A couple of days before the end of Christmas vacation, I took my son to the Vancouver Aquarium. We have a membership to Science World, so we go there all the time, but the Aquarium is a treat for us that happens maybe two or three times a year.
Upon entering, we were invited, via sign, to download an app called Snappz, which was a virtual treasure hunt game. The goal was to find and scan QR Codes that were hidden throughout the Aquarium. Each scan would earn you points, and then you could earn more points by answering questions. Prizes were on offering.
We had a great time. Michael was tearing through the Aquarium with my iPhone, searching for QR Codes. Now, before you start questioning if he spent the entire visit only interacting with technology, he didn’t. The game is set up in such a way that you need to interact with some of the exhibits in order to answer questions to get points.
Michael ended up getting to Level 2, Explorer. His reward? Two buttons.
I thought this was an amazing idea for non-profit organizations like museums and art galleries to create engagement and to help drive in a younger audience. I interviewed Karen Howe, Director of Visitor Experience at the Aquarium about the app and where it came from.
RC: Tell me a bit about Snappz. Where did it come from?
KH: We partnered with a company called Fablevision to create a company called Sparkbridge which created and delivered the app. The goal of the app is to enhance visitor experience, and, of course, generate revenue. It’s been live since March of 2012.