Earlier this month, ACTIVE attended the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) Annual Conference in St. Louis, Missouri. Having served the Park and Rec market since 2002, we’ve seen the industry evolve to become more creative, connected and collaborative then ever before. And this year, we noted three trends, in particular, that represent opportunity for park and recreation organizations to flourish in the coming years.
First, more parks and recreation organizations seem to be embracing technology solutions that help them do more with less. New technologies are enabling them to streamline resources and increase the volume of registrations for programs and classes. More and more park and recreation organizations are using online park and recreation management technologies like ACTIVE Net to improve the online shopping and check-out experience, make themselves more discoverable online and create budget efficiencies.
Secondly, we see a trend with park and recreation organizations creating separate online brands and experiences from that of their managing governments. As more and more organizations feel increased competition for participants with private-sector organizers who offer intuitive and engaging online and mobile experiences, park and recreation organizations are creating their own branding and marketing strategies.
Lastly but perhaps most interestingly, #NRPAConference attendees were abuzz following our demonstration of ACTIVE’s business intelligence platform, ACTIVE Net Insights, and also the “Counting What Counts: Using Data to Drive Real Change” session, where they learned that data and business intelligence can help inform all manner of operations, marketing and program planning decisions. Data culled from a simple registration can reveal behaviors and attitudes based on gender and age as well as class type, payment and registration preferences among other things.
Like many other industries and sectors in the world, park and recreation organizations are only beginning to realize how technology can help them to grow and create new experiences, both online and off, for lovers of parks and recreational activities everywhere!