This has been a long time coming! The last week has been quite busy, however. But, thankfully many of us here at GO Hub had the opportunity to attend Pokémon GO Fest Chicago 2019. What did we think about it? Before we write a pros/cons article about GO Fest, how about, we share our own opinions on the experiences we had. Without further ado, let’s see what the GO Hub squad had to say!

GO Hub Staff Opinions

Matt Fitz – I thought the flow of the event and scenery was great. Definitely set up well. The variety of spawns was awesome, really liked wild Absol and Mawile. It was appreciated that most of the spawns were able to be shiny also. I liked the Pokémon contests in the team tents, but would’ve liked to see more ways to feel involved. My number 1 complaint was the total lack of Raids. I would’ve liked to see the current and some fan favorite former Raid Bosses. I think this would’ve added to the interaction of Trainers.

AutumnalKitsune – With this being my first Pokémon GO Fest and my first time being in Chicago, I thought everything was great. The set up of the event was amazing, the tents were nice to hang around in, and the competitions were refreshing. The trivia was fun, but the team leaderboard caught my attention more. It was very interesting to see how they could track each player by team and rank us. My ticket was for Friday, and I have Verizon as a carrier, so my only issue was that time around noon when the game went down for 10 or 20 minutes. Even then, I wasn’t upset or bored because there was plenty to see and do. It was nice seeing the park and the city overrun by Pokémon Go Players. No complaints related to the gameplay (*shakes fist and curses my awful shiny luck*). It was an overall fun experience. 10/10 would do it again.

Community– This was my second year in a row going to Go Fest. The habitats were different from last year, and it felt like a whole new experience. The spawn’s where nice and diverse. When it came to the team tents, I feel like the various trivia and questions leaned a bit too much based on how much you played (Ex most stardust, candy, etc…). No other real complaints other than that.

MDanley (Yveltal256) – This was also our families first Pokémon GO Fest. We brought two of our sons along with us. The location and size of the event was excellent, large enough for the crowd, but not so difficult to get from one end to the other. The food options at lunch seemed sufficient, and the lines moved fairly quickly. The merchandise tent for the Pokémon Center was an area that could be improved. While we were happy, there was the option to purchase merchandise, the line was extremely long, and the options were limited. Team Tents were entertaining all day — a nice place to take a break in the shade. Things I wished were different would be allowing the special trades to include more than people playing your day and that the trades could have taken place until midnight. Those of us shiny hunting until the last second didn’t want to stop to figure out those last couple of trades. Raids would be a nice addition to future events. Very glad we got to experience Go Fest in Chicago! It was a great day with wonderful friends.

FitzCity – Oh, where do I begin? I’ve now attended Pokémon GO Fest for the third time! Like last year, this year was another success overall. The fact that it was basically a “Community Day” for all the available shinnies was a huge improvement from last year’s shiny rates. The park was a lot more spread out than in 2017, which made egg hatching pretty much a breeze. I do believe I walked 21km total from 9am to 7pm. There was plenty of food options and a surplus of free water filling stations. The PvP arena was a nice addition this year, but you only got one entry per person. The new habitats and spawns were a welcoming addition, as well. My only two downfalls were the lack of raids and the limitations on special trades. Having five special trades throughout your GO Fest experience was nice, but it really didn’t seem like enough. The trading REALLY brought people together throughout the park. You could see random strangers engaging in a trade no matter what area you were in. I’m hopeful for a bump up in the number of special trades (reduction in cost too please) and the ability to have raids appear around the park.

P.S. – My provider was Sprint, and I had zero issues other than the noon outage that everyone had for about 10-15 minutes.

Motha’Tude – Like many of my colleagues, this was my first Pokémon Go Fest, as well as my first visit to Chicago. Let me be honest; I never had any interest in visiting Chicago. Even though several people have told me wonderful things, the idea of visiting just wasnʼt strong for me.

However, since visiting for Pokémon Go Fest, I CANNOT WAIT to go back and do more exploring of the city itself as well as take my children to all of the exciting locations it has to offer!

Now, to my GO Fest Experience. 😀 I wonʼt comment about each and everything because my friends above did a more than wonderful job, but below are some keynotes of my visit.

What I loved:

– Grant Park is magnificent! The size was perfect to accommodate such a large crowd. Buckingham Fountain was just an absolute magnificent site. The location (proximity) to anything and everything you needed was perfection.

– The habitats were very nice! The work and detail that was put into the Spooky Woods was fabulous…some of the other locations could have used this detail but they were overall great! There were loading screen art pieces that I were gorgeous. I only wish the would have been around longer by finding a better way to be secured to the ground. (the wind was blowing them down causing them to be a bit dangerous)

– I didnʼt spend a ton of time in the team tents, but from what I hear, they were a blast!

– So much to do! Between the contests, photo ops, lunch, catching, PvP battling, catching, tasks, Jirachi, YouTuber meetups…there was NO time to be bored.

– The water stations, from what I have been told, were a 100% upgrade from last year and I can tell you I took advantage of them this year!

What could use some work:

– MERCHANDISE TENTS/POKÉMON CENTER: I have had some minor experience at other Pokémon events when it comes to Pop-up Pokémon Centers, so I knew that it HAD to be the first stop of my day. Luckily I played Thursday and was there early to get a first look at the merchandise being sold.

This experience was by far my least favorite part. My friends and I were in line by 8am (one hour prior to the stated opening time) and we noticed there was

NOTHING set up in the tents at this time. Part of me thought it wasnʼt that big of a deal b/c itʼs early and they had time…but then, 8:30 am rolled around, 9 am, and I canʼt remember the exact time, but it was after the event started before the merch tent actually opened.

I was slightly panicked because I was to be at the other end of the park for my entrance but it all worked out as it didnʼt matter where I was as long as I was in the park. 🙂

When the center finally opened, they were allowing people to come through to purchase t-shirts only which, I will say, was quite frustrating to those of us who had been waiting since 8 am or earlier, in the rain, to watch all of these other individuals walk by.

I chose to purchase a t-shirt only to be able to go play the game I was there and anxious to play. The t-shirt purchasing was quick and organized; however, they should have displayed all sizes prior to walking in so you could tell what you needed and not go down tent to tent to see them.

When I got to the merchandise area (bags, plushies, pins, etc.) It was obvious it was not set-up for sales and the hold up was the item tag numbers for purchasing them (according to one of the workers).

The actual transaction was fine, but the fact nothing was ready prior to the shop opening was a fail. And since you were only able to purchase the day you played, there was no way I was going back to that line later in the day.

A suggestion for the future, have a few different locations for merchandise tents. (same for your food options that were event specific) Assure the crowds that selling out of *event specific items* ones you canʼt get at the Pokémon Center will be unlikely so that allowing others to pass you in line will not be an issue.

– MULTIPLE SPECIAL TRADES AT EVENTS:

The only other improvements I could suggest were how the multiple special trades were handled. I love that they brought this to the event (all of my lucky friends are not local due to my work with GO Hub…which I LOVE)…but as I was the only one from our team who played Thursday, I didnʼt get to utilize my lucky friend trades.

That said, perhaps allow ticket holders to get up to five special trades during the course of the event?

Overall, I think the event was a great success and I canʼt wait to attend 2020!! Thanks Niantic and the entire Pokémon Go Team!!!

Your Experience at Pokémon GO Fest

For those of you that went, how was your experience? Please feel free to share in the comments below! We would love to hear your stories!

Been playing and following Pokemon ever since I was 10 years old. I'm also a Pokemon GO content creator on YouTube - FitzCity. Currently am a electrical engineer in the making who loves to golf and stream on Mixer - Fitz_City