With vaccination levels on the rise, there’s no doubt that people have begun to travel more. In fact, studies show that over the fourth of July holiday this month, air travel levels reached record highs compared to pre-pandemic numbers.  

While downtowns, both big and small, benefit from these visitors, making sure to engage those who choose to visit your destination is almost as important as getting them to come there in the first place. Small businesses, local restaurants, historic monuments and more, all benefit from an increase in activity.

SUMMERTIME ENGAGEMENT IN A COLLEGE TOWN

The city of Champaign, Illinois, for example, is an area that experiences the bustle of activity from its college-aged residents during the school year. During the summer-time, when those students travel home between semesters, there’s a brief lull in activity among the streets. However, with the local community coming out of the pandemic, Xander Hazel, Executive Director of Champaign Center Partnership, was eager to find a way to engage the local community and visitors to the area. 

Their event, 13 Thursdays, allows businesses in the Champaign area to offer promotions and get people visiting local businesses and restaurants. Now hosted through the Eventzee App, the Champaign Center Partnership team thrives in engaging their visitors and community. 

“We highlighted all the business deals with QR code challenges (we call this the “business passport”) and included different types of challenges to provide fun scavenger hunt activities throughout the neighborhood,” said Hazel. “We also have giveaways throughout the summer to keep the momentum going and a grand prize at the end of the summer to encourage participation.”

The Eventzee App is no doubt a fantastic tool when it comes to marketing your businesses and downtown areas, but it’s also a no-brainer when considering business logistics and environmental impacts. 

PAST EXPERIENCE WITH PASSPORTS

Prior to using Eventzee, the Champaign Center Partnership team printed hundreds of business passports, or coupon books with advertisements, that Businesses would physically stamp when people redeemed a deal. Oftentimes, people would forget their booklet and need a new one. 

“We could give away 1,000 booklets, but we never knew how many people were actually using them,” Hazel said. “And then, we had to get the booklets back if people wanted to win prizes, so we had to take the extra step to establish drop-off locations. In 2019, the last year we did this promotion, we printed and distributed 1,000 booklets. Of those, we only got 6 booklets back.”

Person holding paper passports for an event in Champaign, Illinois.

Previous paper passports used by Champaign, Illinois, for their 13 Thursday downtown engagement event.

SUCCESS WITH EVENTZEE DIGITAL PASSPORT EVENTS

Champaign’s experience with Eventzee has been much more successful this year. On top of reducing production and operation expenses, organizers were able to easily track player participation, communicate with participants in real time, and more. This year’s 13 Thursdays event has already seen greatly increased activity with almost 300 participants, and the versatility of challenge types has offered participants even more ways to play. 

Whether looking to set up a citywide self-guided tour, drive traffic to historical areas, or increase visitor engagement for local vendors and businesses, Eventzee has a solution. The Eventzee platform is free for participants to download, and has the most challenge types offered on the market, including QR code scanning, GPS, photo and video upload, and more. Every Eventzee event is customized to the organization or company branding.

The Eventzee platform allows businesses to create private scavenger hunts in physical places such as malls, tradeshows, company events or campuses to create immersive brand experiences.  For more information about Eventzee, go to eventzeeapp.com or contact craig@freezetag.com.