Seeley Swan Pathfinder -

By Andi Bourne
Pathfinder 

Inspiring Visitors to Come to Seeley Lake

 

April 12, 2018

SEELEY LAKE – After hearing of the devastation caused by the fires last summer in Seeley Lake, Corvallis business owner Cody Edwards made an appointment with the Seeley Lake Area Chamber of Commerce. After meeting with the Chamber Board, he put his design skills to work free of charge to create a Travel App. His goal was to showcase the beautiful area and entice visitors to make Seeley Lake a destination.

In 2013, Cody Edwards, owner and designer for Touch Point Designs, LLC, started creating interactive guides that inspired people to go and visit a different location. He created 35 different apps across the country.

"It was a way to get people to download an app or visit a website that inspires them to make that a destination that they want to go visit," said Edwards.

Edwards enjoys working with small communities, especially small chambers of commerce. Coming from a 15-year career in print advertising, Edwards said traditionally destination marketing has been through the web and print advertising. The app offers a third avenue, a tech-savy way, to promote an area.

"When you can take similar material, information and content [like what is found in a magazine], and put it into the palm of someone's hand and they are able to touch and swipe and engage and view, it is going to draw that visitor in and make it a more engaging experience," said Edwards. "I think it is more compelling to help them see why [in this case the Seeley Lake area] is a destination area of choice."

Last summer Edwards watched the devastating impacts the fires had on the tourism economy of Seeley Lake. Working with the Boy Scouts at Camp Paxson he saw first hand what people in the area dealt with.

He approached the Seeley Lake Area Chamber of Commerce to create a travel app at no cost. Typically he charges $3,000-$5,000 for the service.

"It's a chance to give back to a community and help them out," said Edwards. "I thought that would be a good local cause and one that I could go to and create something to show people what a beautiful area that it is and entice visitors to come back starting this summer."

Edwards met with the Chamber board. After he received their approval, he started working with Tamaracks Resort Manager Jessica Kimmel who created the new website.

"Jessica was instrumental and a great resource in completing the project in a timely manner," wrote Lisa Hayhurst, the Chamber's Executive Director.

Edwards incorporated the same photos and pulled content from the website including the Top 10. Lodging, dining and events are linked back to the Chamber's website to keep them current.

"For the most part the app is very static," said Edwards. "When you download it, the content is all imbedded. It doesn't require internet to use [the photos and maps] unless you are going back at dining and lodging options."

The Travel App focuses on photography instead of lengthy text. "A photo is worth 1,000 words. If you can showcase the Seeley Lake area in an app, then it helps show potential visitors what the area has to offer," said Edwards who also loves photography. He incorporated a virtual tour, a 360 degree view of Seeley Lake, that he shot from Camp Paxson.

Touch Point Design also offers website design. He has been helping the Chamber update and redesign elements on the website.

"It is an opportunity for me to offer more service to more people with a much easier price to work with," said Edwards who charges between $500-$1,000 for website design.

Finally, Edwards has also set up an Instagram account for the Chamber. He loves working with social media and is treating it as an experiment to see what it is like to manage someone else's Instagram account.

"It's been a fun way to grow awareness of the area. People love to share their pictures and it's a great way to see an area and free advertising," said Edwards. "I wanted to jump on that and expose Seeley Lake to other people through social media and Instagram."

Visitors can post with @VisitSeeleyLake or @SeeleyLake. If there is someone sharing something that really captures the area, Edwards reaches out and asks permission to repost it.

"If it something that continues to be successful, I can either turn it over to [the Chamber] or charge a nominal fee to take care of it every month," said Edwards. "It's helped steer me in some different directions and gave me some different ideas. It was fun just to create something for Seeley Lake."

"We feel it has been and will be quite beneficial to have the travel app, which was donated to the Chamber by Edwards, as our budget did not allow for this additional expense," wrote Hayhurst. "It will most certainly attract and gain the attention of visitors to the Seeley Lake area.  It is very informative and professionally done, please check it out."

The Seeley Lake, Montana app can be downloaded for free from the Chamber's website, http://www.seeleylakechamber.com, Google Play or from the App Store.

Hayhurst continued, "With these additional social media resources, such as the travel app and Instagram, a great deal of potential visitors to the Seeley Lake area, will more likely find information readily available on their mobile devices and tablets."

For more information on Touch Point Designs, LLC tourism apps visit https://www.interactivetravelguides.com/

 

Reader Comments
(0)

 
 
tel:18662240767

Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2019