Partner Since: 2014
“The app has been the perfect addition to our responsive site and has already opened up opportunities for deeper in-destination visitor engagement.”
— Shane Osguthorpe, Marketing Director, Ogden-Weber CVB
Ogden, UT is a one-of-a-kind mountain town offering a unique blend of outdoor adventure, historical attractions, and a bustling metropolitan area. The nearby Snowbasin resort hosted several Olympic events in 2002, and their running and cycling trails are home to several national championship competitions, drawing visitors from all over the world.
Ogden has always done a lot with a budget that is relatively small for a CVB of their size. Since most of their annual spend is allotted to attracting visitors from out-of-state, they needed a cost-effective way to connect with visitors and locals who wanted to explore while in-market. They also had a major event approaching: a rededication and open house at the city’s LDS temple. The event drew 500,000 visitors from around the world, and many of them were making their first trip to Ogden. Shane Osguthorpe, the Marketing Director at Ogden-Weber CVB, saw an opportunity.
“We had been to another open house and noticed people using their phones as they waited to get in. We thought [an app] would be a great platform to get community information in their hands,” said Osguthorpe.
Osguthorpe had already heard of what Bluebridge was doing for destinations, so he reached out to see if what he wanted to do with Visit Ogden was a fit. He was immediately impressed by the Bluebridge feature set and a content services integration with iDSS, the database software they use to manage their restaurants, hotels, and attractions. “When I saw what Bluebridge was capable of doing, I didn’t look anywhere else.” The app was developed and launched in time for the temple’s open house. The CVB used a landing page to promote the app to everyone who signed on to the event’s free wifi, which drove a surge of initial downloads and gave new visitors a taste of what Ogden had to offer.
Since the event, Visit Ogden has continued to promote the app at local events and on social media. Their mobile and desktop sites both drive users to download the app, which they consider the “simplest, easiest way for visitors to navigate” and get up-to-date information.
In addition to the initial surge of downloads, Visit Ogden has seen steady user growth from both local and out-of-state visitors. Osguthorpe says locals love the event calendar, which is kept up-to-date through a feed integration. He says the app has become a great tool for their group sales and convention market as well.
Visit Ogden has experimented with promoting the app by offering exclusive content not found through other mediums. In 2014, Visit Ogden app users were the first to learn who would perform at the Ogden stop of the Pepsi Summer Concert Series, as the headliner was revealed via push notification.
Osguthorpe says they will also continue to promote the app through the city’s free wifi offerings, which are expanding in 2015.
Osguthorpe says Visit Ogden hopes to double their app user base in 2015. He also plans to find new ways to engage visitors with push notifications. “With over 2,200 downloads in the first month, the app has been the perfect addition to our responsive site and has already opened up opportunities for deeper in-destination visitor engagement,” he said. “Even locals are using it as their primary source of community information. All of our partners are thrilled at this robust, intuitive tool, and we look like heroes.”