Top 5 Grant Questions: How DMO’s can fund the New Visitor Experience.

As tourism starts to return, several states and agencies around the country have the opportunity to look at ways to get investment dollars to improve the visitor experience. The ideal option is to get approved for grants like the “Visitor Experience Enhancement Program (VEEP)” which can vastly help in recuperating all the damages from the pandemic. With grants like these, destinations can now look for better ways to drive sustainability, use natural resources, cultural and local education to help local businesses while improving the visitor experience as a whole.

 

True Omni has put together a list of options to consider when looking at improving the visitor experience. As well as laid out an example in Grant format to help DMOs and local communities implement the next generation of technology while providing simple ways to leverage existing investments, ensuring a trackable means for success and ROI.

 

Before we go into your different options, here is some basic information to help you think through best practices in deploying and managing these solutions.

1. Multi-Device Control and management

As you implement your new or existing products such as Mobile Apps, Kiosks, and Digital Signage, consider ways to consolidate management and control through a single platform. This ensures other departments and organizations can manage and control your messaging options.

2. Data Integration

Find a solution that can integrate with your existing platforms, CRM, CMS, GIS maps, and provide tools that allow you to leverage current systems. Along with this, they should be able to help with new ways to control messaging, advertising, notifications, and more.

3. Analytics and Tracking

Ensure ways to get information on how visitors are interacting and engaging with your products. New ways to share across different platforms and devices will provide new points of data and analytics. Consider reports that can show stakeholders how many shared coupons are used and much more.

 If you are looking at Smart City Programs, you are definitely leaning into finding new ways to engage and manage information for locals and visitors 24×7, 365. As well as using local attractions, trails and more to ensure visitors and locals know and have updated information. True Omni can provide real enterprise solutions that meet all standards – from security to ADA access and more. Below are some of the most requested and implemented solutions around the world.

  • Provides rich and engaging messaging 24/7
  • Drive awareness and revenue options
  • Connect brand and local messaging
  • Alerts and Notifications
  • People count and tracking of information
  • 24/7 Access and Information
  • Branded, integrated interface for key information, alerts, and navigation
  • Integrate booking, reservations, and ticketing
  • Drive revenue and engagement
  • Connect better data and analytics
  • Interactive Trails and better ways to navigate the destination
  • Alerts and notifications
  • Easy updates and management
  • Mapping and other transportation options
  • Coupons, Deals, and Offers
  • Cultural and Local education
  • Digital Brochure Management – turns your printed brochures into digital material that can be shared via mobile through text and email
  • Mapping and Trails Management – Provide your visitors with a complete interactive mapping experience as they explore your destination
  • Hardware Installation and Support – 24/7 monitoring, remote connectivity, and on-site assistance
  • Advertising and Ticketing – Utilize your new and existing implementations to generate additional revenue
  • Cultural Awareness and Education – Provide your visitors with useful and informative information about your destination to mitigate any cultural gaps or sensitivities
  • Alerts and Messaging – Get connected to your visitors by utilizing geofencing technology and deliver the right message, any time of the day or night

Sample Grant Questions to Think Through

During this application process, you and your chosen vendor will work hand-in-hand to send a complete thought-through application for the grant. Keep in mind that the key here is to fully emphasize the goal, which is to redefine the new visitor experience. Have a better solution for travelers to enjoy their vacation and have a great positive experience in order for them to recommend the destination. Here are few of the questions that are commonly asked during the grant application process, let us share with you how we answer it from our perspective as a travel-experience provider.

#1: "Tell us about your organization."

This is where we provide our mission statement, providing references from our previous projects or grant wins and what our objectives are. This is where vendors have to provide several reasons to be approved, out of all the other requests.

(True Omni)
TrueOmni is a progressive SaaS-based digital experience solution provider, focused on new ways to communicate both virtually and in-destination. We have worked with over 200 States, Destinations, and Hotel brands transforming visitor experiences and connections to the places we love.

#2: "What are the community issues/challenges that you can address?"

Provide the needs-based reasoning and define the common issues that your program can resolve. Referring to a factual basis or research is definitely preferred. Apart from quantitative research, you may also use qualitative data so long as you provide why and how your company can help.

(True Omni)
Provide a better visitor experience through digital devices with more accurate trails and local information. Ensure more convenience and guidelines for visitor etiquette in our destinations, parks, and outdoor areas. Reduce paper and provide better ways for stakeholders to manage brochures, moving to a more sustainable and manageable solution. Better ways to manage signage and provide 24×7 interactive mapping and information at key high-traffic areas for long term awareness, revenue generation, increased data and analytics

#3: "Describe your proposed program."

Share the most essential information about your proposed solution and program. Be reminded that this section must be realistic and should create a great impact on how it can truly resolve the challenges that the destination is currently facing. Provide relevant information such as evidence of customer feedback along with the layout of your well-thought plan.

(True Omni)
We are implementing a multi-device cloud-based content and interactive solution built to engage visitors on any device and provide more digital options for awareness, navigation, and local businesses. Our solution will integrate with existing data, content, GIS, and mapping solutions to provide a rich, user, and visitor experience. These devices will range from Mobile, Kiosk and Video Wall or Digital Signage offered through the web, app stores and placed in strategic areas for the most visitor, local, and business benefit.

#4: "What are the costs associated with this project?"

Provide a clear narrative of the budget involved in your proposed project. Depending on the request, you may be asked for a detailed, itemized list of budget or just an overview of the possible charges. This part is crucial as this would define if the grant is able to cover the expenses for this initiative.

(True Omni)
There are 3 types of expenses. (1) Map and Content updates (2) One-time Software setup fees. (3) Hardware and Software deployment and management. Each solution has monthly fees associated to ensure operating system and product updates are ongoing. Also, to ensure that hardware is monitored, managed, and repaired in a timely manner.

#5: "How will you measure impact?"

Using S.M.A.R.T (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound) objectives, you can provide a great definition of your organization’s metrics. In relaying this information, you may be able to fully provide the desired output and how it will affect the destination as a whole.

(True Omni)
We will measure in 3 specific ways. (1) Number of users requesting information at our visitor centers, (2) How many visitors and locals go to our mobile and Kiosk products, (3) Analytics of how many people clicked, viewed, shared, and engaged with our content and information. A core mixture of traditional engagement, Digital connection points, and solid analytics practices for real-time and monthly reports to see how each product, trail, and device are working. We are looking for better visitor profiles, personalization, and a 20% decrease in paper usage.

Overall, if you are looking for a reliable organization to assist you with digital implementations, you can contact us via phone (833-300-6664) or email us at info@trueomni.com and one of our specialists will be scheduling a time or a demo.

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