The Crawford County Convention and Visitors Bureau has launched a new website and mobile app to serve as information hubs for major events, attractions and other amenities in the county.
Both of these digital tools offer directories of area businesses, upcoming events and popular venues across the county.
People who use the website will find more detailed information such as suggested seasonal trips as well as personal stories from business owners, community leaders and residents who represent different aspects of the region. The new website also includes desktop integration with the new desktop mobile app.
This integration allows users to save lists of local attractions and create their own travel plans based on their preferences via computer or mobile device. The mobile app also includes blogs, an event directory, recommended itineraries, a digital version of the visitor’s guide, and customization tools to use on the go.
“The intention of the app was to be a resource for all things County Crawford and the best way to find the great amenities in our area,” said Victoria Soff, Managing Director of Visit Crawford. “This tool will allow us to better promote things like kayak launches or trailheads that don’t necessarily have a person attached to them.”
Soff said she was very excited about the app’s “Nearby” option, which helps users sort nearby listings based on their location. “I hope this encourages people to try a new restaurant or visit a retail business they may not have visited before,” Soff said.
The new website and mobile app are the result of recommendations developed in partnership with Bull Moose Marketing as part of a strategic marketing initiative and the nationwide “There’s a Story Here” branding campaign. county announced last spring.
“People think branding is about logos, but it’s more important than that,” said Ron Mattocks, vice president of customer strategy for Bull Moose Marketing. “It’s about keeping what you promise customers.” Mattocks developed this point with a simple example. “If a restaurant’s website or Facebook page has incorrect hours and people show up to find that it is in fact closed, then that restaurant has not delivered on its promise and that is its brand. That’s what he’s known for.”
The importance of having accurate information was echoed by Soff.
“We can only share what we are aware of,” she said, explaining that the bureau relies on the various companies, organizations and amenities for details included on the website and app. “Our goal with the new website and app is not only for people to get information, but also for community members to share information such as events, changes to opening hours, etc. We hope to be as user-friendly as possible!”
Mobile app users are not limited to tourists.
“Strategically, the goal is for residents to be the biggest users of the app,” Mattocks said. “The more people here are aware of local opportunities, the more likely they are to take advantage of them, which means increased local spending, increased community engagement and increased favorable views of where we live.” Mattocks added that local residents are also more effective at sharing the app with out-of-town friends and family who plan to visit the area.
The website and mobile were made possible by ARPA funding made available by the Crawford County Commissioners for the purpose of promoting economic development through tourism and promotion of the area.
To view the new website, people can go to visitcrawford.org. Those interested in the free Visit Crawford mobile app can find it on iTunes and Google Play. For more detailed information about the app, including instructions and tutorials, people can go to https://bit.ly/VisitCrawfordApp
Businesses and organizations wishing to submit updated events and information or inquire about publicity opportunities should contact the Crawford County Visitors Bureau directly at (814) 333-1258.
For more information about the Crawford County Convention and Visitors Bureau, visit visitcrawford.org.