A Creative Smorgasbord

Guide by Cell clients have gotten very creative with their use of our Mobile Web Authoring Platform to create rich and engaging visitor experiences. Here are some of our favorites. To view the tours, simply text the keyword “GALLERY” to 56512. What kind of tour would you like your cultural institution to build?

Take the tour!

Not Just Another Audio Tour Company

museum, cultural institution, visitor engagement, mobile tour, smartphone tour, museum tour

Museum audio tours have been around for decades, but there are many more tools available at your disposal that don’t require museums to purchase any hardware. Guide by Cell’s industry-leading visitor engagement technology—our Mobile Web Authoring platform and Text Messaging service—require only your visitors’ mobile devices.

The vast majority of visitors carry smartphones at all times. Many prefer to experience your museum on their own terms rather than following a tour or reading placards on a wall. You can create a rich and engaging interactive experience in minutes using Guide by Cell’s Mobile Web Authoring Platform.

You can create a self-guided tour that visitors can access by navigating with their smartphones. Share videos, audio recordings and images, quiz visitors on what they’ve learned. The smartphone tours are easy to use and don’t require any downloads.

The tours can be accessed by texting a personalized keyword to our shortcode or scanning a QR code. And you have the ability to learn about your most and least popular exhibits through real-time user analytics, allowing you to alter your content, your tour or exhibits.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. With Guide by Cell, you can communicate with visitors and members not just during, but before or after their visit. After they opt in to receive text messages, you can communicate with groups of people or individuals. Update them on special events and fundraisers, invite them to participate in scavenger hunts and submit feedback, and reach younger visitors who prefer communicating by text message rather than email, which we know often gets lost or routed to the spam folder.

We can get you up-and-running in as quickly as one day, and there’s no need to involve your IT department. Guide by Cell services are easy to maintain and manage; anyone can do it.

Find out how Guide by Cell can help your cultural institution engage with visitors and create a better experience for visitors. Sign up for a FREE 20-minute demo with one of our mobile engagement experts. Call us at 415-615-0150 or email info@guidebycell.com.

Make Slow Art Day Last Year-Round

Slow Art Day, museums, museum, art, cultural institution, five-minute stare

Are you taking part in Slow Art Day on Saturday? The annual event features 156 museums and art galleries nationwide, including small institutions and large ones like Philadelphia’s Barnes Foundation and Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Museum of Art.

The cultural institutions are asking visitors to register at www.slowartday.com and then to show up on Saturday to look at a preassigned work of art for a full five to ten minutes. Then guests simply talk about their experience with each other.

Why is this important? Because it encourages your cultural institution’s visitors and members to examine the art thoroughly instead of blowing through the exhibits to catch “as much as possible” in one visit. “When people look slowly at a piece of art they make discoveries,” according to the Slow Art Day website. “It unlocks passion and creativity and helps to create more art lovers.”

The event was created by Phil Terry, after he spent a full hour looking at 1943 abstract painting  “Fantasia,” by Hans Hofmann, at the University of California Berkeley Art Museum, The Wall Street Journal reported. He “found the unfamiliar experience galvanizing.”

According to the WSJ, most people spend 17 seconds looking at each individual painting during a museum visit. “The temptation to [zoom] from piece to piece in search of instant gratification can be overwhelming.”

Slow Art Day is a one-day event, but its philosophy can and should be promoted year-round. Guide by Cell can help. We already provide a suite of services to add interpretation to your exhibits, helping visitors appreciate each individual piece of art instead of rushing through quickly and never returning. Invariably, our clients benefit from providing deeper levels of visitor engagement.

Our Smartphone Tours allow you to create a mobile website rich in content and engagement. Audio Guides let visitors dial a number, press keys and instantly engage with your audio content. With Text Messaging, you can deliver event reminders, links to web pages and games directly to your visitors. Mobile Fundraising and one-on-one Text Chat allow you boost engagement even further.

We can also help your visitors talk about your exhibits with Visitor Polls. Ask them to relay their emotions and impressions of our by calling a toll-free dedicated line and leaving a message. You have the ability to collect and track caller data and audio.

It takes only one good painting or other piece of art, and five minutes of your visitors’ time, to make a real impression.

This month only, we’re offering Visitor Polls — a $500 value — FREE with an annual contract for the Text Messaging service, Mobile Web Authoring Platform and Audio Guides.

To learn more, call us at 415-615-0150 or email info@guidebycell.com for a free 20-minute demo of all four service offerings.

Re-Engage Your Visitors with Mobile Content

cultural institution, museum, museum, zoo, engagement, mobile, mobile engagement, text message, SMS, MMS, visitor engagement

According to the National Awareness, Attitudes, and Usage Study, even those people who have visited cultural institutions in the past and express interest in visiting again don’t follow through. That’s because interest and intent are not directly linked, according to Know Your Own Bone, an online blog that looks at engagement at visitor-centric institutions.

Despite 85 percent of the study’s respondents reporting interest in visiting a museum, zoo, aquarium, performing arts center or other visitor-centric institution, only 54 percent had visited within the previous two years. That leaves 31 percent expressing interest in going but not actually going.

That’s because other interests are competing for their time. They may love the art museum, but enjoy catching the hit blockbuster in a theater, a sporting event or doing nothing at all. The number of people who prefer to stay home given the choice to go out has increased by more than 17 percent in the last five years. Logistical reasons can be to blame. Sometimes it’s hard to find transportation. Sometimes there’s no parking. And sometimes it’s not possible to get out of work, school or other appointments.

Another reason is how much visitors depend on technology, and need it to interact with the world around them. That’s your chance to let them interact with your institution using on-demand content.

But Know Your Own Bone points out that even though people may not show up at your cultural institution on any given day, they are still online and open to engage with you digitally. This is your chance to communicate the benefits of your institution and plant seeds for the future. Technology is your communication medium, and that’s where Guide by Cell can help.

Begin by asking visitors to opt in to receive text messages from your organization when they do visit, or directly from your website. From there, you can communicate with your audience, segmented in any way you want, at a time that is most convenient for them. Send them text messages that redirect them to mobile sites that you built in minutes. Load the sites with information about new exhibits, visiting artists, animal birth announcements and fundraisers. Embed videos, images, audio clips and any rich media. Invite visitors to participate in contests, submit surveys or take quizzes.

Guide by Cell solutions connect potential visitors with the content they desire, even when they’re not physically present at your cultural institution.  

These are just a few of the many ways to engage with potential visitors when they are not at your cultural institution. “Targeted, personalized communications – enabled by technology – are the key,” according to Know Your Own Bone. If you keep people engaged, they will continue to act as ambassadors for your cultural institution, sending the people in their social circles right into your arms.

Learn how Guide by Cell can help you re-engage your cultural institution’s past visitors in a FREE 20-minute demo. Email us at info@guidebycell.com and call us at 415-615-0150.

“Text-a-Question” Service Launches this Fall

The Brooklyn Museum recently launched an app that allows visitors to ask questions about works of art on display. See how it works here.

It’s a fabulous service and gaining in popularity.

We launched our own version this fall called Text-a-Question. The user does not need to download an app – they simply see a sign suggesting they ask a question through texting. Once they send in their text question, a staff member or even a volunteer (either on site or off site) can answer the question, or get back with a “I’m checking on that for you” response.

Visitors have lots of questions about what they are seeing, and the more they understand and appreciate, the more enjoyable their visit will be. Our new service allows you to offer a level of customer service unheard of in the past.

For a demo, contact us today:

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Reaching Foreign Language Visitors Increases in Importance

Many of our clients report that a 2016-17 initiative is reaching out to non-English speaking audiences. And using mobile services such as a dial-in audio tour in a non-English language (as used by the New York Botanical Garden) or a smartphone tour in a foreign language (as used by the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery) generate buzz and excitement from these groups that generally struggle with interpreting complicated English written wall text. It’s a great way to bridge language gaps.

For a demo, contact us today. We’re here to help you out!

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Mobile Web Smartphone Tour Usage Doubles in 2016

The fastest growing interactive tool for museums and cultural organizations is a mobile friendly smartphone tour.

These mobile friendly tours have surpassed apps because they are much less expensive to set up and maintain and visitors prefer clicking a link than downloading an app that they may or may not use again.

Try it now: Text GEORGE to 56512 for a tour of Valley Forge National Park.

Visitors see a small sign, take out their phone, send a text message and instantly a link to a relevant page of content appears on their phone. They can watch a video, listen to audio, read more, see photos, or even take a poll or play a game. It’s a fantastic way to create deeper engagement with your members and/or visitors.

For a demo, contact us today. We’re here to help you out!

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