In 2016, on a new microsite for Quebec City, locals (and anyone who’s been to Quebec City) were invited to share attractions near me – hidden gems, favorite spots, or restaurants in the city. Compared to previous marketing activities, this was an innovative way to embrace crowdsourcing, which is still considered novel. However, a problem arose. The initiative was time-bound, running for just 6 weeks. History has demonstrated that our collective attention span is short, and so while those 6 weeks undoubtedly were chalk full of fantastic information, the information remained there, stagnant in time.
Quebec wanted to showcase itself, draw in outsiders, engage insiders, and engender conversation. Advertising money is scarce at a government level, so what options does a city like Quebec or the hundreds of smaller ones really have? The campaign was perceived as a success, yet, the key conclusions (source: open Tourism) were as follows:
- Maintaining such campaigns with a high level of ongoing interest are difficult
- Scaling it to a wider population, and not only savvy social media users, bloggers or influencers, will require additional investment
- The locals’ perception might differ from the travelers’ opinions
Scaling is the key word here. Campaigns like this are simply not scalable no matter what you might hear. Know why? They’re time-bound, and people by nature get geared up for short-term engagements, e.g., attractions near me, but then move on to something new. Ask the “ice-bucket challenge” charity, if you can even remember their name.
Geme.io is a community-based app featuring a cutting-edge, interactive map and sharing information platform that provides not only the possibility to crowdsource attractions near me, but also provides relevant content connected directly to and on a location. A community map and information sharing, The app does not engage in 6-week campaigns, or initiatives designed to gather folks together for one cause and then disappear. Like Waze in many aspects, Geme.io is a real-time companion keying the user into what’s of interest to them in the city they found themself in, or things to do in a new city, completely unknown and waiting to be discovered. One simply enters what they’re into, and viola … the map lights up and options abound!
The combination of data on the app arrives from a range of sources (public APIs, commercial data etc.). One could find themselves in a historic building for example, and via crowdsourced content learns that 150 years earlier lived a famous artist who in the restaurant next-door typically shared his morning coffee with a croissant. Storytelling is automatically weaved in with Geme.io which is the heart of any community. The whole concept goes beyond the superficial view of destination that is the unfortunate reality of many tourists confined to bus tours and malls.
Diving deeper into the character of a location via an interactive community map and information sharing allows the traveler to understand the past and current culture of that specific location. Geme.io provides this information, a one-stop place to find attractions near me without the need to use search and go to compartmentalized city websites or downloading dozens of single-purpose apps. There is nothing worse than a smart-phone with 8% storage and 17 useless travel apps!
Millennials are roughly 30% of the population of most countries in the western world. We know they are seeking to go far beyond a casual bus tour, the city’s top museums, and a handful of malls. They’re curious, engaged, and want to “live” their travel experience, not shoot a couple photos and buy a hat. Millennials are also willing to spend money on experiences over products (Cultural Heritage Tourism report, 2013, USA).
The app creates experiences. Real-time mapping, real-time engagement. For the people, it is the people.