Grand Rapids, Michigan is the quintessential destination with an assortment of activities to match that of even the most eclectic traveler. After evaluating their mobile site, the Experience Grand Rapids team quickly realized having 350+ listings in alphabetical order (with minimal filters) made it very challenging for visitors to use when planning.
In August 2013, Experience Grand Rapids launched a "Certified Tourism Ambassador" program, which allows visitors to speak with someone face-to-face when making plans in the destination. Although this was a great addition, they needed a virtual concierge that was fun, engaging and designed for the mobile user.
Experience Grand Rapids elaborated on their pre-existing brand pillars and created interest groups based on destination topics (art, food, family, music, beer, etc.). Meanwhile, Simpleview created the wireframe and began responsive website creative and design work.
GR City Twist organizes all that Grand Rapids has to offer, from "Craft Beer" for the guys and "Splurge Worthy" for the ladies, to "Family Fun" for the whole gang. Visitors simply "Twist the wheel", choose a persona, and review a corresponding collection of listings. With over 1,000 descriptions and ideas, Grand Rapids encourages visitors to "Twist" their way to a one-of-a-kind vacation. GR City Twist also gives you the ability to create a custom itinerary that you can save, print, or even share on social media.
Experience Grand Rapids created 18 different personas and interest groups to categorize their partners. Special icons were created to represent each group so they could be used on the site and in supporting marketing materials, and over 1,500 individual descriptions were added to CRM.
In December 2013, Experience Grand Rapids launched a responsive website that is playful, engaging and provides visitor information based on their interest. In the first seven months, ExperienceGR.com visits increased over 45% and page views increased just over 70%.
In 2014, Experience Grand Rapids won the Michigan Society of Association Executives (MSAE) "Diamond Award for Website." GR City Twist has opened the doors for visitors by improving organic search results and placing Grand Rapids front-and-center for the undecided traveler.
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