Q&A with Kerry Lippincott, Executive Director at the Geneva Historical Society
Founded in 1883, the Geneva Historical Society preserves and tells the stories of Geneva, New York through three historic house museums–the Geneva History Museum at the Prouty-Chew House, Rose Hill Mansion, and Johnston House. They launched their first cell phone tour with OnCell in early 2014 and have recently migrated their tour over to our new app builder.
Q. What were the main goals for creating your app?
A. We had two main goals for the app. First, our mission is to preserve and share Geneva’s stories and the app provides us with another tool to share those stories, including the historic photographs from our collection. Second, the app makes it easy and convenient for visitors to explore Geneva–whether its during their visit or after, the app gives them instant access to the tour’s content.
Q. What are the benefits for visitors to use the app?
A. The biggest benefit is the map which allows visitors to navigate around the city. Also, the simple convenience of it–listen, read, or do both; go at your own speed; pick and choose what stops; the ability to return as many times as you want.
Q. What do you see as the biggest benefit of having a tour?
A. It takes the historical society out of the building and into the streets. It’s like having your own personal curator or tour guide–everything is right there in your pocket!
Q. What advice would you give to other organizations who are looking to create a tour?
A. It’s all about the story. Find the places and people that make your location unique and share those stories. Yet, you don’t want to overwhelm visitors, so keep the stories short and simple. Also, if you are an organization with an extensive photo collection, the tour is a great way to share it.
Q. What benefits do you see from migrating your tour to the new platform?
A. The ability to provide more content for the visitor and information about the Geneva Historical Society. Hopefully the tour will pique visitors’ interest in Geneva and its history so they will visit our museums and make return visits to our town.
Q. How did you like working with the app builder?
A. So far so good. For a non-techie like me, its been easy to use.
Q. Can users expect to see any new content in the upcoming year?
A. For right now we are keeping things simple, so those that are already familiar with our tour can expect to see new photographs with this re-launch. Down the road, the plan is to add some additional stops and perhaps more content through sub-pages. We also intend to customize it more with a calendar of events and implement the social media features available to us in the builder.