The Group Travel Leader

JAN 2017

The online home of The Group Travel Leader, America's leading publication for the group travel industry. Articles on hot destinations, attractions, news and travel trends from across the country and around the world.

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Page 77 of 115

ARKANSAS REPERTORY THEATRE A 2 0 1 7 T R A V E L S O U T H T O U R P L A N N E R 46 Hall of Fame invites football fans to experience their favorite teams and players like never before with interactive displays and games that make guests feel like part of the team. With each purchased ticket, visitors receive an All-Access Pass credential with a chip inside that stores all their museum experi- ences inside a digital "locker." Once they register their pass with their football team of choice, the pass automatically brings per- sonalized content right onto the screens in front of them as they move through the exhibits. "It allows fans to immerse themselves in college football his- tory on a whole new level," said Dennis Adamovich, CEO of the Hall of Fame. One of these exhibits is the Coco-Cola Fans Game Day Expe- rience, which caters to the passion and loyalty of the fans themselves by showing the world of football through their perspectives. In this area, fans can paint their faces digitally, sing their favorite team's fi ght song in a karaoke challenge or join ESPN hosts Chris Fowler and Desmond Howard via green screen for a game day analysis. They can later share these in- teractive experiences with friends on social media so that "each per- son becomes their own broadcast tower," according to Adamovich. Since the Hall of Fame is always at the heart of sports events in Atlanta, the museum also builds a bridge of communication with fans by updating them on upcom- ing special guests or events. WWW.CFBHALL.COM In recent years, many muse- ums and attractions have begun using social media to give visi- tors a more interactive and per- sonal experience. Through social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, guests can participate in contests, share memories and post hashtags of the event or venue. The following organizations have shared some of the creative ways they have used technology to engage their local communi- ties and visitors from out of town. If your group travelers love a good selfi e, include some of these so- cially savvy attractions in your next tour of the South. ARKANSAS REPERTORY THEATRE Li le Rock, Arkansas There is no question that the Arkansas Repertory Theatre has developed a loyal online follow- ing over the past few years. Since 2014, the theater's Instagram feed has increased from 55 followers to 5,000, and the 11,000 likes on its Facebook page now exceed 23,000. "Social media is huge for us," said Allyson Gattin, director of marketing and audience engage- ment. The source of this expanded reach might surprise some: Fa- cebook contests. Partnered with several local eateries, the Rep of- ten sponsors production-inspired ice creams and beers, and people who follow the company on Face- book can participate in a naming contest for the product. "We wanted to do more than offer these products to our pa- trons. We wanted them to actually be a part of naming them," said Gattin. Initially, the theater promotes the contest through social media as well as local media networks. After people submit their entries, theater representatives pick the top fi ve to post on Facebook, and the online community votes on their favorite. The winner receives his or her name on the product, a sample of the ice cream or beer, and two free tickets to the show. The most recent contest involved naming a production- themed ice cream for "A Christ- mas Story"; more than 400 people voted. Some favorite submissions were "You'll Shoot Your Ice Cream Out, Kid" and "Triple Dog Dare Ya Spice Ginger Bread." Guessing games are another fun way to engage locals. During the production of "Spamelot," the Rep posted pictures on Facebook of the Holy Grail in abstract loca- tions throughout the city, and the fi rst person to correctly name its whereabouts in a comment won a poster from the show. Likewise, when "Mary Poppins" was play- ing, the theater photoshopped images of her fl ying into different parts of the city, and people had to guess where she was. WWW.THEREP.ORG COLLEGE F OO TBALL HALL OF FAME Atlanta Located in the diverse hub of Atlanta, the College Football THE SOUTH HAS ALWAYS BEEN SOCIAL, but technology today has made traveling throughout this region more fun now than ever. Cour tesy Arkansas Reper tory Theatre By Stephen B. Thor nton Cour tesy College Football Hall of Fame AUDITORIUM AT THE AUD AUDITO T RIU RIUM A M A A M T T T THE HE AUDITORIUM AT THE ARK ARK R ANS ANSAS AS REP REPER ERTORY ORY THEAT EATRE RE ARKANSAS REPERTORY THEATRE "A CHRISTMAS STORY" AT THE ARKANSAS REPERTORY THEATRE COLLEGE FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME

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