The City of Olathe in Kansas embarked on a mission to better understand the preferences and habits of its citizens when it came to utilizing the city's parks and recreational facilities. To gather this valuable information, they introduced the City of Olathe Parks Pass, a gamified passport program, in partnership with Bandwango. The pass was designed to not only encourage residents to explore and enjoy the city's parks but also to provide crucial insights for the city's Master Plans for Parks, Trails, and Greenways.
The primary objective of the City of Olathe Parks Pass was to learn more about where the citizens of Olathe were spending their leisure time, which parks were most frequented, and which amenities were preferred or not preferred.
The pass was gamified, encouraging participants to get outside, explore the city's parks, and take advantage of the various amenities offered while earning prizes along the way.
The pass aimed to gather valuable data on park usage without placing a significant burden on the city's internal support teams. Bandwango's technology was instrumental in streamlining this process.
The City of Olathe chose to partner with Bandwango for their first passport program. According to Ronni Decker from the City of Olathe, the decision came after seeing the success of another local city using the same tool. She explained, "It gave us the means to find out more information about park usage without having to do any significant amount of work for our internal support teams. The tool has made it very easy to gather data."
While Bandwango provided the technology, the City of Olathe adopted a strategic approach to promote the Parks Pass:
Social Media: The city used its existing social media accounts to promote the Parks Pass, which drove sign-up numbers and encouraged participation among residents.
Paid Media: Interestingly, no paid media marketing was utilized for this passport program. The city managed to achieve significant success without additional advertising expenses.
The City of Olathe Parks Pass has been met with great success, with the following outcomes:
Sign-ups: Since its launch, the Parks Pass has garnered a total of 304 sign-ups, with the potential for continued growth.
Check-ins: Passholders have made 1,154 check-ins, indicating that residents are actively visiting and enjoying the city's parks as part of the check-in challenge.
Marketing Opt-Ins: 160 customers, representing over half of total sign-ups, have opted into external marketing communication. These opt-ins will be instrumental in promoting future campaigns and initiatives.
Ronni Decker noted, "We've had a fair amount of participation with the small amount of marketing we've provided thus far. It indicates that the public is enjoying sharing their information with us in this low-risk model."
As of now, the city has not determined its plan for 2024. The success of the Parks Pass has laid the groundwork for potentially expanding and enhancing the program in the future.
The City of Olathe Parks Pass, in partnership with Bandwango, has not only encouraged outdoor activity and exploration of the city's parks but also provided invaluable insights into park usage and citizen preferences. The gamified approach, minimal marketing expenses, and high levels of participation underscore the success of this passport program. With the data collected, the City of Olathe is well-positioned to make informed decisions for the future development and improvement of its parks, trails, and greenways.