poorly constructed and the short-handed event staff were unsure of what to do. Participants had to queue up for about an hour for each game booth, and there was no guarantee of a prize, which were just miserable stickers. Adding on to the problem was the short supply of merchandises available at the scene. All these added to a bad experience.
The event was so bad that Zhang Shengxun questioned if the organisers were out to trash the Pokemon franchise. He even commented that the organisers have disgraced Taiwan by letting the large foreign participants witness such inept organisation.
Which Cherry totally agreed, having flown all the way from Hong Kong for the disappointing event.
Even Benjamin Huang’s children were terribly disappointed. The family queued up for an hour to get their race pack and afterwards they still had to queue up for the game booths. Making things more miserable was Huang’s multiple failed attempt at getting food for his hungry kids as the booths sold out their food quickly, wasting the family a whole bunch of time. Essentially, the family spent a lot of time just queuing up. At the end when it was time to leave, Huang’s children looked at him with disappointed eyes saying that they had not even enjoyed anything yet.
Things got so bad that Cai Yunqiao went all the way up to Taiwan’s Consumers’ Foundation to complain Avex for organisational malpractice.
The Taiwanese were justifiably angered. After all, they all paid TW$1280 (US$43) for a run that most people barely ran. In response to all the complaints, Avex Taiwan stepped out and sincerely apologised. The organisers acknowledged the problems at the scene. Mainly, the problems stemmed with the new QR code registration system. Along with park restrictions, this led to a massive pile-up at the registration, therefore resulting in the huge waiting time at the game booths. The organisers also acknowledged the inadequate logistical support and food catering.
After the apology, Avex Taiwan decided that the best way to compensate everyone for their lost time was to give each and everyone who participated an exclusive tumbler, which is so exclusive that they are still requesting a permit to produce from The Pokemon Company in Japan.
All these of course, painfully reminds us of Niantic’s own organisational issues when they first held the Pokemon Go Fest last year in Chicago. Back then, Niantic issued full refunds for all the attendees, which similarly came from all over the world. Although the Taiwanese did not receive a full refund, at least from the comments, most were satisfied with the tumbler.
Singapore would be holding their own Pokemon Run too on 27 January 2018. The event in Singapore will be organised by Avex Asia, Avex Taiwan’s sister company. Hopefully, the event organisers can utilise the lessons learnt in Taiwan and make Singapore’s event a success.