I was honored to represent ACTIVE Network and give a keynote speech at last month’s “Grand Thoughts at the Grand Canyon” conference. Held at the North Rim Lodge a week after the Lodge had closed for the season, this exclusive conference brought together leading voices in and around the National Park Service (NPS) to discuss how to keep the Parks relevant leading up to its centennial anniversary in 2016.
Participants included National Park Service director Jon Jarvis, multiple NPS regional directors, presidents of the National Park Foundation and National Park Conservation Association, leadership of Brand USA (a public private partnership created to promote increased international travel to the United States), and leaders from all the National Park concessionaires.
My keynote speech, entitled, “Recreation.gov and Beyond: Thinking Past the Destinations to the Journey,” introduced ACTIVE, highlighted our work and successes alongside our longtime customer, Recreation.gov, and suggested ideas to spur deeper visitor engagement with the Parks and improve visitor experience before, during and after visitation.
A couple of innovative ideas presented at the rim included the creation of an ACTIVE Advantage-type membership rewards program around the “America the Beautiful” annual pass, and creating park-specific augmented reality apps that could enable folks to view points of interest, trails, historical or geological information through their smartphones. All the ideas presented by the keynote speakers at the conference have been collected and are being prioritized now with the aim to advocate these key ideas to legislators and influencers. I look forward to seeing what comes of our ideas!
For more information on the conference and the speakers’ presentations, click here.